Tag Archives: yoga

Adventures at a Yoga Retreat – Part III

27 Jun

Yoga ladies practicing outside

I woke up Saturday practically aching from head to toe–2 sessions of yoga in a day when i hadn’t done that much in months was a shock to my system. I couldn’t handle another morning of movement without giving my body some rest. So I slept in (!!) until 7:15 (oh, how decadent that was from my 5:45 wake-up call the day before) and decided i would treat myself to a trip to the sauna and whirlpool downstairs. Now, I will admit–i’m a fairly modest person. I’m not one to just parade around naked in front of women, even though I’m pretty comfortable with my body. I don’t know–i’m private and WASP-y. But the day before, I thought i might chance it and try out the sauna sans bathing suit. So I went down to the basement to the women’s sauna, and as i was about to open the door, a girl came out of the whirlpool (the sauna and whirlpool are across the narrow hall from each other) in a bathing suit. And the confident girl planning on going to the sauna au naturel? She crumbled. So on Saturday morning I was prepared, bathing suit at the ready (originally brought because I thought I might be swimming in the lake), and i headed down to the sauna. And of course, what did I see when i stepped into the locker room? Lots of ladies in suits? No, not a one. Naked ladies everywhere! So then it was reverse modesty, and I felt like an ass because i was–how shall we say it?–overdressed. But I didn’t care–I was hitting the sauna/whirlpool NO MATTER WHAT. Being so early there weren’t many lights on, and I flipped the light on to the shower (even though you could see enough to shower without it). One woman shot me a dirty look (either for turning the light on or me wearing a suit and she wasn’t, i wasn’t sure), but I ignored it and went in, showering first (you have to shower before the sauna, then before the whirlpool, then AFTER the whirlpool…it’s very time intensive!) Then I hit the sauna, which was a balmy 152 degrees. People? That’s effing hot. Immediately I drew in a breath and started coughing (you know my lungs were like, ‘Hey, Erin, WTF?’) but after a while I got used to it. The water on my skin evaporated within minutes, and then I was there baking in the dry heat, sweating out the toxins and impurities. Or so they tell me. But it felt good and was frankly kind of soothing (if not a little freaky to be enclosed in a dark, hot place with only the light of the door to see by). Once i’d had enough of that, i headed back to the shower and then off to the whirlpool, and you know how many naked women were there? None! So all of my weirdo WASP-y modesty was in vain! At that point I felt kind of dumb in my suit, although the jets and hot water were quite delicious, and only stayed for 10 minutes (well, and i was hungry, but what’s new there?) I got out, dried off, and promised myself I would embrace my nakedness in the sauna whirlpool before i left Sunday. Or else I was too lame to live.

Breakfast! At this point, I was trying to eat every meal outside. Great food and an awesome scenery translated into a lovely start to my day.

I showered and got ready for our morning session, which was all about the actual ins and outs of a gluten free/dairy free diet, and what happens to your gut when you have a food allergy (you wear away your poor villi so that your body doesn’t absorb nutrients properly. It’s very sad.). Then a few of the girls and I were going to try out YogaDance! (the exclamation point is part of the name) because we’d heard awesome things about it and it was just part of the Kripalu experience.

So…YogaDance! I don’t even have the words. I really don’t! YogaDance! was held on the second floor in a room that used to be the sanctuary of a church–high ceilings and big open spaces. The teacher, Toni Bergens, vaguely resembled Ani DiFranco, and she had this infectious energy about her. There were about 60 people, both men and women, gathered around, most of us first-timers. YogaDance! is the synthesis of yoga, dance and natural movement, really moving with music any way your body wants you to. Toni was our guide, our coach, our cheerleader, and with the addition of a drum circle (the KDZ drummers), she had this African Dance movement thing going on…and it was AWESOME. So basically it’s 60 people moving around the room in a certain rhythm, crawling on the floor, shaking our rears, jumping up and down, moving around the drummers, dancing to the beat–all in all, yoga chaos. And throughout, Toni is giving instruction, encouragement, and spiritual guidance. She even has a CD! Which I bought! She was amazing. What surprised me the most was how people just threw themselves into it…they didn’t care what they looked like, or what other people looked like, or how silly they sounded. They just…let go. And the workout! I was pouring BUCKETS, and i don’t sweat! It was honestly one of the most cleansing, exciting, emotional, exhausting, aerobic, authentic experiences I’ve ever had. It’s hard to put into words, but the girls who did it with me were just in awe after it was over. Rarely do you allow yourself to feel so FREE, you know? See what I mean about the beauty of non-judgment? I swear I’m going to do it in my living room, move aside my coffee table, and have a little YogaDance! session of my very own. Toni said something (in her lovely earth-mama voice) that really hit home to me. She was doing something that celebrated the belly, so she said “Grab a hold of your belly!” (as she was patting her own flat stomach). “You know, I used to have more to hold on to, but then I started being nice to it, and it went away!” And then she laughed. But that made total sense to me…it’s when we move around and eat right and treat ourselves better that we find we don’t have as many physical things to worry about. If I ate healthier and did yoga more often, I wouldn’t have much of a belly to worry about (which has always been the body part I liked the least). It was kind of eye opening for me. So basically, Toni says to stop bitching and start moving…but in a much nicer way than that!

One hour later, exhausted, sweaty and ready to drop, we grabbed some lunch and I sat with some charming ladies who had met at Kripalu and hadn’t known each other prior. A delightful conversation followed, and then I headed back to our last session of the day (slightly more fragrant, but feeling quite alive) and we learned about good supplements for the gut (there are many, they do different things, they are expensive, they are confusing). After the session it started to drizzle, so in the interest in staying indoors I figured I would squeeze in one more yoga class before the day ended in the Sunset room. I headed to class, and got a last minute spot right next to…Mr. Bodysuit. In black! Looking at him a little more closely as covertly as possible, I noticed it was actually two pieces, and the top (long-sleeved) ended in a thong-like bottom over the leggings. WHERE DOES ONE GET ONE OF THESE? The only people who wear thongs are women, and that’s because we are forced to to avoid panty lines. Why would you volunteer? And then I noticed he had a wedding ring on, which was even more confusing. What woman is attracted to a man in a yoga bodysuit? I’ve not met this woman, but she’s a better lady than me. Anyway, yoga began, but the instructor, a man in a his 50s with a Willie Nelson-like handkerchief wrapped around his head, had a nasally monotone voice and a very rote style, and I thought–enough of this. If you sound like you’re teaching yoga like you’re reading from a book, I’d rather nap. I only lasted 45 minutes and then i was out of there, off to the happy land of dinner where I could eat my delicious bread (not GF yet!) and my Mediterranean-style fish and sigh in contentment. I grabbed a seat next to two friends who obviously came together, and it’s amazing what you can hear when you’re doing nothing but eating. One was doing most of the talking, saying how she was having to check email and phone messages 10 times a day because some deal fell through and some guy pulled out and her husband was a jerk and she basically hated life. And then she started whispering to her companion something even more secretive, which almost made me laugh. Lady–I don’t know you. You could say you killed someone, and I have no idea who you are. I can’t tell your secrets. I’m not a corporate spy! But if you want to keep your secrets between yourselves, go right ahead but do so VERY QUIETLY. So they finished up and left, and I realized how much I appreciate my job and its stress level, which is relatively low. I came to Kripalu to escape my stress–I certainly didn’t expect to have it follow me up there!

As the evening wound down to a close, I saw a sign promoting “Kirtan!” that evening with musicians. Not knowing what kirtan was or who the musicians were, I ignored it and was happily reading my book when I heard continued laughter from the main room on the first floor near my comfy chair. Curious (because why would yogis be laughing? Kripalu is not inherently funny!), I poked my head in, and there was a faux yogi, Swami Bananahammock (or some other equally silly name) doing…yoga standup? Or in his case, cross-legged sitdown? Yes, it appeared there was a yogi comedian in our midst, the warm-up act for the singers. And you know what? He was funny! Really! He had us sing silly songs, and bad puns, and had the whole crowd eating out of his hand. That and the ridiculous “swami” costume just topped the entertaining package. 20 minutes later he sauntered out of the room, and the crowd eagerly awaited Shantala, the married couple leading kirtan, which is singing or devotional chanting. Apparently they’re quite famous in these circles from the applause and number of seats filled, and I was curious to see if I would like their music. They were accompanied by man playing an African flute, and a poet who drummed. The husband, Benjy, was really quite an impressive singer and drummer, and for being a white dude, he sure played Indian music beautifully. And his wife Heather had this clear, lovely voice. The chanting goes on and on to a melody, and it’s quite hypnotic. I might get some of their music–good for home practice and meditation, very restful.

Realizing I was going to get up early Sunday to do my last yoga class, I headed to bed around 9:30, exhausted from yet another chock-full day. Sunday it comes to an end!

Oh, and I’ve posted some photos in the other two notes if you want an idea of how Kripalu looks…it’s lovely!

Next up in Adventures at a Yoga Retreat Part IV – The Conclusion!: Erin revisits the women’s sauna with surprising results (no, not really), sees that her bunkmate is actually NOT a bitchy shrew, finishes her weekend with one more bit of delicious yoga, eats her last slice of bread for the forseeable future, and leaves the beautiful retreat of Kripalu. Reflections! Reflections on the weekend are coming!

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Adventures at a Yoga Retreat–Part II

26 Jun

A view of the lake from Kripalu

In an effort to start my trip out on the right foot, I set my alarm for 6:10, figuring that that would give me enough time to wake up before the 6:30am yoga class. I was going to do this retreat up right! But my body, restless from the stuffy room and my poor night’s sleep, jolted awake at 5:45. 5:45! Unheard of in my country. But the light was streaming through the windows, and a few of my bunkmates were up early. Where they were off to, I wasn’t sure, but yogis are big on moving with the rhythms of the day–early to bed, early to rise. So by 6am I figured I might as well start the day, and climbed down, changed into my yoga clothes, and headed outside to get the lay of the land.

The morning weather in the Berkshires is absolutely gorgeous. The air is crisp and cool, and there’s dew on the grassy hill behind the Center. I saw a woman on her cell phone at 6am, which made me laugh. Who was she talking to? And wasn’t she here to get away from that? I decided to spend a few minutes before class walking down the long road toward the lake, realizing I wouldn’t get far but wanting to take the time to explore. Off to the south on an adjacent hill there was a lovely a lovely gazebo with two The herb gardenbenches in front of a large garden. I took my shoes off and trekked through the damp grass, cold and dirty on my feet. I walked around the circular garden, but class was starting soon, so I headed back. I was surprisingly awake at 6:30! That’s me, early morning earth mama. The moderate-level yoga class was held in a large room on the first floor–about 80 yogis joined me in this wonderful morning yoga experience. In front of me was a man in a full length scoop-necked aquamarine nylon body suit. (…) It didn’t look particularly comfortable, but apparently he thought so since I saw him in a black version the evening before. Let me tell you, the bodysuit was a little distracting as I was going through my poses. But to each their own, love.

What I find remarkable (but not surprising) about Kripalu (and I’m sure other yoga centers across the country) is the lack of judgment from its attendees. There’s very little you can do/wear/look that will raise eyebrows, including Mr. Bodysuit. Even running naked through the halls would probably prompt yoga teachers to say “Oh look! She’s one with the universe and expressing her joy with her heavenly body!” And frankly, it’s lovely. You can let it all hang out naked in the sauna or doing some strange yoga pose in a class and the judgment just disappears. No one cares. And how often do we judge ourselves, our bodies, and each other (look at me with Mr. Bodysuit!)? Constantly. It’s refreshing that the level of acceptance is so high, and the general energy of the place is joyful, often serene, and positive. It’s a little cocoon of happiness.

The other refreshing thing is that you can be as quiet or chatty as you like. When I travel for work to a conference, I have to put on the face of “Outgoing Erin.” I ask questions, network, start conversations, do small talk, and generally try to entertain my friends/colleagues/strangers (and usually I’m pretty dang good at it!) But it can be exhausting. Here, there is no expectation to do…ANYTHING. I take my food and can sit at a table with strangers, and participate, or not. I can sit by myself and enjoy the nature alone. I could be silent all day. I can spend time with the other Digestive Health students, or not. I don’t have to talk to anyone, and no one knows me. It’s quite freeing.

Also freeing, a random note on sweat: I sweat a lot here. Between the heat and the exercise I’m in a constant state of dewiness, but it’s a good clean sweat because I’m drinking so much water (50-60 oz usually). But as someone who rarely sweats, it’s kind of a foreign experience for me, but not necessarily a negative one. And I know we all spend WAY too much time indoors in air conditioning, so it’s a welcome change. I feel very toxin-free! And let me tell you, my skin looks and feels awesome.

Anyway, back to yoga–90 minutes later and 100% looser, I climbed firmly aboard the morning yoga train. If I could just stick to it at home! When my comfy bed isn’t calling me! Maybe if I turned the heat up to 80…I just might be miserable enough to get up at 6am. You think?

I headed up to breakfast. Kripalu deems that breakfast be silent (or if you want to talk, you can go to the cafe, or outside). It’s eerie, but in a positive way, to be in a cafeteria with 200 other people eating, and no one says a word. Just the clink of plates and cutlery, the scrape of chairs as people get seated. In Thursday night’s program session, we talked about being mindful when eating, and not shoveling our food in and chewing 3 times, then swallowing. Think about how often you do this, or how often you put another forkful in your mouth when you’re not done with that previous mouthful. I do it quite a bit. The purpose is to enjoy the food and really pay attention to what you’re eating. So that morning I counted my chews (I got up to about 15 per mouthful…that’s…a lot of chewing) and savored the food, and was surprised how much more I enjoyed it (and i’ve found that the food here is so terrific, so FRESH, that even when you’re not being mindful, it yells PAY ATTENTION TO ME! LOVE, YOUR DELICIOUS FISH DISH! It’s much easier here than when I’m munching mindlessly on boring chips or crackers at home).

A shower later (man, it feels good to be clean!) I head downstairs to my second session, where another nutritionist talks about the path of food through our body. Interesting stuff. Then 2 hours later, we have another yoga class, although much more basic. It seems like the majority of my colleagues have not practiced yoga as long as I have, which means they’re missing out on the gloriousness of yoga! But the teacher is terrific and funny, and walks through some basic breathing exercises and postures. I was not planning on doing two sets of hip openers, and I know I’m going to pay for it Saturday. But I’m game, and my hips–they are open.

Toward the end of class, a girl with colitis comes up to me, Elizabeth, and wants to talk about our condition. And funnily enough, it turns out we’re in the same room! I’m not surprised we didn’t notice each other–I don’t spend much time in my room, and when I do, I don’t spend time chatting with (or really even noticing) the other women. It’s a nice quiet haven. So we started sharing stories (she’s about my age and has had the disease almost as long as i have) and we headed to lunch and saw some of our other ladies, who invited us to sit with them. It was fun to catch up with people on a personal level, to hear their stories and see where they come from. Post-lunch, we had a wonderful session with an MD who talked about stress and digestive health (Surprise! Stress makes your digestive system unhappy!) But she had a wonderful conversational style and was the perfect mix of Western and Eastern medicines (it’s hard to find MDs like that).

That was our final session of the day, so I had some free time and decided to spend it on a hike to the lake, 10 minutes away (short hike, that). I brought my suit but wasn’t really in the mood to swim (though I heard the water was delightful) and headed over there. There are plenty of trails around, but I’m out of shape in general, and thought the lake jaunt was quite enough. When I got there, a variety of people were hanging out, swimming, chatting, and generally looking quite relaxed. I brought my book and read until I got a call from my friend Julia, who lives near Denver, and we made tentative plans to see each other over Labor Day and also plan on a trip next year back either here or some other retreat. Kripalu with a buddy! I walked back, fully realizing just HOW out of shape I am (flexible, yes–good cardiovascular health, no) when I started to hike up the grassy hill to Kripalu and had to stop and catch my breath. I was tempted to just sit there and call it a day, but I marshaled my energy and kept moving. And I made it, thank goodness, without completely collapsing from exhaustion. I know you’re impressed.

I headed to dinner, determined to eat outside in that gorgeous 70-degree weather and grabbed a nice quiet table near two friends talking about their kids. There’s a much different energy with two people who came to the retreat together (closed off, talking only to each other) and women who don’t know each other and are willing to chat with whoever is sitting there (very open, very friendly.) I honestly don’t mind one over the other, it’s just interesting to see the differences.

After dinner I snagged a comfy chair by the windows and got a fantastic cross breeze (honestly, I chose it because it was the only place I could find a plug for Lola [my Mac] and my phone…but it was lovely regardless!) I read some more, finished typing Kripalu Blog Part I, and headed to the cafe to post it (the cafe is the only place to get wireless reception, which is pretty smart, otherwise people would be on their laptops all the damn time). The cafe was abuzz with budding Kripalu teachers preparing for quizzes on Indian terminology (I’ve heard the words so many times, but I couldn’t tell you how to spell them or which is which, but…Om and Namaste.) and preparing their sample class flows, all steps to becoming Kripalu-certified (you need either 200 hours or 500 hours, depending on your level). Lots of energy and excitement, which was great to see. But around 10pm I’d hit my wall, and heading back to the quiet of my room. This time…no book in bed! I learned my lesson!

Next in Adventures at a Yoga Retreat, Part III (in which we find yogis YOGA DANCING (!) led by Ani DiFranco’s look-alike, drum circles, the return of Mr. Bodysuit, yoga comedy, and Erin debating the merits of going au natural in the Women’s Sauna/Whirlpool…will she or won’t she? Stay tuned!)

Adventures at a Yoga Retreat, Part I

25 Jun

Kripalu yoga journal

Kripalu from the back

Some weeks ago, in part owing to the stress of my recent breakup, my health had been…not good. I was still seeing my acupuncturist, Dr. Li, taking my pills and doing yoga, but the stress just overrode all that, and I was feeling terribly (to be fair, the stress happened more before and during the breakup, and I started to feel much better after the breakup, along with some awesome drugs). I happened to mention this to my yoga teacher, Debbie, who used to suffer from IBS (different from my IBD, but still aggravated by stress), and she said she had read that Kripalu (http://www.kripalu.org), the Yoga Center our studio was affiliated with up in Massachusetts (in fact, it’s the only studio in North Carolina that’s Kripalu-affiliated) was having a digestive health retreat. A few things came to mind: one, I had made plans to go to the American Library Association Conference in DC with Lisa that weekend; two, I bet it would be freaking expensive (because so many yoga people are hippies, and yoga people who can afford to go to a yoga retreat are RICH hippies); and three, well, that’s just a crazy idea. And so I dismissed it.

But then I didn’t. As to issue #1: I thought a yoga retreat might be a more healing and restful place to be than at ALA, considering I’d probably see Jason there (since we have mutual friends), and I really didn’t want to do that. I’m sorry to miss the conference (especially because I’d gotten CPCC to pay for it!) and I’m REALLY sorry to not go with Lisa, since she’s an awesome travel companion. But I thought Kripalu might be a better place for me. Two: I had been saving some money, unplanned, from working the election, my tax return, and a few other places, and I had almost the exact amount money I needed for room/board/program fees. Isn’t THAT random? And three: I’ve been practicing yoga for over 12 years, since college. I’ve never been to retreat, never been to a yoga center, and this Center just HAPPENS to have a retreat on digestive health over just the right weekend. I think that’s the universe telling me to go. Go, Erin, go! (That’s the universe whispering, just so you know).

And so, here I am.

I flew into Albany, the closest airport to Stockbridge, MA and waited for the shuttle that was going to take me to Kripalu. I had about 3 hours to fill, so I grabbed some lunch, deciding to go with that old standby, McDonald’s. The irony was not lost on me that at a retreat for digestive health, as I’m reading my schedule for the weekend (with sessions entitled “Nutrition Health: Food and Digestive Healing” and “Yoga for Digestive Wellness”) I’m eating a burger and fries–maybe McDonald’s was not my smartest move. But again, my reasoning was three-fold–it was one of the few dining options (the Albany airport is fairly small), my health has been much improved so I figured I could handle it, and McDonald’s will ALWAYS make me think of ALA in Chicago last year when Lisa and I, trekking through the Chicago convention center (which is GIGANTIC) finally, just before it randomly closed at 3pm, stumbled upon a McDonald’s in the bowels of the very last wing of the convention center. We were SO hungry after Lisa’s poster session, and we were the only ones there (because no one else could find it!), that it seemed like the best burger and fries (and Coke!) EVER. And frankly, this one Thursday tasted pretty damn good. So in honor of Lisa’s and my various trips to ALA–I owed myself a burger. Kripalu will be feeding me well the rest of the weekend…so sue me.

The shuttle finally picked me up at 5pm with one other Kripalu guest in tow. It turns out there was a very large yoga teacher training conference, KYTA, this weekend which would be why the majority of Kripalu participants were there. She had been to Kripalu a dozen times over the years, and had already taken the 200-hour teacher training. She predicted there might be a few hundred people there (!!!), which was way larger than I was expecting! The drive took about an hour (after some wild driving from our aging chauffeur) through some beautiful country, and at last we arrived.

Kripalu is huge! 4 stories, with two large wings and an Annex, it looks like an old school. Kripalu wasAn aerial shotbought some years ago from when it was a monastery, and sits in the Berkshire mountains with a gorgeous view of the lake. We checked in, amidst the hustle of many yogis who looked like they knew their way around, and I was given a schedule, my room key, and an invitation to dinner, served buffet style upstairs. Due to cost, I opted for the dorm, which consisted of 4 bunk beds, 8 women. Of course I was there too late to get a bottom bunk, and had to settle for the top bunk. I put down my stuff, and headed to dinner.

The food! You have to keep an open mind about food prepared the way Kripalu chefs make it–they do have meat, but majority is fruits, veggies, salads, soups, and one entree with only a slight possibility of meat (which is how we should be eating anyway). Almost everything is organic, or local, or both. And the spices and preparation often have an Indian flair, but everything tasted marvelous (although if you have a simple palate, they have a Basics Bar, but Kripalu food is NOT for you). Their homemade loaves of bread were TO DIE FOR. You can eat anywhere–outside on the vast lawn looking at the mountains, or in the spacious dining hall, or in one of the comfy chairs dotting the lobby. I chose the Hall and struck up a conversation with a nice middle aged woman who was there for the conference.

While eating, I discovered people watching is a highlight. People who attend a Yoga Center/Retreat/Conference are a special breed (me included!), and when you’re here, appearance just takes a backseat. Male yogis, while few in number, have that rangy, lean look you might see on the West Coast in San Fran or Lake Tahoe–men who stay fit with good food and daily yoga. The women are around 40, in a variety of yoga gear (you wear it all day, regardless of activity) and sensible sandals, often without hair product or makeup. Perfume (I learned from the orientation) and scented lotions are shunned. As is air conditioning. You don’t need it at night, but our room was quite balmy when i would walk in.

After dinner and the orientation (where I learned important lessons like breakfast was silent, rooms should be quiet at 10pm, and there’s a delightful shop that thankfully I had already browsed and bookmarked items I was going to buy) my digestive health program had their first session. There were about 20 participants, a nice small group, and the program was led by two nutritionists, a yoga teacher, and an MD. Thursday night was basically an orientation of the origins of digestive health and how things have changed from the caveman to now, and how we’re not keeping up with those changes or listening to our bodies, giving it what it needs. We went around and introduced ourselves, saying where we were from and our various ailments–sexy talk for a Thursday! But gastro problems can be isolating, due to their very nature, so it’s comforting to meet other people my age with my condition (or something similar).

The leading dietician encouraged us to try a gluten free/dairy free diet while we were here, to see if we felt better at the end of the trip than at the beginning, because so many problems are caused by gluten or dairy. But since I’ve been feeling better, and I tried a piece of that delicious bread at dinner, I’m rejecting that at least until I get home. I’m a yoga retreat failure already!

Ready to turn in, I got ready for bed, and climbed up at 10:30 with my book. Each bed has their own light, so I turned it on and got to reading. A voice below me said, in a crabby whine, “Will you PLEASE turn off your light??” Apparently, that was one lesson I missed at orientation–all lights out at 9:30. Whoops! Of course my intention was not to wake her up, but if I had–there was no reason for her to be a snot. She’s trying to ruin my zen! So of course I (and another girl across the way) turned my light off, but I was so nervous about disrupting her, it made me jumpy and hard to sleep. That and the fact that our room was about 90 DEGREES and the fan was blowing in her direction (to be fair, I can’t figure out how to point it in my direction, but still) led to a stuffy, sticky night (oh, and note to self–do NOT drink tea before bed. Getting out of a bunk at 2am–even sober–is treacherous stuff) with barely 6 hours of restless sleep. So the ending to my day was not as auspicious as the rest of it, but all in all, a promising day. I’m so glad I’m here in this beautiful place!

They told us to set our intentions for our trip, so here goes:

My Intentions:
– To find balance
– To feel gratitude
– To BREATHE
– To not let my bunk mate continue to piss me off
– To show compassion (which means I should erase that last one, but I’m not going to. I guess that means I need more yoga-ing!)

NEXT: Adventures at a Yoga Retreat, Part II: My first full day at Kripalu (in which there was a man in a full-length aqua yoga body suit, wake-up at 5:45am, silent breakfast, a trip to the lake, and bed time at 9:45 because damn, I’m tired. Stay tuned!)