My Why

May 20, 2024

Lately I have been thinking of how I came up with teaching kid's yoga in the first place. I remember when I was certified with my first 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga training my nieces were about 2 years old.  I thought it would be fun to see what they could do or how some of the poses would look for them. I was surprised to see how much they engaged and wanted to try the poses and how well they did. They really inspired me and said they enjoyed it. Then after having my son Andrew a year later a lot changed for me as it does for all mothers. But I had more of an awakening towards living more authentically and simply. I had done a lot of work with my therapist for my own mental health as well and I just couldn't shake the idea of my son being at a daycare with strangers all day and them getting to know my son more than me since I was working full time as his sole provider. I have always been passionate about mental health and if you read up on it anywhere, statistics are showing an all time high in mental health issues growing especially since the pandemic. Our youth are especially suffering mostly due to increased access to the internet, social media and cell phones in general. How did we allow our kids to grow up so connected that now they are internally disconnected and cannot self regulate or know what is real or not real? So, the vision of Little Lions Yoga was born when I started taking courses for my Masters in mental health counseling.  I knew I wanted to work with domestic violence survivors or children, since I am passionate about both. I started then researching techniques used when helping chidren out clinically and learned so much about our nervous system and de-regulation and how our bodies remember and learn to survive on autopilot or by creating suometimes many different "parts" to survive. I also started looking into how many children's yoga classes were offered in my area and was surprised to find not so many. As I called and asked schools, friends that have their kids in schools and my own neighbors, they too said it just wasn't a popular thing to be offered. I have since then connected with more children's yoga teachers but still identified the need to have more and offer more classes and not just to children but to moms and their kids or even family yoga events where all could connect. Why not! So I started in my local community with free classes and I was not surprised to find out that I really enjoyed teaching our local youth. I still love teaching adults too, but children are on a different level. They are so curious and flexible and take chances and it's beautiful to see how yoga makes them happy and connected.  We need more of this for our youth now.  Our world is changing and although we have always had political discords, and wars, and environmental changes, all of these are changing much more reapidaly AND we have access to news and information (sometimes misinformation) so much quicker! Our children may also be susceptible to learning flight or fight survival from us parents since we live on a schedule and chase the clock and rush them to events and school and all the things! Yoga has allowed me to connect more with my son on a different level.  We appreciate the outdoors so much more now as well. I have a long term goal to expand LLY from teaching at schools to eventually creating an enrichment program that combines yoga/mindfulness and nature experience together.  Where children can learn to appreciate and love the enviroment and use what we have outdoors to learn and create and be playful.  My goal is to give my own son more time outdoors and education around animals, growing plants and food and discovering how rich life can be with less, because this too it yoga. My goal not just for Andrew but for other children that may come across my program is to extend their youth a little bit longer by exposing them early to tools that will help them cope and self-regulate way before they need to use them and hope that they can pass that along.  So I ask you parents, lets be the generation that does less, puts our phones down more, intentionally look at our children and see what they really need and eliminate all that is extra and unneccesary. This vision has helped me raise a happy child so far. One that is in touch with my every move and look.  Watching him grow up outdoors and ask for yoga time before bed, makes me happy and gives me hope that he will have all that he needs to someday overcome whatever may come his way.