Nicole Anne Fonovich knows that at her age, most people born with degenerative disc disease are fairly bedridden, need to use a wheelchair, or rely on prescription pain medication to get through each day.
Fonovich recalls the times in her life when she couldn’t move and had to rely on pain medication to cope with the agony of movement.
The 43-year-old certified yoga teacher and owner of the mobile yoga company Nicole Anne Yoga, however, attributed the responsibility to the craft for her ability to remain extremely mobile independently.
“I got on the mat to rehabilitate. It’s the only reason I’m as agile as I am, ”said Fonovich, a holistic naturopath who started her business in Chandler in 2017.
When she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Fonovich embarked on a holistic diet journey. This inspired her to graduate as a holistic practitioner from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. The subjects she studied to graduate eventually became part and parcel of her yoga business.
Your team consists of around three dozen holistic practitioners. The independent contractors range from health and yoga teachers to nutritionists and life coaches. They travel throughout the valley and offer courses in almost all venues, including schools, office buildings, studios, nursing homes and private homes.
Students range from young children to seniors.
Last year, Fonovich and her team looked after about 2,000 students, she said. Customers range from individuals to conferences and seminars to venues that request a course once a week or once a month.
Heidi Brenke has been a regular at Fonovich and her team for about a year. She has been a nurse for 26 years and patient carrying and other physically demanding tasks resulted in chronic pain. Since taking the yoga classes, Brenke said the pain has been greatly reduced and she is smoother and much calmer.
“I always found going to the gym stressful and something I did out of a sense of duty. But I go to Nicole because it’s a feeling of joy, ”said Brenke, who lives in Mesa. “Nicole takes care of the community and you can feel that through her yoga.”
Fonovich, who has a degree in business and a master’s in education, had her dream job as the director of financial aid at Touro University in California. When her father was diagnosed with leukemia, Fonovich returned to Illinois to take care of him.
This was the cornerstone of her interest in holistic health as she and her family tried juice, vitamins, and other non-traditional approaches to extend the length and quality of their father’s life. She found it worthwhile.
It sparked the pursuit of her current career. Prior to the opening of Nicole Anne Yoga, Fonovich held free events in common areas and at home to practice their craft. She considered buying a studio, but there were a dozen and it seemed like many were closing left and right. Her experience writing and publishing a children’s e-book series, “Luca Lashes”, showed her that hard copy was not required to be successful. So why should there be an inpatient facility?
Your entrepreneurial lightbulb has been lit.
“Instead of saying to people: come here, why don’t you bring them zen?” Fonovich said of the reasoning that has become her company’s mantra.
Fonovich’s industry has seen a steady surge in popularity across the country. In 2012, fewer than 10 percent of adults in the United States practiced yoga and 4 percent practiced meditation. In 2017, participation in each of these categories rose to more than 14 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And 34 percent of Americans say they will practice some or very likely yoga in the next 12 months, according to the Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance.
Fonovich started her sophomore year running her mobile yoga company, sharing feedback with clients on how the therapies have helped them. These include veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder finding peace for the first time in years, and insomniacs who are finally getting a good night’s sleep.
Fonovich’s voice cracked as she remembered the man whose depression nearly drove him to suicide. Today he is attending the sound healing and meditation sessions, bringing his mother and friends with him.
“We saved him. It’s so beautiful, ”she said. “The misconception about yoga is that you have to be flexible like a pretzel, and it’s all about exercise. Yoga saved my life and it is an honor and a privilege to be able to give this back to people. “
Nicole Anne Yoga
INTERESTING STAT: According to a study by the Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, Americans spend $ 16 billion each year on yoga classes, clothing, equipment, and accessories.
DETAILS: 847-840-7277, nicoleanneyoga.com