My Kripalu Weekend with IIN

April 17, 2013 · 6 comments

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  • A High School Senior and Her Mother were seriously injured, the teen both her legs amputated and her mother I’m not sure yet but here is a link to donate to them http://www.gofundme.com/CelesteandSydney

On a lighter note, I was away all weekend with a group of ambassadors for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I had planned a live chat today to talk about the program but in light of recent events, am postponing it until next week. I thought I needed it last week but it turns out, I could have used it more this weekend.

When you sign up for IIN, you can become an ambassador by referring other new students. One of you signed up through me, and I was invited to join the staff of IIN along with 35 other students, current and graduates. We even got to meet the founder, Joshua!

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Kripalu is a retreat in western Massachusetts, just 2.5 hours west of Boston. Many yoga and spiritual leaders hold weekend workshops featuring their yoga practices or lectures. A few names I recognized on the summer schedule were the fabulous Gabby Bernstein and yogi Sean Corn, who I loved at Wanderlust. I was attending for just the R&R retreat. As part of the R&R, pay for your housing which is dorm/camp like. Your room is equipped with a sink, dresser, two beds and night stand. Small. The bathrooms are at the end of the hall. There is no internet really, and you are encouraged not to carry your cell phone or use it in public, a bloggers nightmare or blessing. You are given a schedule with either 1 or 3 options for each time slot throughout the day including a variety of yoga classes, spiritual meditative offerings, nutrition lectures, hikes, dance and music related starting at 6:30 am and ending at 9 pm.

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I attended the vigorous yoga class at 6:30 am on Saturday. It was a nice 90 minute flow but not vigorous in my opinion. I did have one bead of sweat drip down my chest and was pretty challenged at one point in a side plank but other than that it was an average class. We noticeably did not do a single sun salutation or pigeon pose. Afterwards I had breakfast, since phones were not allowed, I felt like cameras were a little odd to bring as well so I do not have pictures. Breakfast is always silent. A challenge for me, but really kind of peaceful. It’s the only silent meal. All meals are served buffet style and are delicious! If you come thinking you are going to eat hippie granola vegan foods, you are wrong. The food was my favorite part. Breakfast was a cereal bar with oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt, breakfast cereals, fruit, nuts, seeds, and then hot egg dishes you typically would see like huevos rancheros, quiche, whole grain scones and more. There are always two lines, one vegetarian and one non vegetarian. It’s very easy to eat vegan. No red meat was served. It’s all chicken or fish, and both are either wild caught or organic raised.

In the afternoon, I attended one of the most interesting lectures on toxins and detoxifying ourselves through our diet. More on that in a later video. Afterwards, I attended a class called Celebration of Spirit that had me singing different chanting mantras in many languages. Before lunch, I also tried a thing called Noon Dance which was basically a bunch of people dancing around in a circle to bongo drum like music. It was fun to do but probably not something I’m eager to try again. People got pretty sweaty. Afterwards, I ate lunch and then went on a beautiful hike.

Kripalu Collage

It was nice to finally move around. It took us about 2 hours to complete. When I got back, I wanted a snack before my second yoga class. Knowing we would be having an early dinner, I opted for just a kombucha. The snack bar area is where you go to get your sweet tooth fix. There is no dessert at lunch and the dessert goes quick at dinner I was told. The snack bar had all of my favorite Whole Foods treats in one small compact area. I was in heaven. Their homemade cookies are also famous featuring a gluten free chocolate chip cookie and other vegan options in addition to traditional chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies made with organic ingredients of course. I need to find these Thunderbird bars at a local store. They looked awesome. Kripalu Snack Bar

The second vigorous yoga class was again, not exactly vigorous but great for opening up the hips. I think the style that was taught is the Kripalu Yoga method. I’m not sure this is my thing. I admit I am not a yogi and have a hard time using their breath work to meditate and clear my head. I love yoga but I think the Kripalu method just is not my cup of tea. My roommate, who was assigned randomly and a stranger was at Kripalu for the Rodney Yee program. She did yoga for 5 hours on Saturday and was sore. My point is that depending on what program you sign up for, your experience will be different.

Dinner was fabulous and I enjoyed the pecan pie like dessert that I made sure to grab. Afterwards, I chatted with the other IIN students. It was so great to talk to them about why they enrolled in the program and what they are doing with their certifications. It’s always fun to hang out with like minded people which is why I love blogger conferences as well. I hope one day to do a blogger conference here but that might be hard with the cell phone rule. Some of the girls got massages as well.

All in all, I would 100% go back to Kripalu but I think I would want to go for a specific weekend workshop rather than the just R&R based on my personal preference. The food was amazing. The chance to disconnect from the world was a breath of fresh air but challenging for me. Not being able to use my phone was hard.

I think prices start as low as $196 for the weekend which includes your food (6 meals, unlimited tea & fruit) and housing (two nights in a dormitory). For additional programming like Gabrielle Bernstein’s it’s an extra $225. The R&R is worth it. They offer yoga classes 3 times a day and if you need to just get away and clear your head, even if you are by yourself, you will be able to do this!

I was worried that I would come back a tree loving hippie but I didn’t. I came back the same and learned a few things about myself. I came home re-energized. My passion for I do was reinforced and I decided a few things that I want to do with my career in the near future! I was excited Monday morning and ready to take on the world. A bombing changed that energy but it will come back with time.

Would you be interested in going to something like this?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mandy April 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I’m a huge joiner but I think i probably would have been a little bit out of my comfort zone! I would have loved the food though!!

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2 Ja @Ja on the RUN April 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Sound interesting. I would love to join but I’m not sure if I will be able to keep up with the schedule. I love the idea though.

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3 Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake April 18, 2013 at 7:27 am

I’m going to be doing this in either their next enrollment or either in January…could you feed me in a little on your take on it so far?
I’ve talked with them already and I’m so excited. I wish i could go to NY and actually see them.
So someone can become an ambassador by having people sign up through them (if they themselves are signed up) ?

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4 Laura M April 18, 2013 at 8:20 am

happy you enjoyed it! my dad does all of his yoga trainings at kripalu and he loves it! he’s been going ever since i can remember. it’s funny to see what it looks like — i envisioned it looking a little differently (more like summer camp cabins).

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5 Emily April 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

That sounds wonderful! I’m dying to do a retreat like that and get away from being constantly “wired”. Thanks for your review!

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6 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots April 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I have been dying to go to Kripalu since graduating from IIN and my health coach telling me about it! I would like to go for a yoga retreat tho!

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