by Rachel Chemerynski
It’s no lie that we love experiencing the latest and greatest yoga studios, spas and wellness centers over here at SpaFinder Wellness! I mean, can you blame us really? That’s why when we got the chance to spend the day at Kripalu—known as “the largest and most established retreat center for yoga, health, and holistic living in North America”—we felt compelled to share the ins and outs with you. Below, you can see for yourself what a day in life at a Kripalu looks like.
Where It’s Located: Tucked away in the scenic Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Stockbridge, MA, Kripalu truly is the ultimate retreat. From breathtaking mountain views to serene nature walks, you’ll feel like you’re in a magical land far, far away from home.
The Schedule: While Kripalu offers a number of options for visitors from Healthy Living Immersion Programs to R & R Retreats, the Day Pass includes:
- Entry to all R & R Workshops
- Three all-natural meals
- Unlimited Yoga classes (all levels available)
- Kripalu Noon Dance
- Evening activities (from cooking classes to group chanting)
- Use of all amenities including sauna, whirlpool, labyrinth, walking & hiking trails, fitness center and beach area
$100 Sunday – Friday (excluding summer); $120 Memorial Day –Labor Day & all Saturdays year-round. Pre-registration required.
What to Expect: Picture a wellness center with everything you need, and then multiply your expectations by 1,000. With top-notch yoga classes, dancing, meditations, guided biking, hiking, and snowshoeing excursions, on-site wellness workshops, counseling and even spa services, there’s never a dull moment at Kripalu.
Workshop discussions cover a number of topics including “10 Ways to Heal Your Life,” “Rhythm and Poetry,” Attitude of Gratitude,” and “Qigong on the Lawn.”
Not to mention the quality time you get to take for yourself during the stay. Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of “me” time and can truly take this journey anywhere you’d like!
The Vibe: Don’t expect your typical high-end, spa-like ambience, or luxury amenities (which may come as a shock for some). In fact, Kripalu is very much low-key when it comes to appearances, focusing mostly on the experience factor. This means simple decor, basic shared rooms, and an all around laid-back vibe with few outside distractions. That being said, it’s plain to see that the dedicated, enthusiastic staff members truly care about making your retreat as enjoyable as possible.
The Eats: The food is hands down one of the best parts of the trip! The meals are prepared fresh and on-site daily, served up buffet-style in their large dining hall. Nourish your mind and body with home-cooked meals like warm grains, spicy tofu scramble, sautéed greens, seasonal soups, D.I.Y tacos, and curry quiche.
All the meals are prepared with simple, real ingredients, with a number of options (like Dairy, Vegan, and Gluten-free) to fit your personal dietary needs. Guests can treat themselves to a variety of tea, water, milk, fresh juices, and other seasonal beverages as well. Kripalu follows an Ayurvedic approach for the most part, serving up three nutritional meals, utilizing seasonal ingredients when possible, and offering something for every body type.
Who Should Make the Trip: From seasoned yogis to those just embarking on their personal wellness journey, Kripalu will meet you wherever you’re at in life. Whether you’re looking to get your health back on track, learn from some of the best spiritual gurus and teachers or simply get away, we highly recommend making the trip!
Know Before You Go: Wear comfy clothes like yoga pants and a roomy tank with a hoodie (in case you get cold), as you’ll be moving around quite a bit. You definitely don’t need to dress to impress here! If you plan to use the spa facilities (including sauna, fitness center, and whirl pool), a swimsuit and change of clothes would definitely come in handy.
Also, consider setting an intention for the trip to really get the most out of it, and prepare for an experience like no other!
5 Quick Takeaways from Kripalu’s Workshop “Ayurveda: A Life in Balance” with Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda Hilary Garivaltis
1. Drink your water at room temp, as it aids with digestion, supports the lymphatic system and gives your body a little break. Cold water can be harsh on the body, especially during the morning. Who knew?
2. Get Into a Routine: According to Ayurvedic medicine, it’s extremely beneficial for our emotional and physical health to get into some sort of routine. While some of us may naturally resist at first, they recommend creating more of schedule by waking up with the sunrise, exercising in the morning and preferably eating your biggest meal at lunch.
3. Eat according to the seasons (the way nature intended us to) for optimum health for your mind, body and soul. Check out some of our favorite in-season spring eats here!
4. Get to know yourself: Know what it’s like to feel your very best self! That way when something feels “off” (i.e. when you’re having an off day) you can investigate why.
5. What works for one may not work for another: We’ve all heard the saying that one man’s poison can be another’s medicine. Well, the Ayurvedic approach believes the same! Learn to become more in tune with your body, discovering which exercises and dietary styles work best for you (not your best friend or your fitness idol).
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Rachel Chemerynski is a certified health coach and freelance writer living in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the founder of Healthy Chicks, a wellness community dedicated to inspiring twenty-something women to live happier, health