Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kripalu is not accessible!

My Dr. Cardio man gave me permission to travel in first world countries. What he meant by that is that I can't be exposed to third world conditions, not because I'm better than anyone else but because I need the "comforts" of clean water, air, heat etc. My lungs cannot tolerate intense heat or intense cold. I know this from experience. Had I not had the priviledge of having AC in my car, I would not be able to work. If I didn't have it in my house, I would eventually not be able to breath. no breathing equals not living. Following so far? Good. So here's where Air Conditioning in American, a very rich country, becomes a necessity to certain people with disabilities. (Yes, I recognize this is a First world luxury, but one that has allowed me to live this much longer).
Here's what happens when it's not there:

Once a month for the past 3 months the wife and I have been going somewhere off one of our bucket lists. This is why I haven't posted, I haven't been home enough to do such (although the posts are sitting in my drafts box). I am hoping that I will get to it next month when we've decided not to go anywhere.

This month ma belle Famme and I decided to go to Kripalu, a giant yoga/retreat centre in western Mass. I was looking so forward to it - thinking that I'd eat well, be in an intensive environment of other like-minded people. I had been scouring the catalogue for at least 18 months seeing when would be the best time and when a specific "course" was available. We found one. From all the descriptions of the center I thought I'd be fine. There were first world amenities such as the sauna for detoxifying healing, whirlpool and organic local foods. I called the chef and she stated that there are no-sodium options (as well as vegetarian, gluten free, etc. etc.). Excellent, looking so forward now!

Wouldn't you know when we arrived we encountered indoor temperatures greater than the outside. There was NO air conditioning, not even good ventilation. Seriously! No ventilation. I'm all into reduce-reuse-recycle too. I have my home AC at 24 (75). There's no sense in wasting and my house being an ice-box. But with our humidex in this valley I live in, AC is essential with lung issues. We often have weather-advisories about going outdoor for folks with health issues. So there we were in 34 (93) plus weather with no AC, no ventilation and hundreds of people packed into these group room. FYI the ventilation consisted of floor fans even though the windows were about 12 feet up in the cathedral room. It's the same room that yoga takes place just moments before. Our bed-room was no better. I'm not complaining about the size etc. I've been on retreats before where it's minimal room size/decor. That's fine. In fact the room was very clean. But air... my own O2 compressor kept beeping with "low O2". I couldn't even get enough O2. So we chose to leave. We asked for a refund and was told that the manager was sick and to call in a week. I knew this was not going to turn out well at that point, but I also needed to sleep somewhere that wouldn't put me in the hospital and I was really purple (according to ma belle). My the whites of my eyes were red, the skin around was white. The outdoors was cooler but even if I chose to sleep in our car, I would miss out on our intensive. The group room was easily in the 80s F. and that's where the entire weekend would be minus sleeping in the rooms.

I just don't understand a place that is meant for healing, a place that advertises people coming from everywhere, recovering from everything, including cancer etc. not have adequate ventilation.
I strongly urge you never to go there. If there's a workshop presenter you're interested in, look up their personal web-site. They travel the world, or at least this continent. You will find that workshop elsewhere.

At this point we are out almost 2K (including the alternative place to sleep, until we got home).
Ventilation is not a princess issue- it is a real issue for those with lung issues. It is an accessibility issue (don't even get me started. They advertise as welcoming but besides one elevator, there were stairs to get to the group room. No ramp was in sight. They never, in all their colourful brochures, did they mention there was a ventilation issue and no AC. Wonder if there's heat in the winter!?) I feel swindled. No refund, yet the big new-agey corporation purports healing, wellness, peace and all that shit. Is that healing for the able-bodied? For money?

Kripalu = never again. And I will not take that statement back until I get my money back. I'm not holding my breath; I'm already quite purple!