Jocelyn Egle, of Hippie Yoga in St. Clair Shores, leads a yoga class in Spindler Park as part of the healthy mindset event Aug. 18.

Jocelyn Egle, of Hippie Yoga in St. Clair Shores, leads a yoga class in Spindler Park as part of the healthy mindset event Aug. 18.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Healthy mindset event encourages having fun while staying healthy

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 21, 2020

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 Comedian Laura Conklin performed a set to add some lighthearted fun to a day of learning and staying healthy.

Comedian Laura Conklin performed a set to add some lighthearted fun to a day of learning and staying healthy.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


ROSEVILLE — Getting together while maintaining social distancing guidelines can be tough. Doing so while staying healthy can be even tougher.

To combat this, Steven Cain, a chiropractor at Total Health Systems and president of the Whole Brain Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization that helps people adopt a brain-healthy lifestyle, organized a Healthy Mindset Day at Spindler Park Aug. 18.

“The concept behind it is making things that are healthy for you enjoyable,” he explained. “We host it at a place that’s pretty, like a park. We have yoga, we have a comedian, we have trivia and all of those things are ways we can show people (that) living a healthy lifestyle can be fun and enjoyable.”

The programming consisted of an hour of yoga, comedian Laura Conklin doing a 15-minute set, a half-hour of wellness trivia, and karaoke followed by another yoga session.

“It’s all about establishing sustainable healthy habits. If they don’t enjoy it, it’s probably not going to stick,” said Cain. “I hope people see that they can get more creative in ways to do more healthy things for themselves.”

April Strata, the owner of Hippie Yoga in St. Clair Shores, led the yoga classes and said she thinks events like this one are more important than ever.

“Dr. Steve contacted me about collaborating on an event and I thought it was a great idea,” she said. “I love anything that’s healthy and active, and finding ways to get together safely outside is great too.”

She said that health-oriented classes are difficult to organize while social distancing.

“My studio switched our whole platform to virtual classes, so we are doing it all online,” said Strata. “It’s been a challenge, and we’ve seen a decrease in attendance because some people aren’t tech savvy or they don’t have the space in their house to do it. I’m seeing a lot of people out here I haven’t seen in a while, so getting to do this together in person again is a relief.”

“Especially now during the pandemic, it’s really important that people still do things that are healthy, keep their immune systems strong and make it all as enjoyable as possible,” added Cain.

Strata said they keep the yoga at a fairly basic level to ensure everyone can take part even if they have never done yoga before.

“In a class like this, we try to keep it pretty basic because it’s open to the general public,” she said. “We work on gently moving the body. We’re focusing today on healthy back exercises, which is something we do (at Hippie Yoga) pretty regularly. It’s about gentle movement and strengthening of the spine accompanied by a relaxing and calm atmosphere.”

Conklin joined the event to help ensure things stayed fun and light.

“Laughter is the best medicine, so I am hopefully here to give out a healthy dose,” remarked the comedian. “It takes people’s minds off their troubles. Everybody has got troubles; nobody has a perfect life. I hope I can help people laugh at things, laugh at themselves and put them in a better mood.”

She thinks combining health and comedy is a natural mix and has a lifetime of experience to prove it.

“I was a nurse for more than 50 years and I retired recently, and I used to tell a lot of jokes to my students. I used to say, ‘They come for the jokes but stay for the knowledge,’ and they always said if I ever left nursing I had to go into stand-up comedy, so here I am,” Conklin said. “Dr. Cain is my chiropractor and he asked me to join him out here today for this program, and I thought it sounded like a fun idea. I share a lot of stories from my nursing career and I think it’s enjoyable to a lot of people.”

Strata said combining physical and mental well-being, and doing so in nature, is a great dynamic.

“I think there’s definitely a correlation between the physical body and the mind,” she said. “One affects the other one. Keeping the body healthy keeps our mind healthy, and being outside doing that (is beneficial), because nature is calming in and of itself.”

Cain doesn’t have any follow-up events scheduled, but he is hoping to have a couple more before winter, based on the success of this first one.

“We aren’t planning any future events yet, but it looks like it’s pretty successful, so we would like to try and sneak another one or two in before the weather gets too cold,” he said. “People can check us out on Facebook by searching for our page: Whole Brain Health Initiative or by looking at the Hippie Yoga Facebook page as well.”

Cain thinks this model is more effective at reaching people than traditional means of encouraging healthy lifestyles. The key, he said, is making it fun.

“Before, we were more about standard marketing techniques like going into companies and putting up a booth and offering information to people,” he said. “I think what we’re doing here today is a much more organic and fun way for people to learn. They can come here and do healthy things that they enjoy and get to talk to people like me, who is a chiropractor, or a local yoga instructor.”