Yoga Sadhana Summer Camp! Take 2…


Gathering a group, whether kids or adults, to commune and learn through a loved activity is always beneficial. Part of yoga is the individual practice of self-study (svadhyaya), but yoga also has the concept of building sangha, or a community, of like minds. To me, this idea conjures memories and experiences of summer camp as a kid. Gathering away from home, in nature or on a working ranch (yes I lived in Texas), with the ability to just be with others who have shared interests and goals even if coming from all different walks of life. Hence, the creation of the Yoga Sadhana Summer camp!

Sadhana is a Sanskrit term that can have many depths of meaning, but for our purposes of yoga summer “camp”, it is a commitment to study and introspect on our Self and our place in the world through yoga’s 8 limbs of practice. Along with your fellow campers, this is an opportunity to dedicate some time to yourself and your practice of yoga during the summer season when for many it is difficult to stay on the mat as outdoor activities start to take our time and attention.

This is the second year of offering the Yoga Sadhana Summer Camp, and I am excited to once again gather interested students for a little deeper dive into the practice and philosophy of yoga through the lens of some of the themes of a typical summer camp. Below are details highlighting what you can expect from “camp” each week, though much will be tailored to the participants and their interest in approach. The 2-hour classes will be a mix of asana (posture), pranayama (breath work) and discussion, and will include hand-outs that support the weekly topic.

Yoga Sadhana Summer Camp will meet in-person only at The Yoga Place, with no recording available. As you will see, we will take advantage of all the amazing props at The Yoga Place that may not always get used in regular class. And, face-to-face learning is best suited to many of the topics covered, not to mention helps build and deepen our Sangha of yoga practitioners .

Wednesday Mornings June 5 -July 10 from 8:00am-10:00am : All Levels and All Yoga Practitioners are welcome!

  • Week 1 – Life Skills – Every camp has its own language and culture. In yoga, we benefit from learning a bit of the language of Sanskrit, and introducing ourselves to the history and culture of the subject. We will talk briefly about the 8-limbs of yoga and then practice in a way that can show how they might show up in our everyday practice and life. 
  • Week 2 – Story Time – Some poses have great stories! Knowing these stories can add depth and understanding to the feel and practice of the asana – all of which have their own attributes, iconography, and/or archetype. We can also share our own stories of yoga practice – struggles or successes – to inspire and support our sangha.
  • Week 3 – Ropes Course – The rope wall and just ropes (or straps) in general can be vital tools for practice. Understanding direction, gaining traction, or healing joints that lose space over time can all be found through rope work. Iyengar Yoga is the original “arial yoga”, known as “Yoga Kurunta”, used for all sorts of “hanging around”.
  • Week 4 – Nature Walk – Floating, flying, hopping, and rooting can all be explored in our practice of yoga and its use of the elements. Ancient yogis looked to all these elements of nature for inspiration and connection. We will take a “walk” through our practice of many of the nature-inspired poses of yoga, experiencing the connection of our individual microcosm with the Universal macrocosm.
  • Week 5 – “Horse”back Riding – Many folks notice the “furniture” in Iyengar Yoga studios – one of which is the trestle or “horse”. However, unless in a purely therapeutic or medical class, students may never get to experience these larger props. This week we will do postures in a round on some of these lesser used props, giving knowledge and confidence to pull them out if needed in a general class. 
  • Week 6 – Lights Out – As a kid we might have dreaded the “lights out” on any day of camp, but for many adults good sleep can be elusive. To rest from life’s “adulting”, we need to learn to take time to breathe and rest and find some quiet in our day. We will say “goodnight” to our camp experience with restorative postures, breath work, and the quieter aspects of our yoga practice.

Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.