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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

First National Kids Yoga Conference to be held at GWU

Jul 29, 2014 02:34AM

This September, Alexandria-based nonprofit YoKid will be hosting the first National Kids Yoga Conference in partnership with the George Washington University School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.

Planning for this inaugural event began in the summer of 2013 at YoKid’s annual retreat. The staff and board members were separated into focus groups to brainstorm creative ideas for growing their mission of empowering kids and teens, cultivating peace, mindfulness, and self-awareness, fostering overall health and well-being, and educating and training adults on best practices of bringing yoga to kids and teens.

The word “conference” was written up on the board in front of the room when YoKid’s founders, Michelle Kelsey Mitchell and Ellie Burke, shared the exciting news that a conference site had been booked—YoKid would be hosting the first National Kids Yoga Conference.  Over the course of the year, YoKid has partnered with Lil Omm Yoga Studio in D.C. and assembled an amazing team of planners and volunteers.

YoKid maintains an active teacher pool of approximately 30 teachers, has trained more than 240 teachers and has facilitated over 4,620 kid’s yoga classes in D.C. area. Since their initiation in 2006, YoKid has more than doubled their numbers of programs annually. Now sprawling outside of the D.C. area, they aim to unite with their peers in the national kids yoga community—yoga teachers, educators, researchers, therapists, and parents—for the first time under one roof for a weekend of learning, collaboration, and support for each other in the important work of bringing yoga and mindfulness to kids all across the country.

The National Kids Yoga Conference team has divided the conference schedule by tracks: schools, business, research, tools and teens. The Teen Track, a highlight of the National Kids Yoga Conference, is designed to engage youth ages 13 to 17 with an inspiring day full of yoga and opportunities to advance their personal practice, as well as connect with the premier community of youth yoga practitioners. Attendees will discuss relevant topics like yoga, body image and self-esteem, hands-on applications for yoga in daily life, and the progression from teen yogi to yoga teacher. Engaging activities, including a circus yoga workshop and plenty of movement, are incorporated into this fun and educational Teen Track day.

Whether a yoga teacher or a school teacher, a therapist, a wellness practitioner, a researcher, a parent, or a teen—all will find useful information from more than 40 presenters from organizations and institutions that have been at the forefront of children’s yoga. Participants will learn about innovative approaches to yoga and mindfulness in schools and about new research on kid’s yoga. There will be an opportunity to explore a wealth of new tools to fuel one’s own teaching and business while networking with other professionals in the field.

The Kids Yoga Conference will be held on Saturday, September 27. For more information, a full schedule of events and speakers or to register, visit KidsYogaConference.org.

Althena Allread is a YoKid blogger and kids yoga teacher.

 

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