Support ‘Camp Erin’— a free camp for kids dealing with loss and death
By Melissa Gill | Las Vegas, NV | Downtown Summerlin
“The best gift you can give anyone else is the best version of yourself,” says Amelia Bruff, Founder of Yoga 4 A Cause, Align & Breathe and previously a performer in “Jubilee” and “Le Reve.”
How Yoga 4 A Cause Started
Bruff’s yoga non-profit organization, Yoga 4 A Cause, came to fruition after the 9/11 tragedy that happened on the same day as her birthday. It didn’t sit right with her to celebrate her name day on one of the darkest days in history.
“It just didn’t feel right trying to celebrate my birthday on 9/11,” says Amelia Bruff.
With a desire to spread positivity while sharing her passion for yoga, she decided to bring people together to raise money for a good cause.
In 2015, her friend in “Jubilee” unexpectedly was diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted to help her friend so badly. Her desire to support her friend led her to the idea of starting Yoga 4 A Cause and she held her first official Yoga 4 A Cause that year. Now she chooses to raise money and spread awareness for a cause each year that is close to her heart.
“My purpose here is to help people and serve our community. It’s all about togetherness and putting something positive into the world.”
Although she has practiced yoga around the globe, she says the yoga community in Las Vegas is like no other.
“I’ve done yoga all over the world and there’s no community bigger or better than Las Vegas. People love their yoga here.”
Donating in Memory of Jackie Cordova
While meditating on a cause to choose for this year’s Yoga 4 A Cause, she kept seeing Jackie Cordova’s smile.
This year she’s raising money in the memory of Jackie Cordova, who passed away of lung cancer on March 21, 2021, to benefit “Camp Erin” of Nathan Adelson Hospice. She leaves behind her 10-month-old son, Liam and her husband, Wayne.
Initially, she wanted to raise money for Jackie’s family to help them with expenses during difficult times. But she explained that Wayne didn’t feel comfortable taking the money.
Rather than accept the money, the family decided to donate the funds raised at Yoga 4 A Cause to “Camp Erin” which is part of Nathan Adelson Hospice. “Camp Erin” offers a free camp for children ages 6-17 that are dealing with loss and death.
You Don’t Have to be a Yoga Pro to Go
There’s no need to be a yoga pro to come out and support a good cause. Bruff has been working and teaching yoga in Las Vegas for over 20 years to students ages 5 through 86. Her journey with yoga has come a long way and she continues to learn and grow in her field.
“We’re all students and we’re all teachers. I learn so much from my students. Falling is the best lesson. If you don’t fall, you won’t learn how to fall and keep going.”
Her first yoga experience wasn’t as easy as she expected it to be, even with her background in dancing.
“I’m a dancer. I grew up taking dancing courses. I always thought yoga was easy, then [during] my first yoga class I was swearing in my head.”
Despite her shoulders burning and her mind rattling off a string of curse words, she said afterwards she had never slept so good. She decided to keep going to classes and fell in love with the art of yoga. Now she eats, sleeps and breathes her craft. Her students inspire her and she’s constantly working towards improving herself through yoga.
Yoga doesn’t always have to be serious and it’s not just for women. Bruff revisits a memory of going to one of Frank Gantman’s yoga lessons.
“I took his class and he made a joke and we all started laughing. It taught me that yoga doesn’t have to be so serious.”
Experience the Longest Gong Bath
Yoga 4 A Cause is on Saturday, September 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on The Lawn in Downtown Summerlin. The minimum donation suggested for the event is $11.
The event offers multiple styles of yoga taught “Round Robin” style by leading yoga instructors in the community including Amelia Bruff, Zeeky Vincent, Heidi Otero and David Vandemeer.
Hands-on assist teachers are also banding together to share yoga lessons with attendees. Angela Amoia, Celine Go, Frank Gantman, along with many others will be providing classes.
Guests get to experience the largest gong bath performed with 8 gongs, listen to live drumming by TJ Hoopes and music by DJ ToneArmz. Plus they will be hosting raffles for guests to have a chance to win prizes.
And if you give yoga a chance, maybe you will fall in love with it, too. Bruff expresses how practicing and teaching yoga has changed her life.
“I feel like yoga makes me a better person, more loving and patient.”
For tickets, visit Yoga 4 A Cause’s website.