Safe Retreat in Crazy Times

Via Brooks Hall
on Apr 7, 2010
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Hello, Elephants! This is my first post here!

And right away I’m going to tell you some personal stuff because it’s important, and very often I find that other people share similar observations, so in the end I find that “personal” details aren’t so personal after all… I’m not alone. (Hello?)

Over the last several years I have been going through a HUGE transition. I got hooked on Yoga. Left a steady boyfriend (married without a marriage.). Changed career: started teaching Yoga. Changed apartment three times. I lost key family members to death that connected me to my sense of biological family. So if I’ve been crazy, go figure!

Right in the middle of all this I decided for the first time in my life to look openly at myself about my mental health. Seeing a flyer at Chicago Yoga Center that read, “Yoga For Depression” seemed to be a good place for me to start do that. The weekend workshop led by Amy Weintraub gave me just a taste, and enough permission to look inward in this way. After that weekend I realized that I wanted (needed?) more!

So I went to Kripalu to do Amy’s week long training just a month or two later. This training definitely offered me some help, and some of the things I learned there have stayed in my yoga practice until today.

The thing is, when I saw that the training was going to be held at Kripalu I knew I was safe. I was wanting to look at some sensitive subject matter for me, and I knew that I’d be okay there. I had been there. I love the hot tub and the opportunity to hike the Berkshires during program breaks. I value the meditation room. And I like that there is a general respect for Yoga that permeates all the details there.

I find that Kripalu, itself, is a healing balm for me. I love going there! When students ask ask me about a place to go on a yoga retreat, I recommend Kripalu.

What Kripalu has given me again and again are experiences and tools to help me find myself. The best gift! The one my body was made for becomes more easily discernable when I’m there (you know: the inner “me”).

By the way, I saw the flowers in the above picture at Whole Foods the other day and thought they were named just for me: I am your “Sweet Unique”. Let’s exchange some thoughts in the “Comments” below! And feel free to visit my blog, Yogic Muse, for more yogic inspirations.


About Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall is a Yogic Muse from Chicago, Illinois. In this capacity she teaches Yoga, writes about Yoga, and generally enjoys it. You can find her at:


8 Responses to “Safe Retreat in Crazy Times”

  1. Welcome to Elephant, Brooks!
    I feel the same way about Kripalu. My first time there was a yoga for depression weekend with Amy Weintraub, and the second one a radical acceptance one with Tara Brach–both really intense, but like you say, it's a very safe, nurturing place for it–whatever messed up places inside yourself you might venture into, you know there are people all around who've been there and can help you through it…

  2. Actually, it's a style of yoga, too, that originated at Kripalu (the place).

  3. SSyogi says:

    Brooks! So happy to see you on here! Thanks for your honesty and humility. I look forward to reading more!

  4. Hi, Brooks.

    So great to have you here on Elephant. Welcome!

    Bob Weisenberg

  5. Claudia says:

    Congratulations Brooks, on coming onto the E.J. I also love Kripalu, and Amy :-). When I first started investigating how to heal depression with yoga she was the only yoga teacher (of the famous ones) who replied to my emails and gave me a private interview over the phone, I have a lot of respect for her, and she definitely helps a lot of people with her work!

  6. Brooks_Hall says:

    Yes, thanks! Here's more on Kripalu:

    "Kripalu Yoga originally developed through the teachings of Amrit Desai, who was a student of Swami Kripalvanandaji (Swami Kripalu). …"

    Kripalu is also a "center for yoga and health located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts."

    From the Sanskrit origin Kripalu means: Compassionate; merciful

    In summary: there's a Swami Kripalu, Kripalu Yoga, Kripalu Center, and a Sanskrit origin. Kripalu!

  7. m.a.wuebker says:

    Beautiful flowers! Thank you, Brooks, I needed them tonight.

  8. Congratulations on your first published article here Brooks! I'm not supposed to be typing, but I had to stop by to read this and well, you know, one finger pressing into the keyboard led to another and here I am typing. Thank you for sharing a piece of your story here…so much courage…but you are a yogini warrior, so what else could we expect but honesty and courage. Oh yeah, this is what I was going to type, should have typed… : )