Archive for yoga

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health Part Deux

Posted in hiking, Kripalu, Motivation/Inspiration, Yoga with tags , , on May 1, 2016 by mistransformation

Ever since my visit in August 2015 I could not wait for a second trip back to Kripalu. After I read the book Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope, a Kripalu instructor that’s history with the facility goes back to the days when Kripalu was still an ashram and during the dramatic years when Amrit Desai led the ashram. Stephen really went into detail about how that “went down” and you’ll have to read the book yourself or google it to find out about it.

Anyway in his book Stephen mentioned different places he and his friend would visit on hikes, etc.  He also mentioned the old mansion that used to sit on the lands that had some interesting history such as Andrew Carnegie finished out his last days there and the Jesuit Monk facility had actually started out in that mansion but burned down one day in March in the 1950s.  Some of the monks died in the fire. Some of the ruins are still on the property.  After discovering that I had missed a lot of the facility during my first visit, I wanted to go back and experience it again.


Monk’s Pond was a place that Stephen had mentioned in his book.  I had seen pictures on the internet and wanted to visit it myself during my stay.  You have to hike away from the facility to get to it and since I’m not from that area I wanted to make sure I knew how to get to it.  I googled Monks Pond and came across a blog of a visitor to Kripalu just a few months before my visit.  The blogger talked about her personal struggles in life and after reading her blog post I knew that I definitely wanted to visit it during my stay.

You can read the blog post here:  The Hike

It was a long 6 hour drive from North Central Pennsylvania (with stops along the way) to Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  The first day Josie and I did a nice Intermediate level yoga class, ate dinner and then I went on my own way and explored the grounds.   It was raining when we first arrived so later that day when I took pictures, there is a lot of mist in the photos.

I explored the grounds and came up the ruins of the old Shadowbrook mansion.  The remains of some of the foundation are truly impressive and show the the massive size that the mansion was before the fire.  The history of the mansion is truly interesting and if you would like to read about it and also view pictures of how it once was, please see this link. Shadowbrook Fire  — I should note, the picture of the tree above is the famous camperdown elm that sits to the front of the old mansion ruins. The other picture of the rock formation and the view from above when I was sitting on the rock ledge. All of this is in the area of the ruins.

After exploring the grounds, I did a yoga nidra class, went to the sunroom to read for the night and then went to bed.  I had my silent alarm set to 5 am to wake up and get a shower and did the 6:30 am gentle yoga class led by Sherri Howard, Kripalu yoga teacher.  The class was amazing.  It was a great class for waking up and during savasana Sherri began to sing and she had this beautiful voice which I overheard another class attendee describe as magical.

After eating silent breakfast, I attended a lecture by the famous Kripalu instructor Coby Kozlowski.  It was an amazing lecture where Coby talked about modern day yoga as compared to the ancient practice and how we can tie it into our lives today.  It was very uplifting and inspirational.

After the lecture I got ready for my hike to Monks Pond.  The path starts on the Kripalu facility and you hike up the side of the mountain to the main road, cross to where there is a gate and then follow Old Baldhead Road to the pond.  Once at the pond I decided I wasn’t finished hiking and I crossed to where there is a crossroad path and you can choose right or left.  I chose to go right, hiked for about 30 minutes more through the beautiful Berkshires and then hiked back to the facility.  Here are some pictures to get an idea.

After Monks Pond I made my way back to the facility, ate lunch and then went out to explore the grounds again.  I made my way to Swami Kripalu’s Meditation Garden and a few other gems located along the way including a maple syrup harvesting operation (pic of the trees w/ blue tubing).

I also visited the beautiful lake and labyrinth as I did during my last trip.

After a long day of exploring I felt that my body needed the late afternoon gentle yoga class.  That was led by another popular teacher at Kripalu, Michelle Dalbec.  It was a nice way to stretch my legs out and relax after all the walking I did that day. My fitbit was busy and I think I registered about 22,000 steps that day.

After the class, I ate dinner and then somewhere along the way Josie and I met up to go to the Saturday night show that Kripalu offers.  Tonight’s show was by amazing artist, Morley.  Since Prince had just passed away days before, she started the show with a great cover of an almost unknown Prince tune, Free.  She performed acoustically, accompanied by a percussionist/bassist.  Morley talked between songs and wow she has done some amazing and impressive things worldwide in connection with human rights. I could probably write a post on her alone. (Can’t take pictures for that folks, sorry – electronic use is limited inside of Kripalu.)

After the show, I went to the sunroom again to read and then called it a night as I was very tired from hiking all day.

The next day, I slept through my 5 am silent alarm but some noise woke me up at 5:30 so I showered and got ready for the 6:30 am gentle yoga class.  This was the same teacher I had last visit and also on a Sunday.  After class I ate a good breakfast and then headed out for the day.  Once again I decided it was another hiking day.  I did not plan to go all the way to Olivia’s Overlook (which I visited by car last visit) but at the last minute I wondered if I had enough time to try it so I walked along with cup of coffee in my hand.  When I made it to a crossroad in the path you could choose left or right.  I chose left and ran into some women along the trail. I asked them how much further to the overlook and they told me it would have been shorter if I had chosen going to the right direction.  I wasn’t that far up the path so I turned around and took that way instead.  Boy was I happy.  It was a lot of uphill hiking from that point on but it wasn’t that much further and I made it to Olivia’s Overlook.

After hiking it was time to pack up my things and get ready to leave later that day.  I relaxed on the property until I met up with Josie for lunch.  One of the last things I viewed before going in for lunch was a mantra rock left behind by a previous visitor.  It read, “Every Day Should Feel This Good.”  That pretty much summed up my trip to Kripalu.  I wish every day could feel this good.

After lunch Josie and I went to the mansion ruins so she could view them and then we started on our way home.  It was a short stay but a memorable one for sure.  I have a funny story to tell.  After my gentle yoga class on Saturday I went to the cafe for coffee, I saw a man coming out of the corner of my eye and I was fearful he was going to try to jump ahead of me.  Then as I was getting my coffee I felt as though he was rushing me.  I didn’t say anything but went to pay for my coffee and then I heard the man talking to one of the workers at the cafe.  I looked over and it was none other than Bryan Kest.  THE Bryan Kest.  He had been standing behind me in line at the cafe.  Josie was taking his program.  Anybody into yoga knows that Bryan Kest is a yoga rock star and if I had known it was him in line behind me, I would have let him get his coffee first for sure.

Anyway, that was my second visit to Kripalu and another fantastic time for sure.

5 Year Bloggerversary and Giveaway Celebration!

Posted in Health/Fitness, Yoga with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by mistransformation



It’s hard to believe that today MisTransformation celebrates its 5th Anniversary!  This blog was only supposed to last a few months during a challenge that the Strong is the New Skinny movement started.  Well they aren’t around much anymore but MisTransformation lives on.  I am very proud of my little blog.

To celebrate this milestone, I am going to send one lucky person a DVD that I have carefully selected.  I have chosen Ashley Turner’s Yoga for Stress and Flexibility.  This is one of my own personal favorites and Ashley Turner is a phenomenal yoga leader. I’ve attended webinars of Ashley’s and also done yoga and meditation with her on DVDs and a few of my yoga internet subscriptions.  There are two separate programs on the DVD.  One is for stress relief (we can all use that right?) and the other is for flexibility.  Both are great programs but I have to admit that I use the stress relief one a tad bit more than the flexibility program only because I’m a super stressed person.

So if you would like to be entered to receive the DVD (pictured below), please leave a comment below about how you found my blog and I’ll pick a winner on March 6th.


Summer 2014 – What did I do this summer?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by mistransformation

Summer where did you go????  As you know I have been pretty dormant during the summer as far as this blog goes.  After the looooong cold winter we had last year I decided I was going to live it up all summer and squeeze every last drop out of it that I could (and can – it’s not over yet right!).

I will give you a basic montage of what I did this summer.  Summer 2014 was truly amazing!

1st I did the Women in the Wilds with my mother and sister.  Unfortunately I do not have a picture of that but it was an event with workshops throughout the day designed to get women out in the woods/outdoors.  I did 2 yoga classes on the beach.  I really don’t have to learn how to be in the woods, I was born and raised in the woods.

Second – one of the greatest things this summer and pretty high up there on lifetime events as well was seeing Ringo Starr and his All Star Band in concert with my parents.  My parents are huge Beatles fans and to take them to see one of the Beatles was a great experience.




Fourth of July weekend I went to visit my folks and got to enjoy a state park that I grew up around.  Alvin R. Bush Dam.  See the beauty I grew up around?


Next up that weekend was enjoying the hang gliders at Hyner View State Park.  Another place I grew up around.  I used to get to see these hang gliders all the time people!  I think I took them for granted.



Below is the view where they jump off of.


Mid-July I visited a state park about 40 minutes away from where I am living (not my hometown). World’s End State Park.  There I did a nice hike on a very steep trail.


Steep trail I did a hike on.  You could use the tree roots as steps.


At the end of July I took a trip to a phenomenal attraction:  Ricketts Glen State Park!  This park boasts 22 waterfalls and 2 gorgeous lakes!  This state park isn’t even an hour from where I am currently living and I cannot believe I waited all my life to visit this place.  You can visit for free, see the falls and it’s really a major attraction.  There were tour buses there the day I went.

My favorite falls at Ricketts Glen:  Oneida Falls.  Not the largest but the most serene and peaceful.  A beautiful meditation spot.


Enjoy some more of these falls.  I do not have the names of all sorry.


falls2 falls3 falls4 falls5 falls6

Early August I got to see none other than the Queen of Rock n Roll/Godmother of Punk herself:  Joan Jett and her Blackhearts!  This chick still knows how to rock!  (second photo was taken by my friends Glen and Stef)

joan jett joanjett2

Last but not least was my trip to Ithaca, New York, for the Finger Lakes Yoga Festival.   I am in this picture participating in the Let Your Yoga Dance class.  I did not take this picture.  You can see the festival’s photographer took it and her watermark is on it.  I am giving her credit.


A shot where I am also a participant in a breathing workshop.  7 Ways Not to Breathe.   Again this picture was taken by Bonnie the festival photographer.


This yoga festival is always a good time because it isn’t a commercialized event and focuses totally on yoga and the yoga community.

While my trip did focus on yoga I did get to enjoy a few other things in Ithaca.

One being the Cayuga Nature Center.  This place has a Butterfly Garden, an animal display, hiking trails, a 6 story tree house and a waterfall of its own!  It only cost $5.00 to get into this little gem!

Cayuganature Cayuganature2 Cayuganature3 Cayuganature4 cayuganature5 cayuganature6 cayuganature7 Cayuganature8 Cayuganature9

The pièce de résistance.of my trip was getting to see one of the highest waterfalls (besides Niagara of course) east of the Rocky Mountains.  Taughannock Falls at Taughannock State Park, Ithaca, NY.


This is a far away shot to get the full effect.  After about a mile hike you come to this wonder of nature:


Hey summer isn’t over yet so I’m going to keep squeezing out every last drop I can.  At the end of September I get to see ZZ Top in concert again.  I saw them the first time a few years ago.  Those boys still know how to rock.

UNFORTUNATELY ZZ Top cancelled because Dusty is injured but I hope to make it to NYC instead. 

Oh, and a few days ago (September 7th) I turned 40!

What did YOU do this summer?