A Review of Yoga Camp: Candy for the Body and Soul
by Mary Wahlman-Krogh, LMT at Well Within
As a massage therapist, someone who helps people take care of themselves, people often ask me about my own self-care routines. In general my self-care is very simple: I get a massage and acupuncture at least once a month, and I try to eat and sleep well. But today I want to tell you about something else I did recently that took my self-care to another level, and the best part is, it is free, and yes, you can do it too.
I have been practicing yoga on and off since high school, but other than taking the occasional class or watching a DVD at home, my practice wasn’t consistent. Last year I got more serious and started going to a class twice a week, but during busy times like the holidays even that routine would go by the wayside. Cue Yoga with Adriene!
“Adriene is an actor and yoga teacher based out of Austin, TX. She is co-founder of Find What Feels Good, a growing online library of Yoga and Yoga Lifestyle tools to encourage you to be authentic, do your best and find what feels good. She also leads Yoga With Adriene, a happy and successful online yoga community, which creates free creative content to inspire people of all shapes and sizes to connect to their body daily.” – yogawithadriene.com/adriene-mishler
Most of her yoga videos are available for free on YouTube so you can practice at home any time of the day or night you wish. Last January she launched a 30-day yoga challenge. You do one yoga video per day for 30 days. I discovered that challenge in November and despite illness and holiday travel I managed to get through it and was pretty proud of myself that I had done yoga every day for a month. So needless to say I was very excited when she announced a second 30-day yoga challenge starting January 1st, 2016.
This time, she added another element: the more spiritual/mental side of yoga. Each day had a yoga workout (about 30-40 minutes long each day), plus a positive mantra to repeat during that day. You could even print out a calendar with the mantras written on each day. The yoga is a hatha/vinyasa style, safe for beginners but adaptable for more experienced yogis. For the first week it didn’t feel any different from doing other yoga workouts, but as the days progressed, I realized I looked forward to seeing what the affirmation would be each day and how it reinforced positive self-image and compassion. I enjoyed spending half an hour with Adriene’s fun, silly, loving presence. By week three my body started to crave getting on my mat and moving around each day and my mind felt refreshed after the routine. At the end of 30 days, I felt mentally and physically stronger, and I feel like I have the tools to continue this yoga practice for my body and soul as long as I want.
I have tried to get in the habit of meditating for years, but sitting still and focusing on my breath never seemed to work for me. This mind/body yoga challenge was like moving meditation; we did focus on breath, but somehow combining it with gentle movement made it all the more powerful for me. It truly was a transformational experience and I hope that many of you will be inspired to give it a try. I would love to talk to you about it next time I see you on the massage table.
Mary Wahlman-Krogh, LMT