UPLIFT Yoga Teen Mentor Camilla Bruno

UPLIFT Yoga Foundation Co-Founder and Mentor Camilla Bruno photographed by Natalie Moser.

Camilla Bruno is one of the Co-Founders of UPLIFT Teen Mentor Program and one of the Mentors in the program. Her work as a mentor has strengthened her lessons around vulnerability and empathy. Join Camilla and the rest of the UPLIFT Team at the September 21 UPLIFT Yoga Bash. Buy your tickets here at: https://upliftyogabash2018.eventbrite.com. Use the code FINDBLISS to receive 15% off of your ticket price.

What brought you to yoga?

Growing up, I danced competitively. After high school, I knew I was not going to dance professionally, so I opened myself up to finding another venue of movement and mind-body connection. My parents were getting a divorce as I transitioned into my college years, which rocked my foundation. Yoga became a place for me to process safely, feel fully and connect to solidarity.

What keeps you motivated in your practice?

I’ve never felt so balanced from the inside out than when I practice yoga. The strength and health it radiates physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically is like no other practice I have found. I find myself cherishing my practice more than ever now, after entering motherhood in early 2017.

My practice continues to evolve, shift, and meet me exactly where I’m at in my life. Every day is different, sometimes it’s for a vibrant sweat, other days it’s for peace and stillness. All the while I am met with a teacher within showing me exactly what I need in the present moment. I am an eternal student of this practice of yoga, and better said of life! Yoga, thank you for your endless capacity of grace and persistence.

UPLIFT Teen Mentors

UPLIFT Teen Mentors photographed by Natalie Moser

What do you learn from being a mentor?

Ah. Exhale…My cup truly runneth over while serving as a mentor for UPLIFT Teen Yoga. Vulnerability is a super power. It awakens the truth within each of us. It gives our processes room to breathe and flow. Vulnerability unites our hearts to each other with the thread of empathy. It is contagious, once one opens the door many are likely to follow. It ignites our authentic voice to come forward. Vulnerability asks for us to remain curious, open and accepting of what comes up. Our UPLIFT Teens are brave superheroes. Their vulnerability has healed parts of my self that I have lost touch with.

Do you have any stories to share?

As a teen, I encountered betrayal by some of my closest friends in the complicated world of bullying. I can distinctely remember feeling absolutely devastated, utterly alone, totally overwhelmed by emotions, and like nothing could make the situation better… BUT if only I had yoga! And even more than that, a community rooted in the practices of yoga! My journey through my teen years would have been vastly different. I would have been uplifted from my lonely, dark place to a place of light. To a place where I could relate with others, develop self-care practices, and ultimately transform to my authentic self. UPLIFT Teen Yoga is this space that nurtures each teen to be who she is, all the while transformed by these practices of yoga that will stay for a lifetime.

What do you learn from the other mentors?

Our sixteen-year-old selves are still here, and are ready to be seen and honored! When we are all together, we can’t help but feel like our teen selves…as secure, confident, supportive, uplifting women. Our dance parties are epic, our conversations are raw, and our hearts are rooting for each other. The entire team of UPLIFT Mentors demonstrate true beauty and true belonging.

What advice do you give to people thinking about trying yoga?

“I am the least flexible person you will ever meet!” This is something I hear almost weekly from someone. And I always reply “That is a fantastic reason to come to yoga!” Yoga meets YOU where you are at. It’s such a beautiful thing!

And just like anything else that is foreign to your physical practices, it takes time to feel more comfortable and confident. But let me tell you, you will have zero regrets in our final resting pose, Savasana! I bet you will feel better walking out than the way you walked in. I invite you to be open, and see what happens! Then I leave the rest up to the yoga to do the magic! One of the few things I can confidently state to anyone is, “Come to yoga, I know you are capable and will benefit in some way!”

What’s your go-to personal practice?

Walking meditation is a big one the past two years. After going through pregnancy recently and life with a baby, I have established a profound connection to my practice off my mat. Being in silence, turning on all my senses, paying attention to my breath, and observing my surroundings, as well as workings within me. In addition, power vinyasa charges my batteries in the best way! I love to blast some uplifting tunes, and move with my breath in a mandala flow.

Are there any books you find inspiring?

How to Be Here by Rob Bell. Rob Bell has a way to put a language around so much of what I feel. His words of wisdom have inspired our program in many ways. In a world that bombards us with food for thought all the time, Rob’s work has reminded me to listen within, to the “you that is you that is deepest and true.” Something we hold strong importance to practice with our UPLIFT teens!

What’s your superpower?

My ability to see the highest and truest in others. I feel deeply connected to the presence of something much, much bigger within all of us. I see uniqueness, beauty, equality. And I see potential. Every day, I see the importance in what matters most.

Join Camilla Bruno at the UPLIFT Yoga Bash

Use Promo Code “FINDBLISS” for a 15% off Discount! Buy your tickets here:
https://upliftyogabash2018.eventbrite.com

Join 600 yogis on the Eve of the Equinox – Friday, September 21st at Doheny State Beach. We are raising funds and awareness for UPLIFT Teen Yoga’s new Outreach Division, which will bring yoga and mindfulness to the teens in Orange County who need it most.

MANDUKA “BIRDS OF PARADISE” VIP PRE-PARTY – 5-7pm

Our upscale Birds of Paradise VIP Pre-Party will be from 5-7pm with 250 guests. Here we will have all kinds of entertainment. This includes: delicious hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages, “Insta-Famous” acro yogi performances, Giant Angel Wings by Colette Miller of Global Angel Wings Project, a Flower Power Braid Bar, Fire Dancers, Essential Oils & Card Readings, and tons more.

OM CIRCLE AT SUNSET

At sunset, all yogi guests will move to the beach for a massive OM Circle led by CorePower Yoga’s Chief Yoga Office, Heather Peterson.

MAIN EVENT – 7-9pm

After the OM Circle, we will move to the beautiful grass area adjacent to the beach, underneath Doheny’s 80 foot majestic palm trees. CorePower Yoga’s Director of Mindful Leadership, Anthony Chavez, will lead us through our inspiring yoga practice surrounded by the elements of nature, beautiful lighting, live DJ beats, and lots of surprises. Get ready for Richard Vagner’s violin Savasana!

AFTER PARTY – 9-10pm

We will move back to the VIP area and enjoy good company, cozy food, live music, non-alcoholic drinks, more acro yoga performances & entertainment, and opportunities to purchase goodies to benefit UPLIFT Teen Yoga.

THE CAUSE – UPLIFT TEEN YOGA

All proceeds benefit our new Outreach Division of UPLIFT Teen Yoga, which brings yoga and mindfulness to the teens who need it most in Orange County.

TICKETS:

Use Promo Code “FINDBLISS” for a 15% off discount! Join Camillo Bruno and buy your tickets here:
https://upliftyogabash2018.eventbrite.com

UPLIFT Yoga Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Felicia M. Tomasko
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.