Yoga Awareness Month: Kids Yoga
September is International Yoga Awareness Month, which means each episode this month will feature different practices and practitioners of yoga to share with you how and what yoga is a transformative self care practice. Ashley Ray is the founder of Habitat Yoga, a specialist in kids yoga, partnering with schools, libraries, and community centers throughout Middle Tennessee to bring yoga and meditation classes to preschoolers through teenagers. She shares her passion for kids yoga, growing up in a single parent household, regulating her anxiety and perfectionism, what to expect in a kids yoga class, developing and sharing self-regulation, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practices with children and how these practices show up in the lives of the children she works with.
Ashley Ray has been teaching yoga to adults and since 2013. After gaining her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification, Ashley completed specialty training in hot yoga, vinyasa yoga, and kids yoga. With a wide range of experience in various styles of yoga, Ashley customizes each class to her students' needs and goals, catering to a variety of levels. Incorporating some light-hearted humor, motivating guidance, and a technical focus on postures, Ashley creates balanced, yet challenging, classes that encourage students to trust and explore the strength and flexibility of their body.
Ashley's favorite classes involve working with children from preschool through high school. Known for her positive attitude and upbeat energy, Ashley engages the children in developmentally appropriate poses, games, discussions and lessons. Her knowledge of yoga principles, fitness and alignment provides a strong foundation to teach and inspire young minds. After years of teaching kids yoga, Ashley created the Habitat Kids Yoga Teacher Training and now trains new kids yoga teachers throughout the country.
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Topics Discussed in this Episode
- What to expect in a kids yoga class
- How to invite mindfulness, meditation, and yoga as practices with children
- The value of play with innovation
- Navigating anxiety and perfection
- Avoiding discomfort by eating, studying more, playing video games, people pleasing
- Being prescribed a yoga practice to manage anxiety during college
- The value of yoga in schools and working with teachers