Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
|Former name(s)||Yoga Society of Pennsylvania|
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a non-profit organization that operates a health and yoga retreat in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Its 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) facility is a former Jesuit novitiate and juniorate seminary built in 1957. The center has described itself as North America's largest residential facility for holistic health and education. It employed about 626 people as of 2008 and can accommodate more than 650 overnight guests.
Kripalu Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga using inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathwork, "development of a quiet mind", and relaxation. Kripalu emphasizes "following the flow" of prana, or "life-force energy, compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment, and taking what is learned into daily life."
In 1965 Amrit Desai founded the Yoga Society of Pennsylvania, later called Kripalu, to provide yoga classes as well as training for yoga teachers. Desai is a native of Halol, India, where he met guru Swami Kripalvananda, for whom Kripalu is named. During the 1970s, Desai established yoga retreats (ashrams) in Sumneytown and Summit Station, Pennsylvania.
Kripalu acquired its Stockbridge property in 1983. Soon thereafter, Kripalu legally became a religious order. Residents took vows of celibacy and obedience to Desai. However, Desai's estimated annual compensation was $350,000 to $450,000, including housing and other benefits.
In 1994, Desai resigned after admitting to having sex with followers. Kripalu paid $2.5 million to settle a purported class action lawsuit brought by more than 100 former residents who had served as unpaid staff. Kripalu financed the payment partly by selling its adjacent Foxhollow property, which it had acquired to provide housing for its most senior members.
Kripalu's 350 acres (140 ha), include forests, lawns, gardens, and access to Lake Mahkeenac or the Stockbridge Bowl. Conservation easements on 225 of the acres were granted in 1997 using funds from the U.S. Forest Legacy Program.
Kripalu's principal 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) building was constructed by the Jesuits in 1957 to replace the Gilded Age mansion "Shadowbrook Cottage," destroyed by fire in 1956. Jesuits acquired the former estate in 1922 as a novitiate, but moved away in 1970.
A $15 million, six-story housing annex with 80 guest rooms, completed in 2010 and designed by architect Peter Rose incorporates sustainable design elements and won a 2010 award for specialized housing from the American Institute of Architects The institute commented on the building's interior natural lighting, and noted that the architectural design and climate control systems are integrated and consume 40 percent less energy than a conventional building. Rose also developed a master plan for increasing the center's capacity and developing it into "a model of environmental responsibility" through improvements to existing buildings, landscaping, and new construction.
The Kripalu Center formerly operated its own water supply. Groundwater from onsite wells was used for its water supply source, supplemented by water purchased from the Lenox water department. There were regulatory agency concerns about the water supply's potential vulnerability to contamination, and as of 2009 the center's water supply had been converted to rely solely on purchased water obtained from surface water sources.
As of 2008, Kripalu Center in Stockbridge said it offered more than 750 programs and spiritual retreats attended by about 25,000 people annually. Total annual visitation is reported to be about 30,000 people. Many workshops are conducted by outside presenters. Kripalu Center also offers a semester-long program for young adults; projects in music, weight loss and post-traumatic stress disorder.
About 2,200 independent instructors using the trademarked term "Kripalu" pay training and certification fees. These affiliates obtain access to liability insurance and other business and marketing support.
Administration and finances
During 1999, Kripalu changed its legal status from a religious order to a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Service rule 501(c)(3).
At the time of Desai's 1994 resignation, Patton Sarley Jr., resigned as chief operating officer. Sarley was re-hired in 2004 as chief executive, holding that position until 2010. In October 2010 he was replaced by David Surrenda, who was previously (since 1987) director of an Oakland, California, consulting firm called Leadership Edge.
In January 2009, Kripalu cut 35 full-time and 26 part-time positions, roughly 15 percent of its staff. Bonuses were eliminated and senior and executive pay was reduced by 5 to 15 percent. Kripalu's 2009 revenue fell about 7 percent to $25.51 million,while expenses declined about 7 percent to $24.35 million.
- ^ Although the Kripalu Center is in the town of Stockbridge and uses a Stockbridge address, it is sometimes described as being in the nearby town of Lenox; for example, by the Boston Globe (Bess Hochstein, If you go: Kripalu Center, Lenox, Mass., July 18, 2004) and in Arthur Frommer's 2009 book Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter (page 137).
- ^ a b "FAMOUS YOGI RESIGNS, ADMITS HE HAD SEX WITH 3 FEMALE FOLLOWERS". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1994-11-03. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/24095860.html?dids=24095860:24095860&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+03%2C+1994&author=Reuters.&pub=Chicago+Tribune+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=FAMOUS+YOGI+RESIGNS%2C+ADMITS+HE+HAD+SEX+WITH+3+FEMALE+FOLLOWERS&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- ^ "The Kripalu Approach: Yoga for Everybody". Yoga Therapy Ireland magazine. Autumn 2006. http://kripalu.org/article/375.
- ^ "Stripping the Gurus -CHAPTER XXIII - UP THE ASANA". Strippingthegurus.com. 2005-05-15. http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsamplechapters/desai.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
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- ^ Jay Paris and Carmi Zona-Paris (2006), 100 Best All-inclusive Resorts Of The World. Globe Pequot, ISBN 0-7627-3860-X, ISBN 978-0-7627-3860-1. Pages 4-5.
- ^ Interesting Facts about Stockbridge Bowl, Stockbridge Bowl Association website, accessed July 15, 2010
- ^ "Forest Legacy Needs Assessment for Massachusetts" (PDF). http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/forestry/other/MA_Needs_Assessment_93.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ "Fiscal Year 2000 Annual Report". Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management Land Acquisition and Protection Program. http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/landacq/fy00.pdf.
- ^ Robert Campbell (2010-05-09). "New dorm at Kripalu center radiates sustainability and simplicity". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2010/05/09/new_dorm_at_kripalu_center_radiates_sustainability_and_simplicity/. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- ^ 2010 AIA Housing Award Recipient, Category 4: Specialized Housing: The Housing Tower, AIA website, accessed August 1, 2010
- ^ 2010 National Award for Specialized Housing, DesignSpotter, accessed August 1, 2010
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- ^ "MassDEP: 2006 Enforcement Actions". Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 2006-11-22. http://www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/curren03.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ "Public Water System (PWS) Name, Public Water System Number, Principal City Served System, Population Served, % of city/town served by PWS, Primary Water Source". http://matracking.ehs.state.ma.us/Envioronmental_Data/Water_Quality/Massachusetts%20Community%20Water%20Sytems_2009.pdf. Retrieved 2010 Feb.
- ^ "About Kripalu". Kripalu.org. http://www.kripalu.org/about/435/. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ Andy Newman, It’s Not Easy Picking a Path to Enlightenment, New York Times, July 3, 2008
- ^ http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4009:kl5178.2.10
- ^ a b c "2008 Form 990". http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2008/231/718/2008-231718197-050bce40-9.pdf. Retrieved Feb 2010.
- ^ "KAS Information Packet" (PDF). http://www.kripalu.org/pdfs/KASInfoPack.pdf. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- ^ a b "2007 Form 990 Statement 14 Explanation of Relationship". http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2007/231/718/2007-231718197-04862cde-9.pdf. Retrieved Feb 2010.
- ^ Hochstein, Bess (2004-07-18). "Cafeteria-style yoga". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/travel/articles/2004/07/18/cafeteria_style_yoga/?page=2. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ Berkshire Eagle, Kripalu's New Pose, Feb. 27, 2011
- ^ "Kripalu latest to trim work force Jan 2009". Cache.zoominfo.com. http://cache.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=-1555856500&page_url=%2f%2fwww.berkshireeagle.com%2fci_11383945%3fsource%3dmost_viewed&page_last_updated=1%2f6%2f2009+12%3a10%3a00+PM&firstName=Garrett&lastName=Sarley. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ 2009 Form 990
- Richard Faulds (2005), Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat, Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-38097-2
Coordinates: 42°21′00″N 73°19′30″W / 42.35°N 73.325°W