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  • Jenny Hill

Path to a More Sustainable You: Self-care and Wellness Workshops

Word cloud of wellness terms such as yoga, strength and biofield

The 18th Annual Back to Basics will feature more than 50 workshops on a wide variety of topics. From Blacksmithing to Gardening to Clean Energy, you can get your sustainability questions answered and learn some amazing new things. See the full line-up here. Over the next few weeks, blog posts will explore the workshops in more depth.  

With the new year, many of us make resolutions or seek to bring more health habits into our lives. Health and Wellness is often a significant percentage of Back to Basics workshop offerings. This year’s topics range from traditional healing arts to peer and self support for mental health to joint health. 

Explore how Energy Based Therapies (EBT) can keep us balanced and healthy in 

Intro to Healing Touch and the Human Biofield offered by Stacey Quade of Energy for Life Connection. “This part of who we are, is what our physical body is built on and that we are all born this way and we use the Biofield all the time, you cannot shut it off,” says Quade. 

“I love teaching people about this part of themselves, how we function with it in our daily lives, how you can learn to work with it to help with healing and balancing yourself and how it can be used to help others with their healing work.”

Pant legs and tennis shoes on ice ground

The snow, ice, and overall slippery conditions of winter often point to a need to increase our physical  balance as well as joint health. Put a Little Spring in Your Step! offers simple techniques for muscle and joint health, which should improve bone density and strength. Workshop leader Joseph Quade recommends this interactive workshop for “people who are noticing difficulties with walking on even and uneven terrain, navigating stairs, or just feeling unsteady.” Quade, of Great Lake Therapies, says, “I love to help people help themselves. A few simple principles and activities can make a world of difference.”

Many of us hope to not only stay upright during winter, but we also jokingly talk about how to “survive.” But what does it take to thrive during winter? This idea is explored in Thriving Through Winter with Ayurveda with Ayurvedic practitioner Aprile Lack of Not Amy’s Farm. This workshop will offer diet & lifestyle adaptations to help you thrive with the season. 

Two yoga workshops explore different types of relaxation. Yoga + Myofascial Release with Bryana Cook of Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats will focus on tension relief, full body relations, ease of breathing, and self-massage techniques. Discover the Benefits of Restorative Yoga for Your Overworked Nervous System with Jennifer Smith of Nisswa Yoga will combine lecture/discussion and practice. “It can be challenging to allow yourself to relax and fully let go.” says Smith. Participants can explore new definitions of relaxation. Says Smith: “ We think that means lying on a couch vegging out, drinking wine, or eating ice cream out of a carton. Often the ways we have to reduce stress are not as healthy as we would like them to be. My goal with this work is to create an environment where you can experience your innate quietness and to remind you what it feels like to be truly relaxed.”

 Four rolled up yoga mats: green, purple, orange and blue

Other workshops offering an introduction to traditional healing arts include Healing with Hijama: The Ancient Art of Cupping Therapy with Theresa Richter and Bark Medicine Making with Marina Povlitzki, who is also a regular vendor at Back to Basics with her herbal business, Plant Magick.

Ways to improve wellness can, and should, extend beyond our physical bodies. Those who are seeking the deeper meaning in everyday life may be interested in Laura Baum-Parr’s workshop Everyday Spirituality: Loved Ones, Rituals, and Sacred Spaces. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on aspects of their lives in small group discussions. “Viewing daily activities in a new light can make all the difference,” says Baum-Parr. “Each time I present this workshop, I am able to glimpse my own life in a broader sense as well.”

Holistic Wellness: Using the 8 Dimensions of Wellness to Live Your Best Life with Nicki Linsten-Lodge will examine physical, intellectual, emotional, financial, social, spiritual, environmental, & occupational wellness. “Multiple areas of life may impact your health,” says Linsten-Lodge who is with Pine River Backus Family Center. And the self-examination is worth doing, Linsten-Lodge says, because “we are not the same people we were yesterday and sometimes the smallest of changes can create positive ripples in our life.”

After a brief overview of the science behind mindfulness and visualization, Nurturing the Spirit of Mindfulness with Amy Donnan Neppl, Language of the Heart, LLC, offers an opportunity to map out feeling patterns in the body. This workshop is useful for people who recognize that the body holds emotional patterns that impact overall health and vitality,” says Donnan Neppl. “Shifting emotional patterns improves overall peacefulness, health, mindfulness and increases self awareness. I love helping people let go of what no longer serves them!”

A gold candle

“You can control stress instead of letting stress control you. I will have 7 tips and a worksheet to help you do exactly this,” says Michelle Oie, life purpose coach, of her workshop Is Stressful Stress Stressing You Out? There will be a talk with self-reflection worksheets so you can leave empowered to control stress. There will also be a craft which Oie describes as “not only fun and beautiful, but is a reminder to take care of yourself when stress knocks on your door.”

Finally, two workshops focus on mental wellness. Self-care during isolation & the importance of connection will be the focus of Self-Care & No-Cost Resources with Jode Freyholtz-London, of Wellness in the Woods. Trained individuals offer support for any concern or challenge that adults feel may be impacting them. There are no eligibility requirements for utilization.

Teens, parents, and anyone that works with teens are the audience for Arlene Selander’s workshop It's Real: Teens and Mental Health. “Learn tips and strategies for having caring conversations with someone you might be worried about,” says Selander, of Selander Coaching & Consulting. Methods of self care for mind, body, soul, and surroundings, trustworthy resources, and how reaching out to trusted adults can help teens manage their mental health will also be covered. “This workshop includes brief videos of social media influencers discussing their own experiences. I am very passionate about destigmatizing mental health.”

Find registration information here. Find the schedule for the whole day and more details here:


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