We love when we can take you behind the scenes of our in-school yoga and wellness programs, so we are starting a series where we introduce you to our teachers who are spreading mindfulness in the classroom. Meet Haleigh Curlis! Haleigh began yoga teacher training planning to teach adults, but quickly decided she wanted to share yoga and wellness with children.
What inspired you to become a children’s yoga teacher?
After experiencing how yoga and mindfulness benefited my life in so many aspects, I naturally wanted to share these tools with other people around me. I completed a YTT program with the intention of teaching adults but, after some reflection, realized my favorite lessons throughout training were based upon teaching yoga to children. These tools helped me as an adult navigate and heal from my childhood trauma. Why not bring these tools to children and encourage peace, joy, and healing through they difficulties they may be dealing with today? The earlier we learn these skills the sooner we can use them. After reading about ZENworks Yoga and its mission, it warmed my heart and I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of this community.
What is one of your favorite classroom memories as a ZENworks instructor?
This question is difficult for me because there have been so many special moments during the last few years! Mainly it has just been a feeling I get when I see the overall transformation in the students by the end of the program. It’s indescribable. If I have to put something in words I always love to hear a student explain how he/she has shared the practice with friends and family. I remember a few months into my first year a 1st grader came up to me before class and said over the weekend her sister was very upset and would not stop crying. She said she did breathing exercises with her and she calmed down and took a nap. It was in this moment that I knew that what I was doing was having an impact and spreading beyond the classrooms I was teaching in. This gave me incredible joy!
What is your favorite yoga practice and why?
My favorite yoga practice is the practice of gratitude. Every night before bed I express the gratitude I have for simply just being alive and getting to experience this journey that has had a huge positive impact in my life. It has given me a greater capacity to experience joy and happiness throughout everything happening in my day to day life.
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