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Hidden Gems: Meet Sanja Oropeza of Kevala Wellness and Ayurveda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sanja Oropeza.

Sanja, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
After watching a family member suffer through Bi-polar disease and suicidal thoughts and bad RX prescriptions, I decided to dropping out of my psychology program at Long Beach City College and I decided I wanted to help people heal their mind, body and spirit in a more natural organic way and began Massage school in 2000, this was a new and exciting journey for me!

I opened up my first business in Orange CA in 2007 and it quickly grew, but not in the direction I wanted it to. The community embraced us and we earned “Best Massage” three years in a row on “The Best of OC”. Business was good, we expanded and hired more employees!

In 2011, I began introducing Ayurveda and Meditation to our list of services and it became clear that the community had no interest in these holistic practices and in 2016 I closed the doors. While It was hard to let go of a business I put so much of myself into, it was no longer serving me or my vision.

After a few months off, I re-established myself as a Bodywork here in Long Beach and went back to complete my Ayurveda training. In 2018, I traveled to India for an internship and came back rejuvenated, refreshed and inspired to open a business again.

I opened Kevala Wellness and Ayurveda in Downtown Long Beach in November 2018 and covid shut us down 15 months later. During this time I began two of our Signature products Seva Tea and Full Moon Ghee and in February 2021, we moved to our beautiful new location. A house converted for business brings me the closest to my vision in my 22 years career.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I believe all business owners go through challenges, even the most successful ones, it’s how we move those struggles that matter most. There have been many setbacks and struggles, some of which could be avoided by creating healthy boundaries, listening to the universe’s messages or knowing when to let go. But one of the biggest lessons I have learned is to examine what your role was in each outcome and what could you have done differently.

I believe that challenges are our lessons, they cultivate growth, expansion of knowledge and tools to forge forward to keep our vision alive.

We’ve been impressed with Kevala Wellness and Ayurveda, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are an Ayurvedic wellness center here to serve our guests with a range of holistic services designed to rejuvenate, restore and sustain well-being through the wisdom of Ayurveda. We also provide delicious, medicinal herbal tea blends at Long Beach’s only functional beverage pop-up, SEVA Tea Lounge. And our Ritual Shop offers the highest-quality Ayurvedic herbs and products that enable you to immerse yourself in the spirit of wellness and self-care.

Our Tea Lounge is a guest favorite! Showcasing our apothecary and tea bar guests can enjoy the herbal tea of the day after their services in the lounge, on the porch or in our garden patio.

We also host events, workshops and training. Highlighting our monthly SEVA Tea Lounge pop-up on the 4th Saturday each month and in September, we are launching SEVA Tea Lounge After Dark- an evening tea lounge with live music, readings and a chill vibe.

Kevala’s home is a cute little house converted to a warm, cozy and safe space for all to explore, awaken and restore their mind, body, spirit and senses.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Yes, every business owner should have a mentor, find someone you admire and aspire to be and work with them, either through volunteering, internship or collaboration. You can also find some like-minded people and create a networking group yourself where you can cultivate friendships, support and grow your network. I have done this with a group of healers. Our mission is to cultivate community, to hold space and empower one another.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
TiffaneyAnn Photography

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