Excited to introduce you to Claire! She's the main kids yoga teacher you'll see at Yoga Pod Lowry as well their childcare support. Go on in and see her and give your kids a chance to experience yoga and Claire's beautiful big smile and huge heart! Follow her and her kids and adult yoga efforts at https://www.facebook.com/eclipseyogamindfulness/.
Tell us a little about yourself (hometown, basic background, experience with kids, do you have a family, current work environment). I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, completed a Bachelor’s in Science at Colorado State University and returned to Denver as the Youth & Family Programs Director at the Schlessman Family YMCA. In April of this year, I resigned from that position to pursue a career teaching yoga. I currently teach toddler, family, postnatal, caregiver and me and special needs yoga across the Denver Metro Area. In September of this year, my husband, Rodolfo, will be returning home from his enlistment with the US Marine Corps. In addition to our families in Denver, we have two fur-babies: a dog, Athena, and a cat, Mister.
Tell us about what initially interested you about taking a kids yoga teacher training? What was your intention with this training? Like all great things, this training entered my life unexpectedly and exactly when it needed to. A couple years ago, I began to incorporate yoga asana into youth curriculum at the YMCA, this facilitated an opportunity for partnership with Suzanne of Young Yokes and the YMCA. This partnership facilitated my transition in to my yoga career – taking on teaching youth and special populations yoga full time. With my personal journey into this training, it is my intention to meld my enthusiasm for youth development with my understanding of yoga asana and pranayama to equip youth of all abilities with fun and engaging techniques for movement and enjoying life.
How have you found the experience of learning how to teach kids yoga? Learning to teach youth yoga has been incredibly fun! This journey speaks to my purpose in life in a fulfilling and enjoyable way – the profound impact on the individuals I serve and the community I connect with has been humbling and inspiring. It is my honor and pleasure to learn, grow and contribute to this work.
What have been your biggest take-aways? My greatest take away from teaching youth yoga has been to see how relatable and accessible yoga has become to those who need it the most. Watching youth retain and use the techniques taught in these classes off the mat has been inspiring and motivating. Also, the bonds formed from caregiver and me yoga scenarios (family, postnatal, special needs, etc) is sweet to witness and facilitate.
Where are you currently teaching kids yoga and how has taking a training supported you in your class offerings? I am currently teaching at YogaPod Lowry, on behalf of Young Yokes, teaching Toddler Yoga, School Age Yoga and Family Yoga. I also teach at the Littleton Family YMCA, offering Special Needs Yoga in both a Caregiver & Me setting as well as a group class for impacted individuals. This training has provided me with a quality offering for different locations as well as connected me to fantastic opportunities. I look forward to expanding these programs and reaching new communities that welcome Youth Yoga. What do you want to teach most to young people and how do you get your intention across in a classroom setting? What take aways do you want young people to leave your class with? What brings you back each week to teach kids yoga? My primary goals in teaching youth yoga is to provide individuals with body awareness/motor skills as well as coping mechanisms to use both on and off the mat. Intrinsically, my classes value community and connection, cultivated through a welcoming, engaging and inclusive environment. The joy in success each student shares keeps me coming back, excited to teach, learn and engage with my favorite populations. It never feels like a ‘job’; this is the good work – I am honored to do it.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share with others thinking about enrolling their kids in a yoga class OR taking a kids yoga teacher training to teach themselves? Everything is intentional and everything is related – what I love most about learning to teach youth yoga is seeing how it is all connected to everything else I had experienced in a caregiving role. Proprioception development, fine motor definition, calming techniques, problem solving, socialization skills, role play, creative understanding… the list goes on. It is all crucial to youth development, and is all present and incorporated in youth yoga classes.
**Originally Posted 5.28.18