About

 

Sphinx

Yoga Kidz started in 2008 as the brainchild of Charleston philanthropist Jerry Scheer and yoga instructor and occupational therapist, Leigh Crowder-Biearman. Yoga Kidz is supported by the TBonz Community Foundation and the generosity of certified yoga teachers who volunteer their time to teach the students weekly yoga.

 

CHARLESTON  TEACHERS

 

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After rolling out her yoga mat for the first time, Leigh was inspired to bring the practice of yoga to chilren. For her, yoga unveiled a way for her to be challenged, playful and feel free as she did as a child.  She knew right away the practice of yoga was something that would change not only her life, but benefit the lives of the children she served. With her extensive experience with children, her patience and gentleness, Leigh is able to bring a balance of light-heartedness and clarity to yoga while focusing on self-awareness, breath and alignment, safely honoring individual abilities. To her, yoga is both an art and science where each individual is able to unravel their own inner strength creating a sense of empowerment and freedom.

As a pediatric occupational therapist Leigh has worked with children with a variety of special needs, in school, hospital and early intervention      settings.  She has a combined over 1,000 hours training in medical therapeutic yoga and hatha yoga, as well as several children’s yoga certifications and mindfulness in schools training. With her background working in schools, in 2008 Leigh had the opportunity to start the non-profit Yoga Kidz with support from the T-Bonz Foundation.  This program brings yoga to hundreds of students in Title I schools in both Charleston and Horry County School Districts.  

Stacy Peth

Stacy began her yoga practice in 2005, received her yoga certification through Nosara Yoga Institute in 2009 and has experienced several children's yoga trainings. A former dancer with a background in Psychology; the connection of the body and mind resonates deeply. Stacy is passionate about teaching yoga and mindfulness to children of all ages. "It is a beautiful experience to have this opportunity to teach yoga to children. I am inspired to watch as each individual child learns to connect with him or herself. We grow together."

Gary Smith

Gary is father of three and a magazine writer. He became a regular yoga practitioner in 2006 and began meditating after attending a Vipassana retreat in 2008. He began thinking of the effect that yoga might have upon students in under-performing schools, sat in on Leigh Crowder's pilot program at Mitchell Elementary in April 2009, and was eager to help expand the program. Gary has also been a mentor with Big Brothers and Sisters.

Jenifer Mahanes

My name is Jenifer Mahanes. I am a licensed massage therapist, reiki practitioner, and yoga instructor at Sacred Body Massage & Healing Arts.Yoga has been a central part of my life since I was introduced to it in college.  It has been a vital part of my life since1992 and in 2008 I became a certified yoga instructor.

I quickly realized that my passion was for prenatal and kids yoga. While teaching at Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, SC I was connected with Yoga Kidz.

I was drawn to share yoga with children throughout the greater Charleston community and soon became a yoga teacher at Mitchell Elementary. With six years experience as a Charleston County school teacher, I knew how much the kids would benefit from yoga.

I have been teaching the little ones at Mitchell since 2009. I believe it is an honor to share yoga with young open hearted spirits cultivating peace, love, compassion, and Mindfulness! By doing so, I help to create a more peaceful, loving, mindful, compassion filled future for our community and our World! Teaching yoga to children opens my Heart to the infinite potential that lies within us all.

Jennfer Rogers

My yoga practice began in 2009 and has grown to be a very powerful presence in my life.  I received my Children’s Yoga Teacher Certification in January, 2013 through Kids Yogaverse as a way to share a yoga practice with my own children.  Soon after, I began teaching classes to preschoolers  I discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up!  Since then, I have enjoyed teaching little ones at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Isle of Palms Rec Center, Mt. Pleasant Library, and local preschools and elementary schools.  I believe, without a doubt, that I learn the most from the children with whom I practice, but I do continue my “formal” education through self-study, workshops and training opportunities.  I completed my 200 Hour Teacher Certification at Mission Yoga in February 2015 and have received additional training through Radiant Child Yoga to incorporate yoga into the treatment plans of children who are gifted with different learning and developmental needs.

My home is in Mt. Pleasant, SC with my husband, two children, and our furry four-legged friends! I am so inspired by the genuine curiosity and enthusiasm that children possess and I love witnessing it through yoga.  It is such a wonderful gift to have this opportunity of sharing yoga with children and I am so very appreciative of the amazing energy and beautiful imaginations that the children share with me!

Natasha Balarezo

Natasha has been practicing yoga on and off since 2005 and found herself practicing almost daily since moving to Charleston from Rock Hill, SC in 2010. In June of 2012 she took the first step to become a teacher and completed the RYT 200 program at Charleston Power Yoga. What she loves most about teaching with Yoga Kidz is being a part of bringing awareness to the mind and body. Also, setting a foundation for a life-long yoga practice early in life.

Jennifer Bennett-Mintz 

For many years, Jenn has found much inspiration and growth in practicing yoga. Learning from gifted and generous friends, strangers, and wise elders has shown her how yoga transcends any perceived boundaries both within one’s self and among others.  This learning and deepening of her practice has taken place on the shores of the West coast, the tiny patches of grass amidst the streets of Washington, D.C, and continues here in Charleston, S.C..  Although her life has been filled with many adventures in many places yoga, a curiosity for the natural environment and her dog Lotus have been a constant.  Over the years she has experienced the subtle yet powerful transformation a yoga practice can bring both on and off the mat.  Knowing this sparked the desire to share the practice with others, so she underwent training to receive her 200RYT from Sky House Yoga.  She spent many years educating children about the natural environment, and so the opportunity to now share yoga with children really brings things full circle.  She loves being part of the energy, creativity, and empowerment yoga cultivates in young students and is thrilled and honored to be part of the Yoga Kidz team. 

Alex Savitz 

Hello! My name is Alex Savitz, I am a 21 year old student of Early Childhood Education at Trident Technical College, and an employee at Sundrops Montessori. I spend most of my free time doing yoga, writing, and laughing with my friends. Yoga Kidz has given me the opportunity to express my creativity while sharing joy with young minds, and I am incredibly grateful for this gift! Namaste.

Alicia Wolf

Alicia has been practicing yoga for about four years, and it has truly transformed her life. Her passion for yoga led her to become a 200 hour certified yoga teacher in 2013, and then she became certified to teach children through the Kids Yogaverse program in January 2014. She is currently involved with teaching children at Holy Cow Yoga Center. She also recently opened Mindfulness Matters LLC, a yoga and mindfulness center for women and young girls with business partner, Kerrie Shebiel, who also volunteers with YogaKidz. Alicia truly believes that yoga is for everyone, and that it can have an enormously positive impact on young minds and bodies, which led her to volunteer with Yoga Kidz.

Chelsea Vurgason

Chelsea began her journey into yoga in 2007 after dedicating her childhood and adolescence to a life of competitive dance.  In 2014 she completed her 200hr teacher training at her home base Mission Yoga under the guidance of Kelly Jean Moore.  Chelsea has always had a natural connection with children and is always learning from their never ending curiosity.  Volunteering for YogaKidz was an absolute no brainer for her.  She strongly believes that with an early introduction into yoga and mindfulness that we can give children the tools to navigate through what life throws their way.   She constantly gets excited to teach children how to use their breath to connect with their body, their body to connect with the mind, and the mind to connect with their creative energy, giving them the tools to find their unique offering in the world. When she's not teaching with YogaKidz you can find her teaching at Mission Yoga and Blue Turtle DT.

Molly Murtaugh

Molly was introduced to yoga in college and it was love at first sight. The relationship started out like many do, as a way to get in shape and eat more cake.  They've been together for seven years now and yoga has influenced Molly's outlook on life. She feels life is a balancing act and yoga has offered her the tools to move more mindfully and with grace.Trained at Mission yoga in Charleston SC, her focus is on sound postural alignment and creative sequencing within a vinyasa format. You can expect to work towards challenging postures but trust that there is a thoughtful logic behind the sequence that will prepare your body for the challenge.
Molly's classes look to strike a balance between effort and ease. You are guaranteed to break a sweat as she attempts to start your fire and allow you the chance to work from there. Using your own passion to move deeper into poses and find the strength and grace within yourself to grow.

 "I LOVE working with the students at Mitchell Elementary school and offering them tools to move through their own lives with more balance and ease!"

Nabila Piper

Originally from New Zealand, I lived in the mountains of Colorado for many years before coming to the low country in 2013. Yoga has been a part of my life for about 15 years and my practice has helped me grow stronger and more fearless both on and off the mat. Yoga reminds me daily to live with intention and awareness in every process of this life.

I completed my 200 hour training with Mission here in Charleston. In my classes I teach from a place of intentional movement and I hope to help those around me thrive by nurturing body and spirit through moving meditation.

Jennifer Grove 

Jennifer has lived in Charleston off and on since 1980, traveling back and forth between California and South Carolina to be with family and friends. She enjoys spending time outdoors and trying new adventures, one being surfing. She has been practicing yoga for many years and now has decided to take it to the next level and will be receiving her yoga certification this year. 

Anna Walston

I began practicing yoga in 2010. I had many misconceptions of what yoga was before first stepping out of my comfort zone and onto my mat. I am grateful I took the leap and delved into creating a practice of patience with myself that had flowed into every aspect of my life. My husband and I enjoy stealing time together at a Yin practice and taking our son to family practices so he can be exposed early to body and mind connection. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with young students in developing connections to their breath, mind and body with the YogaKidz program

Tammy Villares Bio Coming Soon

Molly Murtaugh Bio Coming Soon

Louise Bailey Bio Coming Soon

Tammi Evans Bio Coming Soon

Sarah Eldagray  Bio Coming Soon

Carol Ezekial Bio Coming Soon

Becca Finley Bio Coming Soon

Shannon Torres Bio Coming Soon

Kari Kisler Bio Coming Soon

Alex Seaman Bio Coming Soon

Judith Greenfarb  Bio Coming Soon

Kristine Ratner  Bio Coming Soon

Kristen DeAndrade Bio Coming Soon

 

 

MYRTLE BEACH TEACHERS

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Elise Angell has had anything but a traditional career path having worked in retail, as a musician, on air radio personality and public relations for a restaurant company.  Her fearless attitude and passion for life has kept her evolving and on an amazing journey.

Elise is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh with an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and California University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology.  She completed her training as a Life Coach in 2008 from Coach Training Alliance and started new earth coaching (www.newearthlifecoaching.com).

Elise has had a life transformation physically, emotionally and spiritually since she began practicing yoga in 2005.  This led her to combining life coaching with the practice of yoga and meditation.  She completed her 200 hour Vinyasa/Ashtanga yoga teacher training in 2010, Meditation Certification in 2012 and her 500 hour yoga training in 2013 at Shanti Yoga Studio in Myrtle Beach, SC.

In 2011, Elise co-created “Yoga O2” (www.yogao2.com) a program that helps teens find self awareness, discipline, focus and balance through the practice of yoga, and is currently teaching yoga in the high schools.

Elise has been a part of the Yoga Kidz team since 2010.  She teaches in the Myrtle Beach schools and finds complete joy in being a part of this program and loves starting every morning bringing yoga to children of all ages for she has learned, through yoga all is possible.

Dawn DiVita

Began practicing in 1998, and is still practicing and living yoga today. A student of life with teachers all around; family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. Yoga teaches within the pause there is a lesson. Being open to all, and all will come. Yoga for kids is one of the most rewarding opportunities Dawn has ever have. Teaching them what has taken her years to understand: laugh a lot, breathe with awareness, feel with kindness, be still to know, and be strong with ease. Dawn currently studies at the Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, SC working towards her 500 hour certification. Owner and teacher of Yoga DiVita in Little River, SC. a multidisciplinary studio.

 Amanda Himmelsbach

Amanda Himmelsbach is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She completed her 9-month yoga training in February 2010 from Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, S.C. Amanda currently teaches yoga to the students at Myrtle Beach Intermediate school, the athletes of Myrtle Beach High School, the teachers at Socastee Elementary and at the local YMCA. Amanda has a background in competitive gymnastics, dance and cheerleading, but due to injuries she turned her love and focus to yoga.  Amanda grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC and graduated from Myrtle Beach High School in 1996. She attended and graduated from Coastal Carolina University and earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration Marketing in 2001. After college, Amanda wanted to explore and experience life outside of South Carolina, so she packed up her car and headed to California. While living there, Amanda discovered this thing called “yoga” and began embracing the yogic life. After experiencing California for a while, Amanda made her way back to Myrtle Beach.

In 2010, Amanda joined the Yoga Kidz program as a yoga teacher and started teaching yoga to Elementary School children. Amanda thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga to all ages, but especially young children and teenagers. Amanda continues to grow her personal and spiritual practice through workshops, continuous training and meditation. She resides in Myrtle Beach with her husband and two dogs.

Sherrill Bailey

Sherrill lives in Myrtle Beach, SC and is teaching yoga classes at Myrtle Beach elementary school. She has an education degree and has been involved with a variety of children/youth programs for the last 20 years in public/private schools, preschools, and church groups. She is currently a certified group fitness instructor in local fitness centers and yoga studios. Sherrill has been practicing yoga for 7 years and finds kids yoga is a refreshing addition to her yoga journey. Bringing two of her greatest passions together, children/youth and yoga, inspires her to reach out to others in a whole new way. It's amazing how much we learn as we observe and practice yoga through the eyes of a child!

Anna Maria Swad

Anna-Marie has been practicing yoga for 5 years. She has been teaching for 3 years. She did her initial certification at a Sivananda ashram in New York. This is her first year teaching Yoga for Kids. She enjoys offering the benefits of the practice to young people, and she believes that prevention and beginning a practice earlier in life is helpful. She enjoys talking to the kids about their life experiences and offering solutions to better deal with challenging situations. Yoga has been life changing for Anna-Marie and any opportunity to share the practice is a blessing.

Laura Klem Bio Coming Soon

Lisa Lang Bio Coming Soon