Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kripalu...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain 

Today is May 4th... I've been feeling out-of-sorts all day with part of myself remembering the past, part of myself trying to stay focused on the present and part of myself wandering off into the future. What's important about May 4th you ask? 

I started on an adventure. In actuality the complete adventuring process started months before with planning and filling out of forms and talking to people (family, friends, work). The date that I realised I was adventuring though was - May 4th 2009. On that day I became a volunteer at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

I know that there were a lot of people (family, friends, work.. lol) wondering what the xyz I was doing. I admit... I myself was wondering the same thing... On May 4th 2009 however, I found myself in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts after having taken a flight to NYC and then a bus to Lenox, Massachusetts. These trips did not happen consecutively so there was some time to wonder what I was getting myself into. 

There aren't many people I know that would take a period of no-pay leave to go off to another country and be a volunteer for four months at a Yoga Center. That's what I did... and why did I do it? For me. Cuz I was feeling lost and claustrophobic and wondering if there was nothing more to life than the ordinary. There are many stories about how persons get to Kripalu... or go on any kind of spiritual quest really. In my case it was a longing to experience .. something .. that you know is out there but just haven't had yet. I'd known about the place for .. years. And I knew that I'd get there eventually though I didn't think it would have been as a volunteer. Towards the end of 2008 however I found myself wanting to scream. It felt like I'd been giving and giving of myself with nothing being renewed... and it was then I knew I had to do something or I'd turn into a crazy loon (ok.. maybe a crazy b*tch).  And so, I applied... and I was interviewed... and I was accepted. I don't think I ever told all you who supported me and helped convince me and said of course that's what I should do thanks... so. Thanks. Much love and blessings to you.

The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting the art and science of yoga to produce thriving and health in individuals and society. Their volunteer program seeks to cultivate the practice of work as an avenue of self-discovery. It isn't all sunshine and bliss. The volunteers make up a major part of the workforce of the Center - you'll find volunteers working in just about every aspect of the daily running of the Center. It's hard work but at the same time... it's work approached from a different angle. There's a lot of talk about self-inquiry and development. Energy awareness and how is this sitting with you now? Stretch, Breathe, Flow, Release. 

Each person's experience is unique and rightly so as each individual is unique and travelling on their own path. A year from when I began I'm still processing the experience. BRFWA - breathe, relax, feel, watch and allow... How am I feeling in this moment? Thankful... for the experience. Happy... that I went through with it and didn't allow doubts of what am I doing.. where am I going.. why am I here.. to cloud my focus. Grateful... for the community that I was a part of... the friends I made... the people I interacted with. Grown up-Mature in a way that I can't explain. Wistful... cuz it was a whole world apart from the regular world and in some ways is an example of how I'd like the world to be. Calm... what will be will be... que será será.

And so to close this post I leave you with a lil bit ah memories that aren't in any particular order. If you were there... I know you can picture it... If you weren't and you want to see pics - I've got them.. but really... I advise a visit... it doesn't have to be a four-month-as-a-volunteer visit but Kripalu... it's a place you'd want to check out. 
Bus ride. Spilled coffee. Traveller on the Appalachian trail. Lenox. Shuttle rides. Volunteer badges. Hill House. Work schedule. Program choices. Yoga. Breakfast, lunch and dinner oh my! Raw granola. Avocados. Volunteer table. Dance. Blindfold dance. Taking-over-the-Tavern dance. YogaDance. Off-the-Mat. Smudging. Creating. Writing. Om. Walks to Hill House... to Shadowbrook... to Lenox. Baby blue bicycle. Shut down week. Tanglewood. Jacob's Pillow. Coffee. Workroom. True Blood. Elevator convos. Late night convos. Talk talk talk. Feel. Break down. BRFWA. Movie night. Writing workshop. Kombucha. Shiva Rea. Dinabandhu. Birthdays. Cards. Birthday cards. Parties. Kundalini Yoga - I never got there .. oy. Full Moon Fire Ceremony. Monks and nuns. Music. Stretch. Move. Magic Show. YTT. Strawberries. Laughter. Cuddle puddles.

Thanks Universe for guiding me where I need to go. Look out Kripalu - I'll be visiting in two weeks or so. 

love,
Rtr

Edited to add some perspective: I'm linking to posts from two of my fellow volunteers about their experiences at Kripalu. I remember when I was researching it how excited I was to find the blog of someone who had been volunteering there as well... so... if you like this post... check out these as well:
peace,
Rtr

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