Presenter Spotlight: Cheryl Crawford

Cheryl Crawford
Grounded Kids

Cheryl Crawford Grounded

Cheryl Crawford, ERYT- 500, RCYT, B.S.Ed.,Yoga Teacher,  is a co-founder of Grounded which develops curriculum and trainings for kids yoga teachers, and is founder of the non-profit yoga service initiative Atlanta Yoga Movement which focuses on integrating yoga into schools throughout the metro Atlanta area.

Read our interview with Cheryl and join us at the National Kids Yoga Conference in September to hear more from her! Cheryl will offer a workshop in the School Yoga track entitled “Yoga at Your Locker, Yoga After Soccer.”

KYC: How long have you been teaching kids yoga? What inspired you to get started?

Cheryl: The winter of 2003, a fellow yogi called me up and said she was opening up a yoga studio and would build a room for me to teach kids. I found Marsha Wenig and trained with YogaKids a week later. That studio (Decatur Yoga) now has kids and teen classes each day of the week. I was  also inspired by my own kids desire to do what I was doing and to marry my love of yoga with my passion for classroom teaching. I met Amy Haysman a few months later at Marsha’s book signing, and we’ve been kids yoga teaching partners ever since.

KYC: Tell us about that one pivotal experience—the student, class or moment—that keeps you going even when your work gets challenging.

Cheryl: Last summer I taught yoga all summer, 4 hours a week to kids who’ve been traumatized. They shared that they were just fine being angry and sad and had no desire to laugh or find joy. I met them where they were, but did not keep them there. I had them locate anger and sadness in their body,  and over time introduced them slowly, but surely into headstands and handstands, chanting and laughter poses. One day, the giggles started and they were so surprised at what was coming out. They taught me that inversions and chanting shift everything. It’s not about being happy all the time, it’s about accepting how we feel in the present moment, and having the tools to move to a different state when we feel ready.

KYC: What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Cheryl: Witnessing kids and teens, kids and parents, kids and classroom teachers, teachers and administrators connect through movement and breathing~especially those who wouldn’t normally even look at each other.

KYC: What brings you the deepest joy in your own yoga practice and in sharing yoga with kids?

Cheryl: I love it all. Breathwork, chanting and meditation brings me to the most radiant, loving state. I love sharing my insights with kids and learning from them. I include my students innovations, ideas and inspirations in every aspect of my work.

KYC: What is your favorite yoga pose?

Cheryl: Triangle. Half Moon. Down Dog. I can’t pick just one. I have triplets, so my favorites come in groups of three. 🙂

KYC: Describe your vision for the future of kids yoga.

Cheryl: More yoga studios will create sacred havens for kids and teens. More schools will adopt yoga curricula for kids and teachers which will lead to the creation of full-time yoga teachers in schools. Parents, teachers and kids will practice yoga together to create positive energy in schools.  Kids Yoga Teachers will collaborate and connect with each other to create best practices and learn from each other.

Cheryl Crawford will be presenting at the first ever National Kids Yoga Conference in Washington, DC, on September 27. Click here to register for this groundbreaking event.

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