This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Tara Palacios
Boutique fitness centers such as personal fitness, cycling, running and boxing — as well as yoga are on the rise. Many of these businesses are seeking ways to combine social impact with living a healthy lifestyle.
Three local Arlington yoga businesses have united together to work with veterans, military families and first responders as well as communities affected by addiction, violence and poverty.
Justin Blazejewski’s launched Vetoga after discovering that yoga helped him with a back injury he sustained while serving in the Marine Corps. Justin observed how yoga also helped heal the mental and emotional burdens he carried traveling in and out of war zones.
With 2,000+ hours of training in his yoga toolbox, Justin founded the Arlington based nonprofit organization Vetoga whose mission is to provide yoga, meditation and healing arts to military, veterans, their families and communities.
Vetoga accomplishes this by holding free monthly yoga classes, events and veteran specific 200-Hour Teacher Trainings throughout the year. Today, Vetoga has trained 90 veterans yoga teachers, impacted the lives of 10,000+ veterans and created new yoga-focused veteran communities in 65 U.S. cities and Melbourne, Australia.
After Arlingtonian and Air Force Veteran Daniel Steiniger’s second back surgery from snowboarding, he found his way to yoga to try and prevent back injuries from occurring in the future. Daniel created Rebel Yoga to bring yoga teachings back to its roots.
Committed to sharing the benefits of yoga with underserved populations, Daniel founded the Rebel Yoga’s Foundation, Rebel Recovery, a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is: Seva (selfless service), providing free yoga, meditation and other services as needed to communities affected by addiction, violence and poverty.
Claudia Cavazza, recently transitioned out of her career in the athletic apparel industry to start the Arlington-based corporate wellness business, WRKwell. WRKwell designs VOI (Value on Investment) focused stress management solutions for local corporate clients.
Dedicated to leaving a positive social impact on the world, Claudia has chosen a shared value business model for WRKwell, to specifically create social value by offering custom-designed yoga and meditation focused stress management programs to veterans and first responders with limited access to it, at no cost to them.
In collaboration with Vetoga, WRKwell is also committed to provide professional opportunities to veterans interested in pursuing a career in the corporate wellness space.
Lovelight Yoga and Arts Festival
All three Arlington yoga experts will all be on-hand and demonstrating their knowledge and expertise at the international Lovelight Yoga and Arts Festival on September 21-24 in Maryland.
Lovelight is a curated festival featuring yoga masters such as Sri Dharma Mittra and music artists such as Krisna Das, with the mission to celebrate life with yoga, to create community with music and to enlighten ourselves… one chant at a time.