I recently started following you on Facebook & have been reading your blog. I find you really inspiring and have great insights about health and well being.
I am turning 30 this year and am interested in going away on a yoga retreat for a couple of days, and wanted to get your opinion on places that you would recommend. I have been practicing yoga for about five years locally here in the Worcester/Framingham area. I split my time in Worcester & South Boston, and am looking for a place that is drive-able (w/in at least 3-4 hours) around here... any recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance for your help!
This might be weird because we don't know each other, but TAKE ME WITH YOU! Sorry, let's focus on your question . . . Apologies.
Celebrating 30 with yoga, meditation, wholesome meals, fresh air, and plenty of rest was the best gift I've ever given myself. I am thrilled to hear that someone else is contemplating doing the same. Considering your geography, a few options in New England, ranging from rustic to ritzy, include: Karme Choling in Vermont's Green Mountains, Kripalu in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, and Canyon Ranch, with multiple locales nationwide including one in the Berkshires. While I've heard raves about Karme Choling and Canyon Ranch- the former for its authentic, organic atmosphere and approach; the latter for its elegance and sanctuary- I only have personal experience with Kripalu. Coincidentally, my first visit was- you guessed it- on my recent 3-0. From Worcester, it's an easy trip; hop on I-90 and keep driving!
There are two basic choices for your agenda while at Kripalu, and I recommend either one. First, you can register for a guided program by a guest teacher (March and April feature visits from experts such as Rodney Yee, Dharma Mittra, Bryan Kest, and Caroline Myss), or you can book a few days of the "Relax and Renew" program, which allows you to create your own itinerary from a wealth of in-house classes, seminars, and activities offered daily. Typical options include yoga classes, Ayurveda lectures, cooking demonstrations, chanting, dance, and more. It bears mentioning that Kripalu yoga classes are not very vigorous if you are a seasoned, intermediate student. They are enjoyable and taught by quality teachers; however, if you are aiming to take your practice to another level, it's better to register for a program with that kind of focus, say, the workshops by Yee or Kest. If you want to come and go as you please, opt for bodywork with a healing arts appointment; hike, eat, meditate, and do yoga at will; then Relax and Renew is a perfect fit to fete your 30th. Accommodations run the gamut at Kripalu, from shared, dormitory style rooms, to private rooms with a private bath (example above), and prices vary accordingly. You can book online or call and speak with the attentive and caring (just look how well they treat the St. Francis of Assisi statue outside!) staff via phone.
Best of luck planning your trip and a very blessed, happy birthday to you.
[Photos: All original, taken by me. Kripalu, 2009].