UPLift Yoga Bash 2014  - Campfire Chic

Confession: I quit my yoga studio nearly a year ago.

It wasn’t serving me anymore and life was getting in the way so I decided a home practice would be best. I joined a yoga class at work and took a handful of classes here and there. I’m still building my yoga teacher training savings. I’m still practicing in my own way.

What’s the UPLift Yoga Bash? In the past, it was called a “yoga rave” which is fun and silly but doesn’t really describe the event anymore. This year’s UPLift Yoga Bash couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed a reminder that yoga can be fun. That it can be silly. That laughing is not only okay, but welcome! I needed the reminder that I am strong. I can push a little harder and breathe a little deeper. I’ll be joining a climbing gym with regular yoga classes this month thanks to the this event…it rekindled my love of practicing with others.

Last week I went for one last paddle in Newport (I’m letting my membership expire but fully intend on starting up again once the days get longer next year) before heading to the beautiful Sergerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa where the third annual UPLift Yoga Bash was taking place. My friend and I decided months ago to go big this year and get VIP tickets! After 2 years (2012 event, 2013 event) of seeing the perks of being a VIP we decided to join in on the fun (spoiler alert: the VIP ticket was worth every penny).

After a mega-yet-totally-expected heat wave, Friday was unexpectedly cool and made the event a little more magical than usual. There were over 600 yogis coming together to support the UPLift project. We were all mat-to-mat for the event so we were had to be extra careful during our practice but it also meant that there was a lot of holding hands with strangers, moving in sync, and having a really good time. I mean, there were Shaman leading a water blessing ceremony. Things were weird and silly but being together and being weird and silly together made the difference. Maybe I drank too much SUJA but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

UPLift Yoga Rave in Costa Mesa - Campfire Chic

I think my favorite part of the event (apart from spending time with my friend!) was shift in the audience…my friend and I would make jokes at previous events at how we certainly didn’t fit in with the folks attending the bash, but this year’s crowd was much more diverse. There were more men attending the event, couples, people who are new to yoga, older students…and more! I think the shift is one of  the biggest reasons I’ll continue to attend in the future, to be honest.

I wore a new Fabletics outfit to the bash. This month’s patterns and colors including a few things that are very eye-catching and not what I would normally select, but after grabbing those crazy shorts I figured getting a patterned legging wasn’t as “out there” as I thought. I stayed comfortable the entire evening in the Tabernas outfit (Forward Tee in Mint Julep & Salar Legging in heather grey Taos print) and decided to wear the Koia sports bra (which comes with a bit of removable padding) so I could keep up with the flow and not have to worry about exposing myself. I also tucked my GoPro into my bra while we were dancing so I didn’t have to worry about it. This outfit was so comfortable! If I had to pick a type of legging to wear for the rest of my life, I would choose the Salar legging (I also have the Lima Capri, Salar Capri, and Nadi Legging) because they’re super soft, stay comfortable in Goddess pose, and the price is spot on. If you’re interested in Fabletics, use my link to become a VIP and your first outfit may be as low as $25.

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Review: Fabletics Lima Capri by Kate Hudson - Campfire Chic

 Your next legging: Lima Capri by Fabletics

 

I was thrilled to be asked to be an ambassador for Fabletics – Kate Hudson’s new activewear line – but was admittedly a little nervous to receive my welcome package without seeing what the designs looked like…what if it wasn’t my style? What if I looked terrible in the clothing? What if I had to return the goods because I couldn’t squeeze myself into their version of my size?

 

Here’s the thing: I’m not happy with how my legs look right now. My legs don’t see a lot of sun during the week while I’m at work and while they’re powerful, I’m not willing to go most places in shorts. I’m a capri/leggings kind of gal, even during a sweaty vinyasa or hot summer days in the climbing gym. 

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Kam visits the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park - Campfire Chic

Alex and I spent a good amount of time hiking around the Hoh Rainforest between visits to the Washington Coast during our trip to Olympic National Park.

 

The Hoh Rainforest is south of Forks and a little north of a long stretch of beaches popular with park visitors. There aren’t many services in this portion of the park, so bring whatever food you think you may need. There is a nice visitor center, complete with a banana slug stamp for your U.S. Parks Passport! There is plenty of parking, picnicking areas, interpretive trails, and some longer trials, like the one we were on for a few hours.

 

 The Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park is one of those places that is hard to describe. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

 

 

Hoh Rainforest - Olympic National Park - Campfire Chic
Olympic National Park - Hoh Rainforest - Campfire Chic

 

This part of the park is worth the drive, it is incredible to see how lush everything is and there is even an interpretive area that shows just how much precipitation that portion of the park receives on an annual basis. You can also hike to one of the named glaciers in the park, which seems incredible to me.

 

There is a good amount of wildlife in this portion of the park, too…including the banana slug! How cool is that thing? It was crossing the trail and I’m happy I saw it before I squished it! We saw a smaller, less yellow, version snuggling in some moss on a tree earlier, so this was a big surprise. We were completely surprised to find it there. Also? Elk. Everywhere. They were kind of like dinosaurs…just, like, there whenever we turned a corner or had the feeling somebody was looking at us. Creepers. Elk are creepers.

 

Have you visited a rainforest?

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Yoga RAVE

Yes. A Yoga Rave is a thing. Let’s just get that out there.

The UPLift Yoga Rave was held in Los Angeles last Thursday (April 25, 2013) at the Vibiana Cathedral near Little Tokyo. It is no longer a Cathedral due to damage it sustained in the Northridge earthquake in the 1990s and is now used for events…like yoga raves!

Again, my yoga-BFF, Nikki, and I headed over to the yoga rave after work (why do they host these on Thursday nights??) but not before making our way to Mother’s Market for a light dinner and juice…because, when you go to something like a yoga rave you need to be extra ridiculous with these things (yes, we chatted about privilege because…let’s be honest, what demographic do you think is really going to this event? If you’re interested in throwing in your two cents, do so in the comments section).

yoga rave LA

Speaking of ridiculous, never in my life have I seen more women striking a post or people saying “selfies”…it was over the top to be honest…and that’s from somebody who drank to kool-aid and has gone to two of these! Nikki and I made sure to set up our mats toward the outer edge of the room so we could be near our belongings (note to self: bring a reusable tote next time) including all of the Luna Bars and Zico coconut water we could carry.

yoga rave los angeles

We weren’t planning on staying for the whole event (yoga+dance party+yoga+raffle+after party) but we ended up staying pretty late…I just needed to know if I was going to win the rock climbing package from the silent auction/raffle! Can you seriously blame me? The yoga portion of the event was fun (it was technically Power Yoga) and I had to laugh when I was in Up-dog and I was grabbed from behind and was scolded for not having my heart open enough…thanks to a crappy mat, I went sliding backwards! There were plenty of people wandering around providing adjustments…I’m going to assume they were instructed to do so and not just random yogis wanting to touch people? Creepy.

Photo Apr 25, 8 08 43 PM

The second half of the event was awesome, we had a cool-down yoga session and were able to gaze up at different intentions on the cathedral ceiling as we came out of shavasana. We were also able to get everybody to sit along the edges of the room and join in on some chanting and some good ‘ol connecting with others. I was scrunched in a corner but made the most of it.

Nikki and I are already joking about what sorts of ridiculous things we can wear to the next event and if we should upgrade to a VIP package for more swag, but we’ll see how we feel at that time…who knows, maybe we’ll be too busy with yoga teacher training by that time?

You can find out more about UPLift and the previous Yoga Rave in my last yoga rave post.

Have you gone to a yoga rave?
Do you have a favorite fundraiser that seems like a FUNdraiser?

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There was a request on the Campfire Chic Facebook page for me to highlight a few of my favorite things to bring with me/use on hiking, backpacking, and camping trips. I know a few of you are starting your own yoga and/or Pilates practices or are interested in starting, so I thought I would start with sharing some of my favorite things to have with me when I go to the studio or practice at home.

 

Yoga Essentials - Kam Campfire Chic

I have to start this post with a bit of a confession: I am the type of person who loves to buy new (or new-to-me) gear for a new hobby so I feel more a part of it. When it came to yoga and Pilates, I had to get myself to slow down…why am I buying a $50 yoga mat if I own a $9 one and I may not keep this up after three months??

 

If you’re just starting out, I don’t suggest buying a ton of expensive items. Use and borrow what you can. You can do yoga in your regular leggings or comfortable shorts, you can use the $9 mat, and you probably won’t need a towel if you’re doing a yin yoga class. But if you’re like me and are looking for a few core pieces, these are what I love to use:

 

1. prAna Audrey Knickers

These were my first “big” investment in yoga clothing. They hit at my knee, have a smoothing waistband, and fit really well. Again, they don’t get “bunchy”. I highly recommend the Audrey knickers if you’re looking for something that isn’t a pant, may be too short for a capri, and aren’t comfortable wearing shorts.

 

1 1/2. (Not pictured) prAna Ashley Leggings

These leggings are a little long on me (I’m 5’ 1”), but scrunching them at my ankles actually looks intentional! They are a thicker material than basic leggings from Target, and they designed to not be “bunchy” in the lady regions. I also use these when climbing, travelling (yes, I wear leggings as pants sometimes), and lounging around the house.

 

2. Manduka eKO Mat

I love my mat. You want to find a mat that is special to you, that you won’t mind looking at while you’re in a tough pose, and meets your needs. My mat is fairly heavy, so it isn’t for somebody that is looking for a lightweight mat they can take anywhere. It’s heavier than my $9 mat, but there is more padding and I don’t slip the way I used to on my cheaper mat. It’s a calming green color and only one other person at my studio has it, so it is a little more special to me than my cheaper mat.

 

3. Gaiam foam block

I wasn’t really sure what the foam block was for when I started yoga again, I always had one next to me during my college class, but we never used it. Maybe it’s for my chakras? But now that I’m working on more balance poses and using the block during Pilates, I’m convinced that a good block means a lot. I tried the wood blocks and a more porous block (it look almost like lava rock?), but my basic Giam is perfect for me right now. I may upgrade in the future to a less ‘squishy’ block, or one that has a space in the center, but this is perfect for now. Alex uses, it too, when stretching or sitting Yoda-style on the floor.

 

4. Equos Mat Towel from Manduka

This is probably my most ‘do you really need that?!’ piece. I love my mat towel, it is the perfect length for my mat, spills over the edges just enough, and it’s pretty soft without letting me slip too much when in down dog. I bought the towel to use during my sweatier classes (like Bikram or flow classes held in a room that just had a power yoga class) but also sometimes bring it to Pilates. It makes it easier for me to shimmy on my mat during Pilates, and acts as…well, a towel, when I get a little sweaty. Gross, but it happens. This towel is also nice as a wrap after class and travels well in case you need a way to quickly dry off.

 

5. Equos Hand Towel from Manduka

I bought the hand towel after falling in love with the mat towel…and I probably should’ve purchased it before going to my first Bikram class, but you live and learn. This towel is the perfect addition to my yoga bag, especially for Pilates or a sweaty vinyasa class. It’s easy to grab and super fluffy so it’s nice to put over my face during shavasana. I imagine that this will make its way into my beach bag and on backpacking trips this summer. There are a TON of colors, so be sure to check them out…you’ll want a color that speaks to you.

 

6. Tennis Ball

What’s that now? A tennis ball? Yes! I think the Cross Fit world uses a Lacrosse ball? You can use a tennis ball almost like a mini foam roller (another thing I love using but only recently learned about!) for your feet and back. It really is a little miracle worker, I tell you. I highly recommend grabbing a tennis ball and using it to massage your feet after a long day in the office, on a trail, or after stuffing your feet into a new pair of climbing shoes. My studio has a bunch of tennis balls for everybody to use, but I’d rather have my own (yes, in bright pink!) so I can use it before class on my upper back.

 

I have a few more things I’m excited to share with you, but I’m still putting them through the paces. Expect an update in the next few months.

 

What are your must-have items for your Pilates or yoga practice?

 

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5 Reasons to Get on Your Mat // Campfire Chic

I have to admit…there are some days where I really don’t want to go to the studio and spend an hour and a half going through a practice with a bunch of strangers. There are some nights where I just want to go home, eat some carbs, and watch How I Met Your Mother reruns. I mean, how nice does that sound?

But let’s get real. For what I pay for a membership plus how much I enjoy my practice, I sometimes need a reminder that I butt needs to get on my mat.

Maybe you’re the same way?

If so, here are 5 reasons to get on your mat:

It’s your space

Living and working with other people means I have very few spaces I can call my own. My cat insists on keeping me company while I’m in the bathroom, Alex is home before I get home, and my coworkers have this crazy idea that my cubicle is common space. I have the short time in my car to myself (on non-carpool days) and when I’m on my mat…it’s my space, I have it all to myself, and nobody else touches it. It’s mine. I didn’t realize how much I needed that 71” x 26” space until I had it. Heck, I won’t even share my yoga mat with others, I have a spare for Alex to use and if I have a friend join me for class. It’s mine.

You can’t be on the internet at the same time

I’m connected to the internet for about 80-90% of my waking hours. It’s disgusting, really, but that’s for a different blog post. The time I’m on my mat is internet-free time! Much needed, obviously. The time you spend before class, during class, and immediately after class is time where you get to turn off your phone and ignore everything that is happening outside of your practice.

You’ll have an excuse to buy yoga pants (or use the ones you already own)

You probably don’t want to practice in jeans, so now’s a good excuse to update your workout clothes! And who doesn’t love a good pair of yoga pants? My favorite pair is a pair of Ashley leggings from prAna that are a smidge too long, but I could live in them!

You’ll feel better

We’ve all read the articles and heard the newscasts that say that we’ll feel more energized and sleep better if we work out. “But I’m too tired to go workout” is usually my response, but it’s true, I feel way better when I return home after a great practice. Even the worst practice I’ve been to was better than just sitting at home on my computer. I feel like I can cure the common cold when I get home from Pilates, I’m super energized and feel so much better than when I got off of work hours before after sitting like a cashew all day.

You will never regret getting on your mat

Minus the one time I came home from a Beginner/Level 1 class enraged that I pretty much sat through a geriatric version of beginning yoga, I haven’t regretted going to class. Even my first Bikram class where my girlfriend ditched me and I had to go in alone! Or the first class after taking about 3 weeks off due to a pull in an unfortunate place. Both times I dreaded going to class but came out loving life and so thankful I sucked it up. You won’t regret skipping the newest episode of whatever celebrity reality show you usually watch in order to make it to class. Seriously, even the days where I want to just crawl into bed after a long day at work are so much better after getting on my mat. Why let work be the be-all end-all to my day?
I hope these reasons are enough to get you on a mat, or back on a mat after a break.
What reasons do you have to get on your mat?
How do you motivate yourself to do something?
Be sure to consult a physician before starting any sort of workout routine, even yoga or Pilates. Once cleared, if you have more questions about what to expect, check out my yoga tips from a beginner and my mat Pilates tips from a beginner. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to listen to your body.

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I posted my 5 and 10 year goals a few months ago here on Campfire Chic in an effort to hold myself accountable, and to hopefully inspire others to think about a few long-term goals.

At first, I figured I would post them and quickly forget about them…and that hasn’t been the case. Some of my goals have been at the forefront of my mind, and I need to start planning on how I will actually achieve these goals.

So I decided to take a closer look at one in particular: Become a yoga instructor.

I haven’t talked much about my yoga/Pilates journey (more of a jaunt, really) because I only (re)started in June of this year. That’s right, in less than 6 months, I knew I wanted to become more a part of that community and one day have an understanding of it that I can share with others through teaching. One of my girlfriends at work (the one who went with me to the Yoga Rave a while back) is on the same track, as well, so we looked up different programs and starting weighing our options.

Yoga teacher training isn’t cheap. It also isn’t crazy expensive (unless I want to go to Santa Barbara for a week of intense training in a resort-like atmosphere), so it didn’t deter me from wanting to make this a part of my life.

I knew I needed to start saving…like, months ago.

The average cost we came across was about $2,500 for a 200 hour certified training program. If I would like to start applying for programs in four years, I’ll need to save about $50 a month starting today.

Here’s how it’s working out so far:

I ditched my Disneyland pass
I was doing the monthly payment plan for my Disneyland pass, but after the price increased by over $10 a month, I decided I was better off sending my $15.75 to another account. I’m not going to miss it, anyway, since it was already taken out of my account.

I suppose this means I will also be saving on the food I would buy when at the park, the parking I may need to pay if I stay for an entire day, and that time I was there in the daytime (rare for me) and needed a hat. All things I will be (hopefully) saving on now that I won’t be at the parks.

I’m on a comic book hiatus
It is way too easy to buy books/novels/trades through Comixology that sometimes Alex and I do a lot of damage in one night without realizing it. And forget about going to a shop! If we are driving to a store that isn’t our usual one (a few blocks from us) we make sure we’re “getting our money’s worth” and end up buying more than we need. It’s dumb. It’s wasteful. But it’s kind of fun! So I’m on a hiatus. I have plenty of books to run through, and I can go onto Alex’s Comixology account and read through his purchases, too. This will seriously help me save money and we can make more room for future purchases when I’m done reading the books we’ve borrowed from others and we can donate a few we won’t read again. I figure this will save me an average of $25 a month.

I set up a separate savings account and changed my direct deposit
I know a few other people who create different savings accounts for different things like vacations, “oh shit” funds, and cars. I figured creating an account like that for “yoga teacher training” would be a good move for me, especially if I need to “forget” about $50 a month. Obviously this part will be more difficult for those without direct deposit, but it has greatly helped me. Why? By having part of my paycheck deposited into different accounts makes it so that I don’t “see” the money in my checking. If I don’t see it, I won’t miss it. Contact your payroll department to see what options you have.

There are other things I’m saving for and paying off, but this is the newest long-term goal to enter the picture, and I’m happy I figured out how I will tackle it.

Do you have a long-term goal savings?
What have you given up recently to help you save more money?

The idea for this post, and a few others, came from my e-resource: Three Sixty-Five: Ideas for Blog Posts, Scrapbook Pages, and Art Journal Entries. Get your copy for only $5 here.

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