A Delightful Workshop-Vacation at Kripalu
Apparently when investigators asked the pilots, who made an emergency landing in January 2009 of US Airways flight 1549 on the freezing Hudson River in New York City after both engines were struck by birds, if they would do anything differently if they could do it over, the co-pilot quipped he would do the landing in the river in July.
I can relate. My best efforts to teach at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in February 2022 were de-railed by the winter storm that canceled 3800 flights. [See I Could Use a Moment of Something Working]
Kripalu has re-scheduled that workshop for June 3-5, 2002, and I’m delighted that the lake will be free of ice and the red-winged blackbirds will be singing their hearts out.
I invite you to join me for one of the most splendid in-person working vacations you could ever hope to have. Kripalu is beautifully located on a lake in the Berkshires; there are many free yoga/movement activities to join in, the food is healthy-delicious and the atmosphere gently sacred.
The workshop itself will focus on bouncing back from the disappointments and difficulties of the pandemic, recovering emotional equilibrium from two years of stress and adversity, and cultivating the resilience mindset that allows us to bounce forward into a new chapter.
One of the exercises I’ll be teaching at the June 3-5 workshop is the friendly body-scan, one of the exercises included in the practices for resilience article I wrote for Kripalu at the beginning of the pandemic:
FRIENDLY BODY SCAN
This exercise was originally designed as a core practice of the mindfulness-based stress reduction protocol developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, medical school to help patients better manage stress and chronic pain. If possible, do this practice outdoors, or with a clear view of a beautiful natural landscape. Research has demonstrated that even ten minutes being in or viewing a natural landscape relaxes the body and improves cognitive functioning.
1. Lie comfortably on your bed or on the floor, or on a blanket, yoga mat, or cushions outdoors. Feel the back of your head, your shoulders, your back, your hips, the backs of your legs, and your heels touching the ground. Let your body relax and sink into the ground supporting it. Breathe naturally, gently, deeply.
2. Begin by bringing your awareness to the sensations in your feet. Say hello to the big toe of your right foot, listening for any aches or pains in the toe, breathing gently into any tension in your toe, compassionately wishing it a sense of comfort and ease. Say hello to all the toes on your right foot, the arch, and the ankle and heel of your right foot, carefully noticing the sensations in each part of the foot, breathing a sense of comfort and ease into every part.
3. Do the same thing slowly for your left foot, for every part of body up through your torso, hands and arms, and every part of your face and head; to each ear, each eye, your nose, and all the tender parts of your mouth; to the hair on your scalp and to the phenomenal brain inside your skull that is allowing you to be mindful, compassionate, and steady in this moment.
4. As you scan your body, breathe in a compassionate caring and acceptance to any part of it that needs comfort and ease. You can slow way down, mindfully notice, and breathe compassionate caring to each knuckle if you have arthritis, or to scars from an old football injury. The body scan helps you mindfully and lovingly inhabit all parts of you, to become safely aware of every experience of your body.
5. Practice being especially mindful and compassionate toward sensations in your belly, your genitals, your heart center, and your throat and jaw, areas that may hold unconscious somatic memories of tension, shame, anger, or fear. Breathe compassionate acceptance now to hold any distressing sensations or memories. Say hello! Listen for aches and pains, physical or psychological, and send care and the intention for comfort and ease to any troubled memories held in your body.
6. End this practice by becoming aware of the energy field of your body as a whole — your whole body breathing, in equanimity, alive, relaxed, and resilient.