NY Times Kripalu, a New Age Retreat, Makes Hard Choices in Finding the Courses With the Most Appeal looks at the business end of running a life style center:
But behind the scenes in a crowded second-floor suite at Kripalu’s sprawling lakefront campus here in the Berkshires, things are a tad less restful. Beneath a long expanse of whiteboard and corkboard plastered with thousands of color-coded sheets and dots laying out each day’s offerings from 2007 through the end of next year, phones ring ceaselessly. Gaps between projected and actual attendance are tracked like stock prices, and self-proclaimed visionaries and healers are subjected to the scrutiny of veteran vetters.
My daughter, Stephanie, went to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed her stay. It was both nurturing and intellectually challenging. If anything, she was overwhelmed by all the offerings that were available. It’s really a great opportunity to get unplugged and into a different realm. For Kripalu, this approach is a big change from its era as ashram and HQ for a guru. When your staff is no longer working for room, board and guidance to nirvana, then you’ve got to be ready to fight for survival in the consumer market. It’s the same with yoga studios, which are competing with fitness centers and spas, martial arts and tai chi, with the price of gasoline biting into discretionary spending. Do you put a $100-140 into your monthly unlimited yoga pass or in the tank?