“I arrived at the first morning of the Foundations Training with wild eyes and a racing heart after my forty-five minute drive turned into an hour when my loyal GPS decided to go haywire within a mile of the yoga studio. I entered to the soothing voice of Sue Beres, bursting with enthusiasm and compassion. Almost before I had fully rolled out my mat and while I was still cognitively anticipating an introductory circle share, Sue had turned me into my eager, silly five year old self as she warmly welcomed us. She then slid seamlessly into reading a picture book and, before I had a chance to second guess myself, I was a giddy nit-picking chimp along with my giggling adult co-learners.
During the course of this introduction class-within-a-class, I listened, I imagined, I thought, I laughed, I moved my body in all different ways, I saw and smiled at the other ‘kids,’ and by the end I felt energetic and joyful and calm. This felt like home to me. The books, the invitation to be silly, to work together, to pretend. My mother worked as both a kindergarten teacher as well as a dance and creative movement teacher. This is how she played with us and read to us and how she encouraged us to be creative. Somewhere along the way to a “grown-up career”, I got the message that being playful or moving creatively is not important. Being introduced to the unique aspects of YogaKids as a ‘kid’ reminded me how important these things are for learning, for connecting, and for knowing yourself.”
“I attended the March 2018 Foundations course in New Buffalo, MI taught by Sue Beres. It was an inspiring weekend. I have had very limited Yoga experience and was attending the course because I am an occupational therapist who has heard of the benefits of Yoga to assist students with focus and body control. Yoga is also considered an evidence based practice. I wanted to learn more and utilize what I learned with my students and with my children (3 very busy boys).
Sue was an excellent instructor and her background as an educator was extremely helpful with ways to apply the material into the school setting that I work in. I loved how the class was very engaging and physically involved (modeling and demonstrating what we learned). I was impressed with how connected our group of women became through the course. YogaKids is a program that merges yoga with a solid educational foundation. I was so excited by what I learned that I came back to work at my preschool setting and convinced a preschool teacher and the speech therapist to attend the August 2018 training so that we can create yoga sessions for our at risk preschool/early childhood setting.
The Niles Education Foundation has awarded us a $1000 grant to implement a YogaKids program at the school. I truly believe in the merits of the YogaKids program and am excited to learn more. The pieces I have added to my therapy sessions have made the kids engage in physical motor patterns that they were reluctant to mimic in the past. YogaKids has assisted with making my therapy sessions more fun. I am not sure where I will be going with the YogaKids Certification, but my adventure is just beginning and I am excited to learn more.”
“When I enrolled in the Foundation Training I really only had the initial thought that I needed more lesson plan ideas. I was hired this year at a charter school grades K-9. I have always been interested in the effects yoga would have on children. As a school counselor, I discovered I was working with many kids with emotional regulation issues, anger issues, and behavior challenges. Having practiced yoga for some years now, I have felt the personal benefits it can provide.
The tools we learned in the training were so varied and targeted to teaching and education in general. Having worked in many schools over the years, I have always felt that the physical education component was been somehow detrimental. Kids are often judged on their, ability, bodies, and looks. PE class can be absolutely brutal for many kids. The yoga format somehow levels the playing field and promotes both body acceptance and mindfulness. It also is a way for kids to connect to other kids in a kinder more accepting framework.
I honestly had no intention of moving to Level 2 and 3. But through the course of the weekend it began to really click with me how beneficial yoga can be to kids. It is not just a “class” to teacher or one lesson plan to prepare. It may actually be the moments that a lonely child feels safe and connected to others. I am blessed to work in a school and have been given the opportunity to create that for a child.”
“This weekend was most rewarding and enriching. Marsha Wenig and Yoga Kids International somehow took everything I am passionate about, my values and interests — music, art, creativity, imagination, movement, language, community, environment, nature, health, expansion, vitality… and sorted them out, flipped them around and pieced them together into these beautiful fourteen Elements, the core and practice of YogaKids. Brilliant!
It was my privilege to meet Sara. She is a wonderful person and trainer, a beautiful human being, very unrehearsed and natural. Interesting and interested. Very knowledgeable and easy to listen to. Her passion for peace and happiness and progression shines from her. She has a fierce energy – she had us moving and singing and sharing, in lively and interesting ways, for two days. Her infectious smile and energy, vibration and kindness, was constant motivation and inspiration. To ask questions and to make mistakes, to be creative and to be expressive, to try new things… Sara shared many personal stories and real life scenarios with compelling messages, affecting and thought-provoking. I carry with me, today, pieces of Sara’s song and journey. Beautiful!
The second day’s learning was more self-directed – a wonderful and needed opportunity to practice and design our own live YK class. An opportunity for small groups to share resources and strengths and create and develop a mind map and working theme. Watching Sara teach the previous day allowed space for me to make sense of the information I was learning and see it in action. Invaluable. Training concluded, with us circled and connected, in moments of reflection. I think we all left That Yoga Spot with a sense of having learned something new and valuable for ourselves and for our work and community. For always.
Immeasurable, the confidence I take away from this YogaKids Foundations Training. Especially as I branch out and begin meeting new people and beings, as I make greater connections and begin teaching on my own and sharing the delight of my own discoveries, truths and practice. The peacefulness and the imaginative exhilaration of living . Of loving. Of LIFE. Utterly grateful. Not only did I have opportunity to learn many new ideas and philosophies about sharing yoga with kids, but I also had opportunity to meet and know the ever-positive and inspiring Sara Hastings-Morris, and other curious and creative earth students, from all walks of life. I leave hungry. To learn sooooo much more. And deepen the meaning of my own practice and direction. I, wholeheartedly, accept and apply the wonderful changes YogaKids brings to my life. My wholehearted Thank You.”
“I’ll start with one quote from the famous world writer Fyodor Dostoevsky: ‘The soul is healed when you are with children.’ That is how I felt, healed, during my two days training, on the 2nd and 3rd of December, in a wonderful hamlet place, Port Washington, NY. This training was an awakening for my teaching soul. I had no idea how to make kids yoga so engaging. After taking the course, I now feel confident that I can lead a yoga class that kids will love and appreciate. The training allowed me to integrate the skills into my body, mind and spirit in the most fun way imaginable.”
“This weekend was mind-blowing amazing. I have never walked away from a weekend feeling more inspired by the women around me and the YogaKids program itself. For me, it was heart opening to be around women who think like me when it comes to children. That they SHOULD be aloud to be kids.,. Play,.. Be silly… Laugh HARD. I actually signed up before the weekend to continue this program. I knew in my heart this was calling my name. It is combining all my talents and creativity and my love for children. I love this program and I feel extremely blessed/grateful/lucky to have entered this new journey. Thank you for opening up my world to be a better mom and person.”
“As a public educator to students with special needs, I see the benefits of the YogaKids’ daily practice to aid students in cultivating a calm and focused presence. I am inspired by the Foundation training because I’ve experienced the benefits of yoga. As well, the science behind Marsha’s work can aid in encouraging the general population to try it and be open to yoga. Specifically, in this period of time that we live in where everyone — but mostly minds who are open to begin new habits — can benefit from yoga. Good habits for life can begin when we are young and the design of YogaKids is a wonderful way to plant the seeds of a healthy mind and body.”
“Foundations was a wonderful experience! I was considering yoga as a profession but unsure before Foundations. I knew specializing in a niche market was important, but had never worked with children. I attended Foundations to ‘test the waters.’ After the amazing instruction and advice from trainer Kim Vulinovic, bonding with the wonderful women who also attended, and learning YKI is a progressive, solid company, I knew this was right for me!”
“I felt that incorporating yoga into what I do as a speech-language pathologist was something that could open so many doors for the children who I work with. I researched different yoga programs and came across YogaKids. It looked like the best program out there, so I signed up for the Foundations course. It was an incredible experience.
I had never seen a yoga class for children in action, so it was very eye opening- it is MUCH different than an adult class! Krista, our trainer, was so knowledgeable and inspiring, and watching her teach a class was very helpful! The 14 YogaKids Elements provided a framework to teach a class to all kids of learners, whether that be visual, tactile, auditory or kinaesthetic. Having the opportunity to work with the other participants in the course was very educational as well, since there were women there who were teachers and mothers who brought different ideas and perspectives to the group.
I had already signed up to complete my advanced training when I registered for the Foundations course, and I am glad that I did. I still feel that I can incorporate yoga into how I work with children with speech-language needs, particularly those with diagnoses like Autism and other self-regulatory challenges to help and guide them towards being the best communicators that they can be!”