If you know me, it’s quite likely you know Kripalu. And if you know Kripalu, perhaps you heard that a burst watermain in late January’s freezing temperatures left its doors closed to the public for the last few weeks. You may even have heard the more recent news – that the repair work will take a little longer than expected and that the doors will, unfortunately, remain closed for several weeks more. (Get the scoop here)

What you may NOT have heard about is what’s happening inside the institution during these very challenging times: compassion in action, honesty in communication, support of the whole community, reliance on the tools of yoga to maintain balance, generosity of all kinds, cleaning and clearing out, a surprising amount of smiles, focused determination, a whole lot of self-inquiry, and an overwhelming sense of trust that this moment of crisis will in some way end up being a gift. In other words – the yamas and niyamas, the ethical teachings of yoga.

Were this another institution under another kind of leadership one might expect difficult times like these to lead to layoffs, hardening hearts, fear and anger let loose. Instead, under current CEO Robert Mulhall’s leadership, Kripalu is doing its best to “walk its talk”. It is inspiring to witness – inspiring to see how the invitation to be authentic with one another, to connect, to uphold one another moves through this community like a warm hug. The energy is palpable. It is hopeful. It is regenerative.

The choices that we each make in times of crisis matter. The way our leaders respond – and what we ask of them – in hard times matters. We can and should expect the best of ourselves. We must demand it of them. Our country, our world, is in crisis. Let our response to this moment be one that generates hope, that builds connection, that upholds one another, and that embraces the very real possibility that even this moment of crisis could in some way end up being a gift. May it be so.