Orange County boy, 11, becomes yoga instructor after mom's bout with cancer

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- After surviving non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Sahel Anvarinejad decided she wanted to learn to teach yoga, and her 6-year-old son Tabay was by her side most of the time.

"After chemo, I was knocked down both physically, mentally, emotionally - and yoga is what helped me," Anvarinejad said. "I could barely walk on my own at that time. I was just two weeks cancer free."

Yoga helped her heal and inspired Tabay to follow in her foot steps.

"When she was doing yoga I saw that she kept on getting better and better and better and better, so I wanted to do yoga just so I can help heal others. Just like how yoga helped heal my mom," Tabay said.

Tabay has a wall full of certifications with over 200 credited hours.

His mom began teaching at schools and homes then opened "Care 4 Yoga" in San Clemente. Tabay is her youngest instructor.

"I teach people with cancer, diabetes, autism, and even every day normal people," Tabay said.

Tabay doesn't get paid for his workouts, but rather he asks for donations and that money goes to Children's Hospital Orange County for cancer research.

"We're trying to partner up right now with an organization called," he said.

His father, Larry Atkins, couldn't be prouder.

"He took me through a one-and-a-half hour session, and I would say half way through the session, they're bringing me towels and I'm just sweating profusely," Larry Atkins said.

Larry, who played for the Oakland Raiders, knows all about the pain of a pounding workout. And after going through rehabilitation for three knee surgeries, he feels the NFL would be smart to add yoga to the training roster.

"Especially when you're playing ball at that high level - you have to be mentally prepared," he said.

Tabay echoed his father's sentiments and said he wants people to see how beneficial the mind-and-body exercise can be.

"It helps calm you down, and it helps heal you. Most people think it's a workout but it's a work-in," he said.
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