Sunday, January 17, 2016

Announcing the 2016 Alive in the Fire Sponsored Yogis Team

Hello, beautiful yogis!

I am over-the-moon excited to introduce you to this year's incredible Sponsored Yogis! 

You may be asking, what is Sponsored Yogis? :) Sponsored Yogis is a seva project I do through Alive in the Fire where I choose several extraordinary souls to support for a year. My goal is to help them grow in their yoga practice, both on and off the mat. 

I keep in touch, sending emails and having Skype conversations, so that I can offer support from the perspective of a yoga teacher and also as a friend who is walking the 8-limbed path of yoga. I also offer them goodies like yoga mats, yoga clothing, studio classes, massages, photo shoot experiences, books, DVDs, and wellness products, so that they have the tools they need to grow in their practice. My goal is to help the Sponsored Yogi team feel loved, cared for, and inspired.

Photo by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

The Sponsored Yogi team helps write heartfelt blog posts, share Alive in the Fire stories on social media, and grow our community so that we share more yoga with the world. This year we're also going to be featuring an Instagram challenge, and start fundraising for a teacher training scholarship. Sponsored Yogis is an incredible journey, one that always opens my eyes to new ways that Yoga impacts those around us. The more love we share, the more love spreads! The program is an amazing, life-changing experience that has brought me some of the most meaningful friendships I've ever had, and I have no doubt that 2016 will be the best year yet.

I'm very excited to announce that I've chosen 2 beautiful yoginis to be a part of this year's Sponsored Yogi team! Please meet Yani and Kelsie, and stay tuned to hear more from them in the weeks and months to come. 

Yani Valdes

Yani is a yogini and Americorps volunteer from Bakersfield, CA. 
She is creative, empowered, grateful and compassionate.

A few facts about Yani:
  • She loves practicing Vinyasa and restorative yoga, especially outdoors in nature, as well as PiYo, to build strength and flexibility.
  • She is currently in her second year of service with BHC AmeriCorps and often practices meditation and yoga with her mentees.
  • Yani recently traveled to the Philippines and one of her goals is to complete a yoga teacher training in Thailand.
  • She isn't afraid to be real and raw, and she believes that being vulnerable will help set us free. 

How has yoga changed your life?
Yoga has become a way of being. Time after time, life reveals to me beauty in this world. I recall times in my life when I come across new ways of being, thinking, existing. Each day I wake, I strive to be my most ideal self. Some days I fly, and others I feel like I'm crumbling to pieces. But I live. And the next day, I'm given another chance. Yoga reminds me to accept and love myself, to stay present in the moment, to breathe deeply, and to surrender.

Why are you excited to be a Sponsored Yogi?
This is my divine purpose. On my recent birthday I put my love and trust in the Universe. I gave thanks for this life, and put trust in the notion of divine purpose. A series of events revealed as I learned to surrender to what can be. 

Shortly after graduating with my B.A in Liberal Studies from CSU Bakersfield, I went in to service with BHC AmeriCorps. Through college, service to humanity and exploring I've learned so much. I reflect on my life and am so thankful for every experience that has made me, me. I've given so much of myself, and am ready to trust and love myself, my dreams, God, Source Energy, the Universe- whatever we want to call that greater power. I look forward to another year of life on planet Earth, where each day we are gifted with life. I'm excited to aid in creating life and existing in a positive culture. I am grateful for the opportunity to follow my heart and to grow.

Thank you, Yani, and welcome to Sponsored Yogis!

Kelsie Eggers

Kelsie is a dedicated student and teacher of yoga from Clarkston, WA. She is thoughtful, encouraging, knowledgeable and devoted.

A few facts about Kels:
  • She practices Vinyasa, Hatha and Iyengar yoga in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Her mission is to share knowledge, skills and tools to help others find their inward journey through yoga.
  • Her yoga goals are to stay sharp and strong, to find clear focus, discipline and unwavering concentration.
  • She's currently reading Light on Life by Iyengar :)

How has yoga changed your life?
Aside from a diet revise, friends, friends, friends and confidence, I'm optimistic now. In the past, I walked on the dark side...always assuming or expecting the worse. Yoga taught me the opposite, which is to trust. Visions of success and happiness are much more likely to manifest when we focus on positive possibilities instead of worse case scenarios. 

Why are you excited to be a Sponsored Yogi?
I'm honestly really excited to be an author of this blog! And, I love people! I love building communities of like minded people and I am humbled to meet new yogis from all over the country. I am a teacher and student, thus giving and receiving knowledge is a long term gift I am looking forward to sharing.

Thank you, Kels, and welcome to Sponsored Yogis!

I could not be more proud of both of these lovely yoginis for their courage, confidence and the joyfulness they bring to the Alive in the Fire community. Already Yani and Kelsie have shown their dedication and enthusiasm, and we can't wait for all the awesome content that will be coming your way soon as part of the Sponsored Yogis program. 

Namaste, friends!

PS Please follow Yani (@yanivaldes_) and Kelsie (@yoga_by_kels) on their Instagram pages as well, and stay tuned for our upcoming Instagram challenge!

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