Nazdira Cuevas

Nazdira Cuevas
Cosmic Sister
Special Talent Scholarship

Congratulations to Nazdira “Naz” Cuevas (@nazdiracuevas) for receiving a Cosmic Sister Special Talent Scholarship to “RACISM: Reveal to Heal,” a three-week Racial Healing Course for ALL beings, with guides Nyasha and Reuben of The Ascension Seed (@theascensionseed).

Nazdira is a San Diego-based Mexican-American educator, children's yoga instructor, and medicine maker at Maya Moon Co (@mayamoonco). She is in her second year of a Medicine Mandala (@medicinemandala) herbal apprenticeship with Yaya Erin Rivera.

“I am in a place of transition, as we all are,” Naz says. “I find myself so numb to all the violence that is happening daily under this system.”

Naz’s family is Mestizo, Yaqui descendants are from Oaxaca. She grew up in a very small town in Jalisco, Mexico; her mother moved the family to Compton, CA, when she was nine. “Compton wasn't easy; this was 1989,” she says. “We were very poor, living off food stamps and government food. What we experienced in L.A was very tragic.” Constantly bombarded with violence and drugs, Naz and her family also experienced the L.A. riots in 1992. “Nothing felt safe or sacred,” she says. “The terror was felt everywhere.”

Naz has always lived in Black and Brown communities and has never experienced disrespect or racism from her neighbors, but when her family moved to San Diego, she was teased viciously by white children at school because of her name and inability to speak English. In Mexico, Naz discovered “colorism,” favoritism shown to lighter-skinned Mexicans because her skin tone is lighter than her mother’s.

Naz teaches yoga to children at Yoga Rascals (@yogarascals) to help them overcome the severe anxiety and trauma she was unable to release from her body when she lived in a constant state of fight-or-flight. “Once I learned to access relaxation in my body with skills I acquired through yoga, I knew I had to share with others,” she says. “Working with children has always been where I serve fully.”

While she takes a Covid-mandated break from teaching at Forest Academy (@forestacademyfriends), a nature-based program for children, Naz is re-evaluating her purpose and mission. “Racism and oppression are rampant, and I want to address that and learn what i can do as a fellow brown woman to abolish it,” she says. “Children need role models and the proper language to be able to communicate. I want to help them, and of course help myself by having honest conversation and education on how to truly shift the paradigm.”

Naz plans to return to volunteer and teach yoga to children with special needs at SDSU Center for Autism (@sdsuautism) as soon as she gets clearance. “I love teaching children,” she says. “I am able to heal so much of my own trauma and help children learn self-regulation and calming tools. For me, those are life skills.”

June 2020