Meet the Teacher – Jen Griest Hayes
Jen Griest Hayes helps with curriculum and instruction for ZENworks Yoga. She also teaches in our classrooms, and has experience as a special education teacher.
What inspired you to become a children’s yoga teacher?
As a classroom teacher and intervention specialist, I noticed a need for tools and activities that my students could use for self-regulation and emotion management, as well as a need to move more throughout the day. I had practiced yoga off and on for many years and knew that the breathing techniques and self-awareness that it brought to me were very helpful. After learning more, I fell in love with the idea that yoga (and mindfulness practices) can meet people where they are – at any age, ability, or station in life.
What is one of your favorite classroom memories as a ZENworks instructor?
There are too many good moments to pick just one! Overall, I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a smile and feeling excitement from both students and teachers about what we are doing. They all seem to know that the time we spend together is going to result in feeling good and having a more positive outlook on the day.
What is your favorite yoga practice and why?
My favorite yoga practice is any version of pigeon and/or half-moon pose. I love the feeling of challenge and openness all at the same time!
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