One of my New Years goals is to make better care of myself and there was no better way to kick off the resolution then spending New Years Day in the Berkshires for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for their Rest + Recovery program.
If you’ve ever been to the Berkshires, you know it’s one of the most beautiful parts of New England and one of the most peaceful places to do a yoga retreat. Kripalu is located right outside of Lenox, Massachusetts, about 3 hours outside of New York City and is a yoga-based retreat center that offers a variety of classes, activities and seminars.
Located on a lake surrounded by greenery, it’s like rehab for the soul. Between the yoga classes and hikes they offer it was the most relaxing way to start the new year. You can just unplug and focus on you and whatever you want to do with your time. There’s a schedule of classes all happening in the same building as well as a fitness center, meditation room, and sun room which is perfect for reading or writing. They also have a wi-fi lounge on the first floor for anyone that can’t disconnect and designated phone areas if you need to work without it interrupting your (or anyone else) practice.
The cafeteria is amazing. It’s an unlimited buffet that feels like you’re walking into a Whole Foods (like, the really nice ones with the top notch salad and hot bar), only better. They have an extensive vegetarian buffet and also meat options.
The rates are affordable (especially for an all inclusive yoga center) and they also offer a scholarship program for those interested in participating. I went with two friends and we did the Friday – Sunday, 3 day/2night all inclusive package that include lodging (we shared a 3 person room), meals and unlimited classes in the R+R (Rest + Recovery) program for $466. There also have other lodging options that are more and less glamorous based on your budget and preferences as well as price deals and discounts if you go during the week. Other programs are available but I can’t recommend the R+R program if it’s your first time andyou’re looking for an easy escape.
During the stay I did a variety of yoga glasses (gentle, slow, moderate and vigorous) depending on my mood. They also have a daily YogaDance class that’s really fun and totally wild. It’s an awesome way to shake and move and be ridiculous while working the kinks out in your body. By far my favorite instructor/experience was with Ken Nelson for his Qigong class. I’ve never done any form of Tai Chi, but totally get the allure after attending his class. I was so inspired I bought 2 of his DVD’s (one for me and the other for my mom). They center also has an awesome gift shop with everything from yoga gear, wellness books/dvds, jewelry, mementos and other products.
Kripalu also offers a variety of healing art sessions from bodywork to treatments you can book. The entire experience was phenomenal, and I look forward to returning in the spring. It’s apparently beautiful and much easier to take advantage of their outdoor activities including kayaking! They also have a labyrinth and number of trails I wanted to take more advantage of but it was so cold I spent the majority of the time indoors.
The retreat is a really great mix of all ages, a lot of which are older and is such a peaceful and respectful environment. It’s a great place to focus on you and relax.
The Third Piece The Kendall beanie
Brooks Running PureProject Henley LS Sweater (similar)
Eddie Bauer Insulated Water Bottle (similar)
This was the easiest trip to pack for. All you need is workout/yoga clothes, your skincare/shower products, and shoes that are easy to slip on and off! In my Lesportsac backpack I packed a book and notebook (okay and my laptop and work — of which I didn’t touch) and in my weekender bag I packed a water bottle, 4 pairs of leggings, sports bras and tops, 2 bathing suits, 2 sweaters, my Reebok Spirit Sneakers, flip flops and a pair of UGGs. It’s not a SoulCycle fitness fashion club so pack anything you’re comfortable working out in and the rest you can probably get in the gift shop if you forget anything.