The practice of yoga and what I have learned at yoga camp has made me realize how lucky I am to live in a world where the grass is green and where all of this is possible.

Since I was a little kid, I have always asked if something is wrong or right. Whether it was in dialogue in a show we were watching, in a book, or even out and about in places like grocery stores. I would ask my parents, “Who’s right?” Since I was a little kid, I have known the Holocaust was wrong, and that recycling is right, I’ve seen how racism affects the world and people I know around me, and how women, men, and LGBTQ+ people are treated differently from one another.

Yoga Camp has helped me focus on figuring out the difference between what is wrong and what is right. It has shown me the importance of treating ALL people with kindness, and of being kind to myself. Yoga Camp has helped me make friends, and to learn to get along with others. This ties in with Bhakti Yoga, love and devotion, which I learned a lot about in my time with Miss Nitya. I have learned about Karma Yoga, giving to others, and ahimsa, the principle of non-violence. I have been vegetarian for 5 years because of the way animals suffer for food, and because of my strong belief in ahimsa. This was a result of me going to Spring Break Yoga Camp in 2018 as a 5th grader, and has definitely influenced my life, mind, and body for the better.

The songs we sing at Yoga Camp have contributed to my love for music; a big part of my everyday life that has helped me through the stress of big emotions, and has helped me to focus in times of anxiety. Our Teen Gatherings give me time to tap into my inner self, and help me unwind from life. Every time I leave, I think about how I want to better myself and better the world around me. How can I make the world a better place? How can I have a better relationship with myself? In what ways can I be the best version of myself, and in what ways can I grow as a yogi?

But most of all, Yoga Camp has been aa big influence on my appreciation of nature and the comfort I receive from it. The rain, the sky, the sunset, and the Earth are all regularly spoken about, sung about, and praised at Yoga Camp and in Teen Gatherings. Now every time it rains, I feel happy, and from time to time, The Garden Song from circle time plays in my head. Every time the clouds look pretty, I’ll say something to whoever I’m with, or I’ll take a picture of the sky. When I see a pretty and vivid sunset, I get super excited just to see it and be part of it.

My yoga journey is ongoing. I am still trying to figure out and learn some things about how to fit in with yoga. I still trying to achieve self-love, and I’m still trying to achieve my goal of meditating every day. My yoga journey has inspired me to lead and teach others, something I’m pursuing as a counselor this summer at Yoga Camp.

Miss Nitya, thank you for all that you do for our community and the world.