Businesses promote physical and mental wellness

With the passage through a new year, many people make resolutions to make changes that help their mental and physical well-being. There are several businesses in the Downtown Chula Vista Association that specialize in helping people achieve their goals in these areas.
Kula Yoga ( provides a safe environment where individuals of all ages can reap the benefits of yoga. Kula Yoga specializes in vinyasa, but offers a variety of yoga styles including Hatha, Rocket, and Yin Yoga. Owner Paulina Bustamante said she opened her studio in 2016 but had to close its doors for a couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and just recently reopened its doors for full services.

“The word Kula in Sanskrit that is used in yoga stands for community,” she said. “So, we do offer yoga for the community. We offer two yoga classes a day, one at 9 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday, we have a 9 a.m. class. The classes are for all levels. No yoga can be committed for new students, so we are very mindful, make our students feel welcome when they walk into our little yoga studio.”

Bustamante said the studio has had students as young as 12, all the way to 70-years-old. She said she does not target a specific age group because everybody is welcome to come learn yoga.

“We have a vast range of people who come in to do yoga, which is pretty great,” she said.
The combined benefits for body and mind are that people gain flexibility, balance, and become stronger, said Bustamante.

“That is both for your body and your mind,” she said. “Yoga works hand in hand with your mind. The physical benefits eventually come when you practice on a consistent basis. I think many people seek yoga, not for just physical benefits but also for their mental health benefits.”

Gyms are another popular way to increase fitness goals, and TG The Gym Chula Vista is a large facility to meet personal fitness objectives ( Co-owner Brian Canseco said The Gym Chula Vista opened in November 2020, and the largest ideal of the business is personal physical and mental wellbeing.

“If your health is good, everything else is good,” he said. “One of the biggest things we focus our business on is recovery services. Apart from being a fully equipped gym, we do offer recovery services like infrared light, a body scanner for your body testing, as well as a sauna. We have a ton of fitness equipment and one of the things we are working on now is getting bloodwork done for our clients and the ability to meet with a doctor.”

Canseco said the gym provides training and equipment for people at every level.

“We based the gym environment to keep people motivated,” he said, adding that the gym is growing daily and that they try to keep things as simple as possible, including joining the gym.

“My goal is making sure that everyone has a good experience,” he said. “It has become one of the most popular gyms. People feel motivated, and it gives them a different atmosphere from corporate gyms. We are always changing equipment, upgrading equipment, making sure everything is up to par, working, and keeping the gym clean.”

Canseco said the gym is open for trainers to bring in their clients, and now it has more than 50 trainers using the facility. He said there is another building next door that is unoccupied, so they have plans on expanding the gym for its recovery services.

“We are looking at adding massage chairs, maybe an event room, so members can come in here and recover faster,” he said. “We are working on that and hope to have that ready in a couple of weeks.”

Canseco said it has is a café next door to the building that offers protein shakes, coffee, and all the proceeds from the coffee go towards a charity in Mexico.

Rico’s on 3rd has a long history on downtown. Owner Snooky Rico said in The Village, it has been Rico’s, Rico’s Downtown, then Rico’s on 3rd, being in the heart of downtown for 30 years (

“We are a multi-generational salon. I have my daughters who work with me who joined me in the business 20 years ago. I have an amazing team. All of them have 15 years of experience.”

Rico said her sister joined her as a partner but passed away seven years ago.

“The last thing that happened is that we were both diagnosed with separate diseases,” she said. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer and her with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. In the process of that, once we opened, we had a commitment to ourselves, to God, to one another, and that there would be an influence about us that would make the world a better place before we leave it. That has been our genre since day one. To make a difference in the community and to those who patronized us and the community that we were serving.”
Rico said they always made it a point to help anyone they could, partnering with the Friends of Scott Foundation and the Children’s Hospital and providing services for them. For six years in a row, they would close the shop to help with a prom.

“We love working with the community and giving back,” she said. “And this was prior to us having our different diseases.”

Rico said when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was unable to be in the salon physically and would come in when she could. She said an opportunity came when she was in the Barnhart Cancer Center and people would come to her to see if she knew any hairdressers who would volunteer. She was there waiting to get a wig.

“I saw 30 women waiting there to get service,” she said. “I was a wig stylist back in the 70s. I have been doing hair for 46 years. Back in the 70s wigs were popular and I worked in a wig store, so I learned how cut, style, clean, and everything that pertains to wigs.”
She said her salon could help and if they provided wigs, they could cut and style them. She has a private room, and her sister had a makeup room, so they volunteered those spaces for free to women who were going through chemotherapy and losing their hair.

“As professionals, we are able to see and help with wigs and head shaving,” she said. “That is how the nonprofit Loving You Through It started. We got known and hospitals were sending people to us. The American Cancer Society got wind of us and wanted us to become a wig bank for the South Bay area, which we did. But during COVID, all that stopped.”

Rico said they downsized, but it gave her the opportunity to just work on the nonprofit while her daughters ran the business.

“The women that come in, some of them in crisis mode, we have a private room they can come in and transformation happens,” she said. “True beauty is really within. All I do is remind them who they are. I sit down with them with customized wigs, shave their heads, very compassionately and with empathy. And with much grace, help them with whatever they need in the way of wigs, makeup, scarf tying. We usually spend about an hour and a half to two hours with each cancer patient that comes in. This helps a big part of their emotional wellbeing. I cannot tell you how many times that transformation has turned around and became empowerment for them. It is so important to remember who we are when you are going through a health crisis and that you do not become a victim of it, but an overcomer. It is very important how we see ourselves and remember who we are. We are more than what we look like. It is much deeper than that. It has been a real blessing to be a part of Loving You Through It.”

Loving You Through It became a nonprofit in 2017 and is no longer affiliated with the American Cancer Society, said Rico. The nonprofit purchases its own wigs, accepts donations, hair donations, and everything done through the nonprofit is done at no cost to the cancer patients. Rico said they provide more than just wigs, but education on how to take care of your scalp, offers resources to other nonprofit organizations to help them during that time of need.

Rico said the nonprofit and for profit are intertwined and is a “legacy that comes together and works well.”

“It is important for people to keep their hair healthy and trimmed,” she said. “We have gone through much crisis with COVID, and people are just trying to get back to their original normal. Many people might have laxed on that in the past couple of years, but there is nothing like getting a full service done. We do not just cut hair. It is an experience when people come here. When they walk out, they see a signature salon walking out that door. It helps them emotionally when they walk out that door. They walk out with confidence.”