Last June for my mom’s special birthday, she and I went on our first Yoga retreat. Although I did not know at the time, I was to be spending an extended weekend at one of the most famous Yoga retreats in the U.S. It is called Kripalu, located in Western New York in the Berkshires.
As you can see by the picture, the surroundings were beautiful with the green, lush Berkshire mountains overlooking a lake. However missing from the picture is Kripalu’s main building, which was a cold looking, brick structure similar to a hospital. It certainly broke my stereotype of yoga retreat architecture. As a side note, I didn’t know until later that the building was previously a Jesuit seminary.
So the irony of this peaceful story comes when you imagine the current Ms. Traveling Pants in this situation. Let me set the stage.
Picture a commune of yoga enthusiasts, meditation rooms, labyrinths, massages, aromatherapy, and healthy food taken to the extreme. And, then picture throwing me, the seemingly always connected to my iPhone or laptop into that atmosphere. Culture shock!! I mean it was so healthy, caffeine was a banned substance. Just as background, I think I get a caffeine withdrawal headache at 3:00 pm if I don’t have my dose. Wow!
Regardless, I adapted, like the cameleon that I am, and it was truly amazing (or should I say ooommmmmm-mazing). I am the first to admit it was very challenging…even the “gentle yoga” kicked my butt (not to mention the lack of caffeine). The full massages afterwards were a bonus, but for those of you familiar with deep tissue massages, it can be a workout as well. (If you haven’t read my Turkish Baths for Dummies post, you must.)
From the two yoga classes I took a day, it was apparent that when one practices yoga daily, you can become to be a human pretzel. However, with my thirty-something tight legs from running and spinning, touching my toes is a great feat, including downwards-facing dog and other human contortionists acts they call Yoga. In fact, I think that some of the instructors were fooling us all. They must have worked for Cirque du Soleil in a past life.
Ta ta Ms. Traveling Pants followers….Namaste