What do you love the most about the Oakville community?
I love how the Oakville community is well-connected, supportive, welcoming and diverse.
Why did you decide to become a kids yoga teacher?
I have always had a connection to yoga and kids. Being an elementary teacher, I practiced yoga during gym class and noticed the difference it made in both physical and mental abilities. I love how kids can enjoy a connection between their minds and bodies. Being a yoga teacher allows me to bring together my two passions teaching children and practicing yoga. I have received four certifications in yoga to deepen my understanding of the benefits of yoga. I have my certifications in kids and families yoga, postnatal yoga, 200 hours and kids yoga for special needs.
What achievements are you the most proud of?
I have always pursued goals that I am enthusiastic about. Some of my accomplishments are working for the United Nations in New York, being a teacher, receiving a Masters in Education and being a business owner.
How can yoga benefit children?
Yoga brings flexibility, co-ordination, self-regulation, focus, compassion for your self and others and improvement in academic, social and mental abilities. There is both scientific research and best practice about how yoga supports the brain, reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep and is positive for overall health and wellness. (The Science of Yoga Ed.)
What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
My favourite yoga pose is the Pigeon Pose. It allows the hips to get a deep stretch and its variance allows one to get so much from this posture, from activating different body parts to being passive and melting into your mat.
What is the biggest misconception when it comes to practicing yoga?
People often relate yoga to practicing Hinduism or Buddhism, although it is rooted in ancient philosophy and teachings, yoga is a practice of the science of the mind, body and spirit. Another misconception about yoga is that people think you need to be flexible. Yoga is about stretching your mental, physical and spiritual horizons and it does not look the same for everyone as our bodies and minds are what makes us unique. You can begin yoga at any level and take it to where it serves you best.
What types of classes will you be offering at your new studio?
I am very excited about the opportunities of the classes being offered at the studio. There will be kids yoga classes from (ages 5-12) combined with storytelling, art, crafting and music. Family yoga classes where families can move and relax with each other. Toddler classes accompanied with a parent from (ages 2-4). Post-natal classes from (ages 6 weeks-24 months) where moms can bring baby to get back into moving and stretching after baby and bond at the same time. I will also be offering yoga for special needs kids. There will be yoga camps, yoga workshops and eventually it is my goal to have prenatal yoga classes soon!
What can someone expect at their first class?
Your first class is about getting to know you and why you love yoga and finding that connection. Along with the environment being welcoming, nurturing and comfortable, you will find creativity, yoga games and activity, breathing exercises, storytelling and most of all fun!
Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to open Once Upon a Mat.
I am a graduate of Political Science from York University and hold a Master of Science in Education from Medaille College. I have completed my yoga training from Rainbow Kids Yoga, Radiant Child Yoga, Toronto Yoga Mamas and Karma Teachers. I have been teaching yoga to kids and families for 3 years across studios, communities and schools. I am devoted about developing yoga and mindfulness within the curriculum for learners of all ages which is why I have developed a program and trained over 100 teachers in how they can incorporate yoga and mindfulness in schools. I am a qualified and experienced Primary, Junior, Montessori and Special Education Teacher. I had been working in the Oakville community for the past 4 years at a private school and after seeing the affects and benefits of yoga, it had been my dream to create a kids yoga studio where children can connect with their bodies, where they can relax, where they can express themselves, be creative and bond with their families. This studio is the first of its kind not only in the Oakville community but in the GTA. Once Upon a Mat is a nurturing yoga studio for kids and families.
In addition to yoga classes what else are you offering the community?
Once Upon a Mat will be offering teacher training for educators on how to bring yoga and mindfulness in their classrooms, school programs for lunch-time yoga, yoga themed birthday parties, hosting author meet and greets, nutrition and well-being educational classes for kids and families and crafting workshops. Once Upon a Mat is also going to be a space for yoga retails items that are unique and accessible to kids and families to enhance their yoga experience.
Interested in checking out the space for yourself? Incia is hosting a Grand Opening Party at Once Upon a Mat on October 7th from 3PM-6PM, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was written in partnership with Once Upon a Mat