Ann is a registered yoga teacher from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. With a BFA in ballet, Ann has taught children of all ages in the ballet world for more than 20 years. She is also an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), where she teaches yoga and Pilates. A wife and mother of three boys, including twins, Ann runs her own company, Peaceful Poses Kids Yoga.
Ann began her yoga journey as she craved movement (from her ballet dancing days). Through yoga, she discovered so much more than movement, including inner peace, calm and contentment. Ann hopes to pass this along to the children she works with, while also emphasizing a positive learning environment in a structured atmosphere. An advocate of the arts, education, yoga and children, Ann arrives on her mat daily with energy, a vibrant personality and a ton of patience.
We recently had the pleasure of talking to Ann about her experience teaching yoga to kids. Here's what she had to say:
Pretzel Kids: Can you tell us a bit more about you?
Ann: I was trained in classical ballet at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and have a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah. I taught at several ballet schools in South Central PA, including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for 13 years. I am a mom of identical twin boys that are 13 years old and a nine-year-old son (a pair and a spare!)
I started practicing yoga around three years ago and immediately fell in love with it. I love the fact that yoga takes you off the mat in so many ways.
Pretzel Kids: Tell me one or more fun facts about you.
Ann: I absolutely love going to the beach and I am passionate about my work. A quirky thing about me is I can't stand playing board games or card games. I find that I do not like to follow rules!
Pretzel Kids: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Ann: I love to go out for coffee or dinner with friends or my husband. You can also find me at Hershey Park (maybe upside down on a roller-coaster) with my kids. Also, my children have a ton of food allergies so much of my spare time is spent in the kitchen cooking and baking.
Pretzel Kids: What drew you to the Pretzel Kids yoga online certification course?
Ann: I needed CEUs for my RYT certification through Yoga Alliance. But that's not all - I have been teaching kids yoga for about two years and was very hungry for some new material.
Pretzel Kids: What is your favorite thing or two about the Pretzel Kids yoga certification course?
Ann: Everything in the course is presented very clearly. From start to finish, the training is very organized and information is easy to find. The material has been well thought out and everything is age appropriate.
Pretzel Kids: Do you feel the course expanded upon your kids yoga knowledge?
Ann: Yes, the course absolutely expanded my knowledge! I currently teach children and so far, they absolutely love the Pretzel Kids material and classes!
Pretzel Kids: Where would you like to teach Pretzel Kids yoga in your community?
Ann: I already travel to daycare centers and preschools to teach themed kids yoga classes. I am looking forward to teaching in public and private schools soon.
Pretzel Kids: How do you hope to make a positive impact with the Pretzel Kids curriculum?
Ann: My mission is to help children live healthy, active lifestyles; develop self-control, discipline and mindfulness; love and respect themselves and others; and discover their potential while building confidence. My hope is for all children to have peaceful hearts and abundant lives.
Using my mission and facilitating it through the Pretzel Kids curriculum, I hope to make a positive connection with as many children as possible.
Pretzel Kids: You had the opportunity to create a couple of Pretzel Kids lesson plans as part of your certification process. What was this creative process like? Did this make teaching easier and what was the reception from the kids?
Ann: The Pretzel Kids manual has given me some much needed fresh ideas and I have had only positive feedback from what I have used from the curriculum. The children love painting a rainbow and making a sandwich!
Lesson plans are important to running kids yoga classes. I create them all the time and the children enjoy the themes! I also LOVE to use music and will literally sit for hours listening to music on Spotify. Once I have a playlist, I set the poses for the class, choose a pranayama, and pull props pulled from my prop closet. I am ready to go!
Pretzel Kids: How did you hear about Pretzel Kids? Would you recommend the Pretzel Kids yoga certification course to friends, moms, child care providers and yoga teachers? Why?
Ann: I found out about Pretzel Kids through the Yoga Alliance website. And, yes, I would recommend this course to anyone teaching children's yoga in any capacity!
Pretzel Kids: What's your favorite Pretzel Kids pose?
Ann: I love jellyfish pose. I have the children forward fold and wave their arms around like jellyfish. I also use this as spaghetti when I pack weird food for our picnic (Picnic Yoga!) and sometimes I use this pose for an octopus as well.
Pretzel Kids: What's your favorite Pretzel Kids game? What's your favorite Pretzel Kids theme?
Ann: I love the game Make a Sandwich and the kids love it too! Sit on the floor with your legs out in front and arms straight up in the air. Ask the children what foods they want in the sandwich and then fold it up! I use this game with Picnic Yoga and I have had great success. The kids put everything on their sandwiches - from pickles to toe nails!
As for a favorite theme, I really like the Earth Day theme. There is so much you can teach children in this class from animal poses, weather (rain, thunder, rainbows), to taking care of our Earth. I have little fluffy pom poms that I spread around the floor. The kids pick them up with their toes and put them into recycle bins. They have a really good time!
Pretzel Kids: Just for fun, what's your favorite food?
Ann: I love to eat salad, dark chocolate and unfortunately, pasta.
Thank you Ann and we wish you continued success! Do you want to be featured in an upcoming Pretzel Kids newsletter or blog post? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com!
We can't wait for you to join our Pretzel Kids yoga family!