‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Do I look more radiant? Did you notice a certain something different about me?

Me either.

I just got back from a 48 hour trip to Kripalu. I took 5 yoga classes and ate heaps of delicious, nutritious vegetarian fare. I am sure I must be slimmer, sturdier and more yogic than I was on Sunday morning. It is perhaps only a change one can see with the third eye.

Here's what happened. When Patty (Larkin) asked Chris if he would go on tour with her, he did what any husband with a grain of self-preservation would do: he told her he'd ask his wife. And when he asked me I said it would be fine as long as I could get away for a bit of "me" time. I suggested Paris. He reminded me he'd only be gone for 4 days. I countered with two nights at Kripalu. A deal was struck.

I took my knitting and The Red Tent (more Kripalu friendly than Shopaholic Gets Married), and drove off for a couple days of yoga and napping.

Chris said it was lonely in those posh hotels and he missed his family. "That's sweet," I said. That's crazy, I thought. He was pretty sure I'd be homesick by Sunday night.

He'd probably be right except for all that food.

After each class I sprinted for the dining hall with the last bit of energy I reserved just for this purpose. So giddy at the prospect of eating food that someone else made I was not even worried about having to sit with strangers. I am (despite the fact that I am broadcasting my life on the internet) pitifully shy and disinclined to dine with strangers. But as you may have noticed, if there's something I can talk to strangers about, it's food.

At lunch, a woman sat next to me and placed a crucifix the size of a folded dinner napkin between us. I like to think that she always places it next to her spoon, and it was not a talisman to protect her specifically from me. I couldn't help but wonder how the crucifix fit into a place bestrewn with eastern gods. She sees my rings and observes that I'm married. She peered at me more closely and said "you're not wearing a cross. Are you Catholic?" Besides my rings, I didn't take anything that gave a clue to who I am. Despite missing my noodle necklaces and rock star t-shirts, it's undeniably refreshing to travel incognito.

It's especially good to travel incognito when one is humiliating oneself in yoga. For my last hoorah I went to a Vinyasa Flow class - reputed to be the double black diamond of yoga classes. It was exhilarating in its impossibleness. This is where all the people went who really knew how to do yoga - you know, magazine cover yoga. When I see posters with someone doing a crazy balance thing on the edge of a cliff I smile and nod in the same way I smile and nod when Peter Pan flies across the stage. Yes, it's thrilling, but it's OBVIOUSLY ALL DONE WITH WIRES. Except that apparently it's not done with wires.

It was also my favorite class because the music was better - some jazz and even a John Lee Hooker remix . There's only so much wind chime & pan flute this Revolved Bound Half Pigeon can take.

Q: What's more difficult than Vigorous Vinyasa Flow?
A: Trying to stand after a three hour car ride, shortly after a Vigorous Vinyasa Flow.

It's good to be home.

(People actually did this pose in my class. I'll practice for next time.)


JAbel said...

I just had to look that name up and I see it's in beautiful Lenox,MA.My brother went to seminary school for one year in what is now Canyon Ranch Lenox.How this order of priests came to own that beautiful mansion Bellefontaine I don't know but they sold it some time in the 80's.That whole area is so relaxing by itself.Did you ever tour Edith Wharton's little pile there"The Mount"Those folks really had to rough it!

thefoodsnob said...

That doesn't look physically possible, but it must be.
I love John Lee Hooker, I DON'T love people shoving their religious items at me.
I keep getting asked to go to Kripalu, maybe I should try it, sounds great.


Susan said...

jabel - I believe the Kripalu building was originally a jesuit hall. Small world.

Lisa - I have mixed feelings about Kripalu, as I too dislike being poked with religious whatnot. And it's a spectacularly unattractive building - but the food's good and dang that yoga class was a blast. I'd call it a win.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan

I laughed for real out loud reading your description of Kripalu. If only I were free to tell you what people actually say to yoga teachers... a crucifix is getting off easy.

Thank you so much for your wildly fun description of my class. Give me another chance - you're obviously cut out for adventure. I'll get you into koundinyasana I promise!

Warm Regards
Susan aka 'the double black diamond yoga' instructor ; )

Susan said...

Oh Susan, I would LOVE to know what people say to yoga teachers! I hope you're documenting the good ones so you can write an Inside the Citadel tell-all when you retire. I would totally buy that.