How did you find your way to ChildLight?
I had been looking for a while and someone I don't know had randomly mentioned Childlight in a conversation. I checked it out and made my to Dover one icy January weekend to take my first training with Meg!
Why are you interested in yoga & mindfulness for children?
As an educator of elementary school children and yoga practitioner, I had been working on developing ways to increase opportunities to merge both these passions. I see the living proof of the benefits of yoga in children and find joy in supporting children discover and deepen their yoga practice.
Can you tell us about your overall training experience with ChildLight? Any special details you wish to share?
I have to thank Meg for that very first training. I made my way to her training with a broken foot and a little trepidation about whether I would be able to handle the training that weekend. She made me feel so welcomed and supported all the adaptations I needed. Beyond that, with every class I have ever taken it has been such a pleasure to meet so many amazing people and grow my own practice and business with skills I acquired through ChildLight.
How are you applying what you learned with your community? What are you passionate about sharing?
Along with my business partner, we have created BALANCE4Kids yoga and developed a workshop program that shares yoga principals and practices with children and their families over an 8-week period to help promote resilience and social-emotional development. Over the past year and half, this program has grown so much that is being taught in surrounding communities and we were able to launch a facilitators training program so others can offer it as well. I am excited to share that we are being researched by a teaching university and have had support from our local district attorney's office.
What do you find to be the most beneficial yoga & mindfulness tools for the population that you work with these days?
Teaching children how to discover breath and begin to tune into how to use it is so amazing. Such a powerful tool. I think it is also important to acknowledge that a beneficial tool is the power of modeling what you want to see from them. As the mentor, it is so important for us to be fully present and to give children the space to talk to us and be heard, which may be the only opportunity they get that day.
Can you describe for us the most rewarding moment that you've had so far in your children's yoga teaching journey?
There are so many, yet my most heart-warming moment was when one of my yoga students, a child from the foster care system, proclaimed, "Hey, Yoga Teacher! I tell them I need yoga. It helps me and they need to sign me up again!" She has been an amazing example of how yoga benefits children both physically and emotionally. She went from being very overweight and placed in a resource room at school for anger, to a healthy glowing child of an average weight and fun loving demeanor. Her "village" of caring adults gets most of the credit for that, but her sense of self-advocacy in knowing she needs yoga amazes me.
Teri lives in Carver, MA with her husband and has two adult children that she adores. She teaches at Carver Elementary School and is co-founder of BALANCE4kids, LLC. Teri hold a master’s degree in education and is finishing a master’s certification in Trauma in Learning. With over 25 years’ experience working with children, it is exciting to combine her passion for educating children with her love of yoga.