What got you into Yoga?
I first began practicing yoga when I was in college as a way to relieve stress and stay flexible as a runner. My current practice really began when I was pregnant with my first baby and I started to practice pre-natal yoga with Linda Wilkerson.
I loved this special time, and the meditations and deeper practice of yoga really resonated with me. I believe the practice of yoga and meditation helped me commit to natural birth and lead me onto a path of really living my yoga.
When my baby was 6 weeks old we came back to yoga and attended the Mommy and Me yoga class. I adored this special time with my baby and other new mothers. I learned so many yogic tools I could use for myself as a new mother and with my new little one in the first months of our journey together.
When did you decide you wanted to teach Yoga?
When my baby was too old for the Mommy and Baby class, I felt really lost. I could still practice on my own, but I missed the time bonding with my baby and other moms. I found some other moms who were looking to practice yoga. We started a Mom and Tot class, but really it was yoga for the moms with babies in the room.
As the months went on we realized that the babies were watching and they were beginning to copy some of the poses we were doing. So we started to incorporate them into our yoga time a little more each week, eventually turning our time into a true Mom and Tot yoga class.
I loved practicing with my little one and I loved that she was really loving the yoga too. I decided that I wanted to share yoga with children; and that rather than returning to teach school I would teach children’s yoga.
Describe your training and influential teachers.
In 2006, I attended the Radiant Child Teacher Training with founder Shakta Kaur Khalsa and began my own children’s yoga classes the next week. I taught Mommy and Baby, Mom and Tot Story-time, Children’s and Teen Yoga classes.
Teaching so many different ages gave me such a broad picture of how beautifully children integrate yoga into their lives. The children were really enjoying the yoga and their parents were sharing so many stories of how the children were using the yoga outside of class.
Describe your personal approach to practice.
I saw such a huge need for more children’s yoga in the world and realized there were very few yoga teachers who were actually trained to share children’s yoga. There were yoga classes that were meant to be for children but really they like "mini" versions of adult yoga.
The beauty of Radiant Child Yoga is that it is truly yoga for children..fun-filled and captivating yet based in the true spirit of yoga. Seeing this need I decided to become a facilitator of the Radiant Child Yoga Program so that I could help more adults learn how the share a love of yoga with children.
I attended the Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training and spent a year training with Shakta to complete the process of becoming a RCY facilitator. I now lead teacher trainings nationwide and internationally. I have since spent many more hours with Shakta studying yogic teachings relating to children and women, and I have attended a pre-natal yoga teacher training with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
Describe your own practice and any thoughts or insights about Yoga.
I believe sharing yoga with children gives them tools that they can use throughout the adventures of life. Sharing yoga with children in a joyous and fulfilled way when they are young makes yoga a natural part of their lives. They don’t see it as an activity that is separate from them but rather as something that is just natural and easy and makes them feel good.
As the world speeds up–and everything moves at such amazing speeds–it is imperative that we teach our children how to take time to slow down, to be still and to go within.
The ancient practices of yoga are more relevant now than ever and children are craving this knowledge. Not only is it important to share this practice with children but it is important to use it ourselves.
We can’t share what we don’t have. So I believe in daily practice for myself. As parents and teachers it is sometimes hard to find the time for ourselves and our own practice but even a few minutes a day can help level out the ups and downs of daily family life.
Even on the busiest of days, taking just a few minutes to slow down and practice yoga or meditation can make a huge difference in our state of mind. If it is our intention is to raise children who are truly happy, healthy and "whole" in body, mind and spirit, then we must show up for them with consciousness in every way.
Yoga can help us reconnect with ourselves daily so that we may be able to give our children the gift of our presence and clarity in each moment we are blessed to share with them.