Category: National Kids Yoga Conference

What a Weekend! An Inside Peek at the National Kids Yoga Conference

Go Go Yoga for Kids was thrilled to be a part of of the 4th annual National Kids Yoga Conference (NKYC) which is held in the Washington DC area each Fall. This year the conference was held in Alexandria, VA, which is a quick 15-minute metro ride or car ride from Reagan National Airport.

This conference is designed for adults to bring yoga and mindfulness to our next generation. This is done through sponsors, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and vendors.

This year was a bit different for me for a couple of reasons compared to last year’s  NKYC conference. First I was a sponsor and vendor which allowed me to have a different experience and perspective.

 

I also traveled completely on my own from Des Moines, Iowa, by plane, train (metro), and automobile (Uber). This truly allowed me to have an appreciation for different opportunities to try new things.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet and connect with so many different people from all over the US, Canada, and beyond. It made my weekend to hear the positive comments from others who have used our resources with the Go Go Yoga for Kids Guide, the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards or had taken one of our Kids Yoga 101 online courses.

It was an incredible feeling to be able to put real faces with names and hear about how they were using it with children. Hearing their stories really made all of the time, effort, and energy all worthwhile.

Teresa Power, the brain and energy behind International Kids Yoga Day is just as amazing and kind in person.

I loved meeting with the founder of International Kids Yoga Day, Teresa Power. I have been a yoga ambassador with this incredible event for the past two years. She amazes me with how much she has done to introduce yoga to children all over the year. She has also been a big supporter of Go Go Yoga for Kids so it was wonderful to actually meet in person.

 

Susan Verde and I agreed that we are definitely fans of one another’s work.

Susan Verde, bestselling author of I am Yoga, was also there with her beautiful new book, I am Peace. She is the true example of bringing yoga and mindfulness to children in kid-friendly ways. Susan has also so kind to appreciate Go Go Yoga for Kids from our very beginning.

The people at NKYC are the real deal as they are kind, caring and inspiring. The breakout sessions are amazing, but it is truly about connecting with one another.

It made my heart happy to be surrounded by so many individuals that truly care about children and strive to give them the tools and techniques to be calm, mindful, and healthy leaders for our future.

My friend, Kerry Wekelo, founder of Zendoway and her amazing daughter, Aubrey showing off some partner poses.

You might also like: Quick Takeaways from the National Kids Yoga Conference.

National Kids Yoga Conference Coming Your Way

I am so excited to return to Washington DC in just a few weeks for the National Kids Yoga Conference.  Last year was my first time attending this event and I left connected,  inspired, and energized to continue introducing children to yoga.

Just a year ago,  Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga with Kids had just been released and I was nervous yet excited to share it with other fellow kids yoga teacher enthusiasts.

I will never forget how I tentatively pulled it out of my bag and shared it briefly during a relevant breakout session. It is definitely the introvert in me as well as probably my mid western roots, but I often feel uncomfortable talking about myself. I had worked hard on this book, yes, and it was everything that I would have wanted to know and have when I first started teaching yoga to children. I just didn’t want it to be about me.

A wise friend once reminded me, it is not about me, it is about sharing something with others that can truly help them. I do truly have others’ best interests in mind and absolutely believe this book and other resources can truly benefit and help others, adults and kids, enjoy the fun and benefits of yoga.

The kids yoga community is kind. I heard several times at the NKYC conference how there is enough room for everyone and everything. We are all working together to help spread the joy, fun, and benefits of yoga to children.

While I am thinking of kindness, one incredible person jumps to mind instantly, Kerry Wekelo of Zendoway. We met at the National Kids Yoga Conference last year and she has the biggest heart and giving spirit that comes completely naturally and just ebbs from her.

Zendoway is a sponsor for NKYC this year and has invited Go Go Yoga for Kids to be a part of it as well.

My plane ticket is bought, my books and kids yoga pose cards are ready to share, and I can’t wait to learn and connect with others.

 

Inspire Your Young Yogi Bears with Erin Leach

If there is one person you could definitely entrust with teaching your young little kiddos about kindness, fun, and yoga; it would definitely be Erin Leach of Mama Bear Yoga.

Erin is the founder of Mama Bear Yoga which provides a safe space for all children to be themselves and for their caregivers to connect with them in that moment. By incorporating basic tenets of yoga, such as breathing, mindfulness, and affirmation, Mama Bear Yoga helps lay the groundwork for happy, healthy, and balanced children who will grow into happy, healthy, and balanced adults.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erin last Fall at the National Kids Yoga Conference in Washington D.C.  I was new to the area and when I found out that this midwestern gal would need to take the  city subway to get around, I had a more than a slight raise of of my heartrate.

Then along came Erin.  Admittedly, I pretty much chased her down in our hotel lobby to ask if she was also going to the Kids Yoga Conference. I do pride myself on a pretty good judge of character and she seemed like someone I could definitely trust. The fact that she was also carrying a yoga mat didn’t hurt matters as fellow yoga enthusiasts tend to be pretty friendly.

Erin navigated me through the underground mysteries of the Subway system, had incredible patience and taught me well. If she is this good with adults, imagine how she is with toddlers and preschoolers.

Many things impressed me about Erin, but as you read this interview, you will also see what a true gift she is to children and I am so excited for you to get to know her.

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GGYfK:  How did you first get interested in being a kids yoga instructor? It seems like such a natural fit for you.

Erin: I have been practicing yoga myself since I was in college, and it has been so beneficial for me, both physically and emotionally. In my first career as an elementary school teacher and counselor, I used yoga informally all the time with my students, and I saw firsthand how beneficial it was for them. When I attended my first official kids’ yoga training, I wasn’t planning on becoming an instructor. My plan was to get renewal credits toward my counseling license and maybe learn some fun yoga-related activities to do with my own children at home, but after the first evening, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. Teaching kids yoga just made sense and felt right to me. I took more trainings and became certified to teach and the rest is history!

GGYfK: We are so glad that you decided that! How did the name Mama Bear yoga originate?

Erin:  One of my favorite yoga poses that I learned in my ChildLight Yoga training is “Baby Bear.” It looks like Happy Baby, but you rock side to side and sing the words “baby bear” as you are doing it. It is so sweet to see mamas and their little ones practicing Baby Bear pose together. Once when I  was telling the some friends this story, we all  knew at once it had to be Mama Bear Yoga!

 GGYfK:Why did you decide to focus on the younger kids?

Erin: I have always had a passion for teaching young children. I was a first grade teacher for many years; however, I think a big part of why I chose to focus on this age group as a yoga teacher is because this was the age of my own children when I first got started. I could really relate to toddlers and preschoolers because I had two of my own at home, and I was going through many of the same experiences as the moms who were bringing their children to my classes. Kids at this young age say the funniest things and always liven up any situation.

GGYfK:Tell us about one of these memorable or funny experiences while teaching kids yoga!

Erin: Oh my goodness–I have a running list of funny things kids have said at yoga class. I walk away from every class I teach with at least one memorable quote! One of my favorite toddler-isms that seems to be almost universal happens when I teach them the word “namaste.” Even in toddler class, we close our practice by singing “namaste,” and every time, at least one or two of the children sing “Mama-stay.” I think it is so sweet, and it amazes me that all toddlers seem to do it!

GGYfK: That is so sweet! I love that story. What is one thing that all parents/caregivers should do with or know about kids at this age?

Erin: Toddlers and preschoolers are pretty unpredictable. You never really know how they are going to react (or when they are going to have a meltdown), especially in new situations. Aparigraha is a yoga term that means “non-attachment,” and I think that this practice is so important when you are a parent. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t form an attachment with your toddler–obviously a strong and secure parent-child bond should be established early in life (and you can strengthen this bond by practicing yoga together!). What I mean is that you cannot attach yourself to their behavior. When they are having a meltdown in the grocery store or they are in yoga class refusing to participate or they are displaying any sort of challenging behavior, you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you cannot control their behavior. You CAN, however, control how you respond to it. Many times, this little pause is all it takes to help you resolve the situation smoothly.

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As you can tell, Erin, is very knowledgeable about this young age and cares deeply about inspiring young kids and really making a difference in their lives. Stay with us as Erin shares with us some of her tried and true lesson ideas for using yoga with these young ages of kids. You will not want to miss it!

 

National Kids Yoga Conference Recap 2016

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Checking into NKYC with my new friend, Erin Leech, of Mama Bear Yoga.

Kids Yoga is on the move! The 3rd National Kids Yoga conference just wrapped up in Washington D.C. Nearly 200 yoga teachers, educators, mental health professionals and parents gathered for a weekend of professional development, connecting and inspired.

Inspired and energized we were! Attendees could choose from a variety of sessions based on the topics of yoga in the school, current research, tools to use, yoga as a business and even a teen track.

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Donna Freemen of Yoga in My School

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Jodi Komitor of Next Generation Yoga

These women, along with many others, have been trendsetters with Kids Yoga for many years.  I loved how they were approachable, authentic and friendly they were to all.  They not only inspired and empowered us with their knowledge, but they were so complimentary and supportive of one another. More thoughts on this and NKYC to come!

Registration for the National Kids Yoga Conference is already open for 2017.  Go Go Yoga Kids plans to be there and is already mapping out possible presentation ideas! Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. I would love to help you get plugged into the excitement and rewarding journey of kids yoga!

Quick Takeaways from the National Kids Yoga Conference

National Kids Yoga Conference 2016

Whew…what a weekend! Kids Yoga is absolutely on the move. You can just feel tnkyc-2016he excitement and creative energy mounting. The 3rd National Kids Yoga Conference just wrapped up in Washington D.C. and Go Go Yoga Kids got to be a part of it.

Nearly 200 yoga teachers, educators, mental health professionals and parents gathered for a weekend of professional development, connecting and inspiration.

We just wanted to get a few quick takeaways out. Stay tuned for more!

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“It’s kids yoga. Not adult yoga. Let kids be kids.” Jodi Komitor of Next Generation Yoga

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“Let others know they matter.” Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run.

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“Its ok to be successful.”  Shari Vilchez-Blatt, Karma Kids Yoga

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“Keep it fun. Keep it Yoga.” Shakta Khalsa, Radiant Child Yoga

National Kids Yoga Conference….Here We Come!

Go Go Yoga Kids will soon be headed to Washington DC for the National Kids Yoga Conference held September 30th-October 2, 2016. We can hardly wait for NKYC! National Kids Yoga Conference button

It will be a weekend filled with all of the movers, shakers, authors, teachers, and instigators of kids yoga. There will be so much to learn, experience and take away from these great leaders. Perfect for parents, teachers and anyone who loves kids and yoga.

Will any of you fellow readers be there? If so, I would love to connect with you! If you can’t make it, no worries, Go Go Yoga Kids has you covered!

Go Go Yoga Kids will have special daily updates during NKYC and giveaways from the conference JUST for you. Would you like to be part of this inner circle of NKYC news and takeaways for the weekend?

If so, send an e-mail to sara@gogoyogakids.com with the subject line  “I’m In!” and we will put you in our exclusive group to recieve the latest, greatest and the insider’s scoop on NKYC.

 

 

 

Headed Your Way: National Kids Yoga Conference

Go Go Yoga Kids: Empower Kids for Life is on the go! We are headed in September to National Kids Yoga Conference buttonWashington D.C. for the National Kids Yoga Conference. It will be an amazing event filled with inspiration and knowledge about bringing yoga to the next generation. Go Go Yoga Kids is all about that!

The National Kids Yoga Conference will include a balanced weekend of keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, networking, and yoga practice.

  • Using yoga in the school
  • Resources and tools for yoga
  • Yoga research

We can’t wait! All of this knowledge will help us all continue to empower kids for life through yoga and I can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned!

Have you gotten your copy of the #1 New Release on Amazon? Get your copy of Go Go Yoga Kids now.

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