This workshop offers a space of refuge and nourishment for those of us who are constantly nurturing others. This experiential community practice is designed to meet social and emotional needs of professionals in the children and teen yoga and mindfulness teaching community, including educators and administrators.
In these tumultuous times, many in our community are either working overtime supporting schools and children, or suffering from loss of livelihood.
Let’s come together and share our inner resources for interpersonal connections and collective motivation to continue on our paths as helpers.
What is relational mindfulness? Practices that happen in connection and dialogue with others, in relationship. These practices involve mindful communication: deep listening, present moment awareness, non-judgement and compassion
Your contribution supports the National Kids Yoga Conference scholarship fund and the work of Peace In Schools a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a national leader in mindfulness education.
Workshop facilitated by Abby Wills
with special guest teachers Melissa Shah and Joanne Spence leading practices.
Abby Wills (MA, E-RYT) has dedicated over 20 years to integrating yoga + mindful practices for social emotional health into a wide diversity of school settings throughout Los Angeles and internationally.
She brings her expertise in developmental education along with her extensive studies in yoga + mindfulness to her work as a teacher and writer. She’s contributed to edutopia, Mind Body Green, and LA Yoga Magazine and her work has been featured with PBS and Yoga Journal.
Abby is Co-Founder and Program Director of Shanti Generation, a digital media company specializing in mindful yoga for early adolescents. She’s created top-selling teen programs including Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers.
Currently, Abby leads the mindful yoga practice program of Project Silver Lining for Barnsdall Arts. She also facilitates professional development for education professionals as a Movement, Mindfulness + Social Emotional Development Specialist with Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc.
Abby’s approach is informed by academic studies in social justice, trauma informed interventions and non-violent communication.
Originally from NYC, Melissa grew up in the public school system, and experienced firsthand the often lack of space for play and connection to self. She was fortunate enough to have yoga as a part of her family culture, and started practicing at an early age. This inspired her to study yoga more deeply in her 20s and begin teaching kids. Having taught kids yoga in all sorts of spaces, her favorite environment is in the classroom – in their daily habitat. Melissa strongly believes in adapting yoga to the individual and their environment, so that it can be a normalized part of their day and feel accessible to them. Her yoga teaching background is diverse, with training in various therapeutic traditions, prenatal, kids, and trauma. Melissa also holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy, which fuels her passion to serve causes that are making positive changes in population health.
Joanne Spence of Yoga in My School
Joanne Spence, MA, ERYT 500, is a recovering social worker and certified yoga therapist. She is the founder and executive director of Yoga in Schools. Joanne trains and teaches all sorts of amazing people, both nationally and internationally. She has taught yoga in prisons, hospitals, schools, churches, and sometimes on street corners. She specializes in working with adults and children who are experiencing chronic pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and insomnia. Joanne has co-authored several published articles and has contributed to Best Practices for Yoga in Schools (Yoga Service Council, 2015) and Stories of School Yoga: Narratives from the Field (Syracuse Press, 2019). Joanne likes nothing more than to demonstrate the inclusive nature of yoga practice; if you can breathe, you can do yoga. Since NKYC began in 2014, Joanne has been to all of them (with her kids) except one. She loves connecting to her other passionate kid’s yoga teachers and learning from her peers. Being on the
conference committee is a way to bring the longer view of the pioneering work that has paved the way for the children’s yoga movement to flourish.
Her first book, Trauma-Informed Yoga: A Toolbox for Therapists: 47 Simple Practices to Calm, Balance, and Restore the Nervous System, (PESI) will be available February, 2021. Visit her website at www.joannespence.com and www.yogainschools.org.