Name: Athena Allread

How long have you been teaching for YoKid? 7 months

Where do you teach & what age(s) are your students? Currently teaching 3-5 and 5-10 year old kids classes at Mind the Mat studio, summer camp and family classes, and teaching elementary K-5th at Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy and George Mason… Oh and I share my practice with my 7 year old son Kai (and my husband) at home, in the park, at the beach, wherever we are 🙂

What is your favorite part about teaching for YoKid? I leave {almost} every class feeling energized.  I feel like a kid myself, and it’s infectious.  And I’m so so very honored to be working with such a progressive group and such visionaries and Michelle and Ellie.

Why do you think yoga is important for kids? For a lot of my classes I work with the YoKid Sutra translations for kids.  We’ll do our fun asanas and games, etc. but we’ll discuss a sutra and deal with things like Sutra 2.33 translation “when you’re having bad feelings, try feeling good ones instead.” We talk about love, loving ourselves, and our world, peace, clarity, things that aren’t typically stressed in school.  Yoga presents a platform for kids to slow down, tune out and tune in, listen to their own voice and bodies creating a mind-body-universe connection. To me, this is one small step toward changing the world.

What is your most memorable YoKid class/moment? Recently there was a fly in my 3-5 year old class. This little fly was so interesting to the kids that they almost forgot they were in yoga class… So I suggested that we “teach” the fly our asanas, and joked throughout the class that he was giving them kisses and trying to help them balance in tree… The class was filled with giggles… we had a blast!

Anything else you’d like to add? I just finished teaching the first YoKid Peaceful Warriors summer camp at Mind the Mat in Alexandria.  It was an absolutely amazing experience. I didn’t know what to expect, consciously went in with no expectations and maybe a slight fear of 4 hour days. My typical class is 45 minutes! BUT the time sped by.  We had so much fun with asana practice, our favorite kid pranayamas, delicious snacks, art making, yama and niyama sketchbook activities, and movement games at the end of each day had us all leaving in giggles.  Best of all my son Kai shared the experience with us and I received and A+ from him. I’m looking forward to doing it all again next summer!