UPLIFT teen mentors share some laughter.

UPLIFT teen mentors share some laughter. Photo by Natalie Moser

UPLIFT Teen Mentor Nicole Chavez finds that even five minutes of yoga practice can make a difference in her day. As a nurse and yoga teacher, she calls on her practice to help her connect with people. She finds inspiration in being part of the UPLIFT Yoga community. Join her and the other teen mentors at the UPLIFT Bash on September 21, 2018.

What brought you to yoga?

I went to my first yoga class with a couple of my girlfriends. At first I felt like many people do, a little awkward, feeling like I’m not doing the postures correctly, and like everyone was looking at me, haha! But it was so much fun, I continued going, and in time I was able to let that go. And every time I took a class, I left feeling more and more connected to myself – not only on a physical level but on an emotional and spiritual level. It was as if with every class, my heart was cracking wider open and I was finally able to live my life the way I was meant to, happy and free as a bird!

What keeps you motivated in your practice?

Yoga has been such a pivotal contribution to the person I am today. It has given me the courage to leave behind situations in my life that were unhealthy and not making me happy. It has shown me how to speak and live my truth. In those difficult moments in life, after I practice, even if it’s just for five minutes, I feel lighter and at peace with myself. Because of this, I find my relationships are stronger, I’m a better partner and mom, and I’m enthusiastic about living an awesome life! This is what motivates me to continue practicing.

What do you learn from the other mentors?

Each one of these women who are a part of UPLIFT Teen Yoga are uniquely beautiful and simply incredible! I have been lucky enough to witness both Erica Austin and Camilla grow into the most amazing leaders with incredible passion for the cause. Almost so that it brings tears to my eyes! What I love about our team is that we are encouraged to be ourselves. We all bring something different and special to this program, and I couldn’t feel more grateful for our mentor team.

What do you tell people when they say that they’re thinking about trying a yoga practice but they’re not sure where to begin?

I first ask what they are looking for in starting to practice yoga. What are their curiosities with yoga? Most of the time I try and connect people with a studio or instructor, many studios will have a free class or free week to try it out. Although it can be intimidating at first going to a class, I find that the energy of practicing with other people can actually end up being very encouraging and inspiring – and thus keep people coming back to explore their own practice.

UPLIFT Yoga Mentor Nicole Chavez

UPLIFT Yoga Mentor Nicole Chavez photographed by Natalie Moser

What’s your go-to personal practice?

For myself, stepping into a space to take a class is a very special experience, almost sacred. I am a mom of two kiddos, teach yoga and work as a Registered Nurse, so my time to “practice yoga” has definitely dwindled! But I have realized through living real life, how important it is. So if I’m unable to physically go to a yoga studio, I will unroll my mat in my living room and move and breath during nap time or after my kids go to sleep. Sometimes I get five minutes, sometimes an hour! But no matter how long, I leave feeling better and more grateful than when I started.

Are there any books you find inspiring?

Baron Baptiste is definitely a mentor of mine. His book Journey Into Power was truly life changing for me! Every time I revisit it I leave feeling inspired and empowered. I also love everything written by Brene Brown. On a different level, she makes our human experience so relatable and creates hope and acceptance for tough moments we experience in life.

What’s your superpower?

I would say that my superpower is creating a safe and welcoming environment for people. Working as an RN, teaching yoga and now mentoring has taught me so much about connecting with people. I find that when people are afraid, unsure and out of their element they tend to be closed off and may even lash out. Even a smile or eye contact with somebody can change the energy and connection with each other. You never know what is going on in somebody else’s life or experience or how that small connection may help them.

Support and Celebrate 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: 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! 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.