I had the pleasure of meeting Sara last year at the National Kids’ Yoga Conference in Washington, DC. She had recently self-published Go Go Yoga for Kids, and her energy and spirit definitely impressed me. We have a shared passion for creating tools to help teachers, studios, and parents introduce yoga through play-filled movement, meditation, and mindfulness. Follow along as Backyard Yoga takes the time to get to know a little more about Sara and her book:
Read the full interview below:
BYY: Hi, Sara. Please tell the BYY community a little bit about yourself.
Sara: Kids, teaching, and yoga are definitely my passions. I am currently in my 17th year of being an elementary school teacher, as well as a kids’ yoga instructor and a busy mom of three.
I was able to put all of that into place with my recently-released book, Go Go Yoga for Kids. It is a complete and creative guide to using yoga with kids. This book was designed for parents, teachers, yoga instructors, counselors, and anyone who wants to introduce yoga through movement, mindfulness, and fun. It includes yoga games, pose illustrations, lesson plans, and many resources.
I have worked with kids the majority of my life, and I get a lot of my inspiration from my classroom students, my kids’ yoga students, and my own children.
BYY: When did yoga enter into your life?
Sara: I fell in love with yoga several years ago as a way to supplement my workout routine. At the time, I was training quite a bit for triathlons and half marathons. The hard training definitely took a toll on my body, and my weekly yoga class soon turned into my favorite workout of the week and the one I looked forward to most of all.
BYY: How did your focus on kids’ yoga evolve?
Sara: I became certified in teaching kids’ yoga because I wanted to have the knowledge for my school classroom, as recess and PE times were being reduced. I also loved all of the benefits that yoga brought on mentally and physically.
I loved my kids’ yoga training classes and knew at that moment that this was exactly what I was supposed to do. The one thing I found lacking from my training were the resources to make yoga really fun and engaging for kids, as well as lesson plans for those that wanted to use yoga with kids. At the time there was not much for kids’ yoga on the market for exactly what I wanted kids to experience and gain.
Kids are busy. They need to be moving. I wanted kids to have the benefit of the yoga poses, but also be actively engaged, getting their hearts pumping and having fun. I began to create kid-friendly lesson plans and themes to use with my students, such as Superhero Yoga, Lego Yoga, and trips to the ocean and jungle. They loved it and I was inspired to continue creating more and more fun yoga themes and challenges for kids.
BYY: I’m guessing this was the catalyst behind Go Go Yoga for Kids?
Sara: Yes, Go Go Yoga for Kids was developed as a way to share these lesson plans and resources so others could benefit. It didn’t happen overnight; it was months and months of planning, writing, and culminating all of my resources into an easy-to-follow guide.
BYY: What was your biggest hurdle in making this happen?
Sara: I definitely had “Mom guilt” with my own kids, as I felt like this was taking a lot of my limited extra time and energy. I don’t think my kids saw it that way, though. They are so proud of me for taking something from scratch and developing my passion. My entire family has supported me throughout this entire process.
BYY: As an entrepreneur myself, I also feel the “Mom guilt”. I find getting them involved helps. Did you find this?
Sara: Definitely. Each of my three kids has helped with Go Go Yoga for Kids. Either through being a guinea pig for my ideas, modeling poses, and even having my older daughters help with design and marketing. I know they have learned a lot along the way, and I have even seen them begin to develop their own ideas and products.
BYY: What is your vision for Go Go Yoga for Kids moving forward in 2017?
Sara: I am excited for 2017 and am in the final stages of developing my new Kids’ Yoga Challenge Pose Cards. They will be a great companion to the Go Go Yoga for Kids book. I will also continue to build partnerships with like-minded others such as Backyard Yoga. I am excited about the things that they have coming up as well. We are all better together and it is so much more fun!
BYY: How do you find time to play?
Sara: I love Backyard Yoga’s belief that you should make time to play every day, and I definitely practice that in my day-to-day life. It comes naturally from working with younger kids. My own family loves to be active and we often take our “play” outside with anything from hiking, a game of touch football, or jumping on our trampoline. Kids love it when adults get right in there with them.
BYY: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Sara. Now for the final question: If you could only teach your children 3 lessons, what would they be?
Sara: Compassion, mindfulness, and entrepreneurship. This pretty much sums up what I try to teach my kids in all that I do.
BYY: Thank you, Sara, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us here at our Backyard Yoga community. Wishing you the best in your business endeavors, your family ventures, and your personal undertakings. Namaste.