Destination Wellness : Kripalu Relax & Renew Retreat in Stockbridge, Massachusetts | By Bailey Smith

Last Updated: July 7, 2021By

The hustle and bustle of life can catch up to us, over time or in a moment’s notice, and the options on how we seek relief can be endless. For some, a trip to the beach with a cocktail is just what’s needed, and for others, maybe it’s a yoga and wellness retreat like Kripalu that feels utterly relaxing and rejuvenating.

If yoga and wellness is your thing, then Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health may need to be queued up as your next destination. Kripalu is an education and retreat space at its core and the largest of its kind in the United States. It’s nestled deep in the Berkshires in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and is filled with mindfulness, daily yoga and meditation offerings with notable Kripalu School of Yoga teachers, hiking trails and delicious food.

A hidden gem of this place is taking advantage of their Kripalu R&R offering. You get an opportunity to truly create and customize the retreat you are seeking — perfect for all the yogis out there. You can participate in as much or as little as you choose each day, all while being fully present with what comes up after stripping away the “busy” layers of life, because they instill a tech-free environment for the majority of the grounds. Who can argue with the benefits of going tech-free for a few days or even a week?

Yoga & Meditation

It’s foundational and clear in their mission: “We are a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to empowering people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.”

Kripalu R&R provides you with a variety of classes consistently throughout each day. Whether you prefer gentle yoga, vinyasa, yin, meditation or Kripalu YogaDance®, there is something for everyone. Each class is artfully crafted in the Kripalu way that provides a lot of permission to make it your own and with accessibility for ALL bodies. They also offer educational and inspirational talks each day on a variety of topics such as Ayurveda, journaling, meditation and “positive psychology” with the wonderful Maria Sirois, PsyD.


What’s worse than going on a beautiful retreat, only to find that the food is just subpar but you eat it because it’s the only option and well … you need to eat? This is certainly NOT to be of concern at Kripalu. The food is nourishing, delicious, healing and supportive for all diets and food preferences. Aside from the stunning backdrop, the Kripalu Kitchen daily meals are of the highest-ranked experiences, according to guests.

Healing Arts

There’s something special about taking time to care for yourself and your body in an environment that has you fully relaxed from start to finish. While on your R&R retreat, Kriplau also offers a variety of healing arts services to connect to the innate wisdom of your body. What’s magical about these offerings is that you aren’t immediately forced back into your daily routine and life, because you’re on the retreat, so your body and heart have the time to absorb all of the benefits. The Ayurvedic bodywork treatments, specifically Abhyanga massage and Shirodhara, are a favorite (but there are certainly plenty to choose from for everyone).

There’s something special about taking time to care for yourself and your body in an environment that has you fully relaxed from start to finish.

So the next time you’re feeling the need to step away from all that is in front of you and turn your focus and attention inward, consider taking a trip to the Northeast and make your way to Kripalu. You’ll be sure to walk away with a shift in perspective and a little nature bathing always does the body good.

Photos by Bailey Smith.

Bailey Smith is a mama to two young boys, a yoga teacher (e-RYT) and a Health & Wellness Advocate. She discovered yoga in 2009 and was immediately drawn into the practice while in her early 20s and looking for something new and fulfilling. It lights her up when people see their potential, feel empowered and know the beauty that lies within them. When she’s not teaching, Bailey can be found with her family, a toddler on her hip and barefoot. Follow her on Instagram at @bailey_y_smith or visit her website to learn more about her offerings.

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