Finding Community Within your Castle
After college, I spent a few years bouncing around Richmond, VA working in the arts. As the child of American Diplomats, I had spent my entire life bouncing around the world and then continued the nomad lifestyle as an adult in my 20’s. I had no innate understanding of stillness, or how to build community or cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with myself and members of the community. I wanted to learn how to slow down, and listen to my voice and to cultivate an awareness of myself.
I decided to take some time for myself and spent a year living at Kripalu as a member of the Volunteer Seva Program. At Kripalu, not only did I meet my husband, but I began studying with David Swenson, who showed me an Ashtanga practice that was approachable, forgiving -- a practice that I could take with me and practice on my own. At Kripalu I learned to slow down, to enjoy stillness, to hold space for myself and how to hold space for those around me. Before Kripalu, I had always had a hard time being vulnerable in relationships with people in my life. I saw most people as being temporary in my life, but after my time at Kripalu, I realized people are temporary in my life, but that this shouldn’t stop me from having authentic relationships and connections them, because those relationships can be deeply rewarding.
Once my husband and I were ready to relocate from Kripalu, we planned a 3-month cross-country journey, and among other places, David Swenson recommended we check out Castle Hill to visit on our trip. Several months later, we indeed found ourselves in Austin, and made the decision to make it our new home. The first thing we did was sign up to attend David Swenson’s guest presenter Mysore program here at Castle Hill, and we loved it! After living at Kriplau it had become clear to me that working in an enviroment that was community-oriented and centered around wellness was a must for me, and the Foundation Values of Castle Hill certainly met my personal criteria.
I am a firm believer in the power of community and I strive to support the Castle Hill community however I can. I am lucky to work with the Yoga instructors at the Castle, who share a common vision of kindness and empowerment, and who relish the ability to assist students on their journeys of self-discovery. Castle Hill fulfills my idea of the power of community by:
• Offering a Community classes that are drastically under market costs.
• Donating to over 85 different charitable events year round with classes and services
• Offering a free meditation class on Fridays
• Offering workshops and intensives to expand the knowledge for various topics.
We have so many terrific things going on around the Castle that foster community by being inclusive of people’s different wellness and fitness pursuits. I particularly enjoy the process of creating a weekend program from start to finish, working with the guest presenters at the germination of the workshop and meeting students as they arrive to take the program at its fruition. In short, I am grateful to have found the place where, after years of seeking the ability to slow down and truly connect, I am able to be a connector in the Castle Hill yoga community.
~ Kerry Hugins is the Programs and Marketing Assistant & Social Media Co-ordinator for Castle Hill Fitness in Austin TX. Visit Castle Hill's blog here, or connect with them online on their Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram. Castle Hill is more than just a yoga studio: in addition to our nearly 50 yoga classes a week, (among which are a variety of community classes affordably priced at $10 each), we offer private instruction and host weekend workshops, immersion programs, teacher trainings and class series to grow our client’s practice.