Shana founded mini yogis yoga for kids in 2002 and is one of the global leaders in the yoga for kids market. She holds adult yoga certifications from Sri Dharma Mittra and Mark Blanchard, as well as from Next Generation Yoga for Kids. Her personal yoga practice is the cornerstone of her life. She is also the founder of YOGAthletica (for adults). Shana teaches yoga to both teachers and students all over the world and is the creator of the popular Yogi Pokey©. Click here for Shana’s full bio.
Whitney has worked extensively with children ages 3-17 as a Pre-K and elementary teacher, and high school mental health counselor. She fell in love with yoga after years of running left her injured, sore, and defeated. Yoga has since helped her through life’s most challenging moments. She has completed mini yogis foundation and teen/tween trainings and completed her 200-hour teacher training with Tamal Dodge. She holds her California K-8 teaching credential, as well as a Child Development Permit for early childhood.
As an elementary teacher, Whitney founded her school’s first ever Yoga Club for Kindergarten-4th Grade students. She fell in love with seeing a different more playful, calm, and silly side to her students and hopes to bring yoga to children of all ages. She is now a graduate student in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day bridge her passion for mental health and yoga.
Terri is a CA credentialed elementary school teacher who has been teaching children yoga since 2004. She teaches yoga to both typical and special needs students throughout San Diego. Terri has certificates from YogaFit (RYT 200), AFAA Practical Pilates, The Fine Art of Teaching Yoga to Children (Pamela Hollander), and three trainings offered through mini yogis (Shana Meyerson): mini yogis certification program, Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum, and Zenergy Yoga 4 Kids (Yoga Therapy). Terri’s yoga style creates an excellent opportunity for children of all ages to develop mindfulness, motor planning, self-regulation, physical awareness, mental focus, relaxation, and patience.
Tara discovered yoga after she had twins in 2002 and needed to find quiet and inner peace. Now she practices regularly at Yoga Works, as well as at home with her children, who also enjoy the benefits of yoga! She is a mother of three (twin girls and a son) and has spent loads of time in the classroom working with children. She has also coached soccer and running club for kids age 5-10.
Before becoming a mom, she graduated from UCLA and worked in the business world for 10 years. Coming from a big family, she has always been around children and enjoys the challenge of teaching and entertaining them. She became mini yogis certified in 2014. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, playing tennis, cooking, reading and practicing yoga.
Sharon is a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher and has completed both the mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings as well as the Zenergy Yoga Therapy 4 Kids and Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum trainings. She has been teaching for mini yogis since 2009. Sharon completed her 200-hour adult teacher training with Michelle Mazur, and her 500-hour training at Loyola Marymount University, where she became a Certified Yoga Therapist (CYTRx-800c). After Sharon found yoga to be a tremendous part of her healing process with cancer, she began teaching survivors throughout Los Angeles as well.
Sahel was born and raised in Orange County, and is a proud mother to a beautiful son. She recently beat cancer and during her recovery from the effects of chemo, she found that yoga helped her not only physically, but emotionally and mentally, as well. She regained strength and a new passion for life, and has since embraced the yoga lifestyle, sharing her passion and knowledge with others.
Sahel completed her 200-Hour Vinyasa Yoga Certification with Carolyn Long at Beyond Hot Yoga and from there expanded into the children’s field. She is has completed certifications with mini yogis, Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum, and Karma Kids. Sahel’s goal is to share this love with as many beautiful beings as she can.
Rebecca is a mini yogis teacher training grad who has completed Core Power Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training in Hot Vinyasa, as well as Yoga Sculpt training.
According to Rebecca: “My yoga practice reminds me a lot of ballet and brings up nostalgic feelings about dancing as a child. I practice yoga because of the emotional and physical benefits and all of the life lessons I learn on my mat.
“Yoga allows these young minds to learn valuable lessons such as patience and gratitude. It not only brings great psychological benefits but also encourages children to challenge their physical abilities. Yoga isn’t all hard work…it’s also playful and imaginative. That is why I love teaching yoga to children, because it is the complete package.”
Rachel is mini yogis’ Director of Marketing. She is married with two beautiful children and lives and works in Laguna Beach. She went to UCLA for her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, and then went on to get a Masters of Education in London, England at Brunel University. While living in London, Rachel met her Kiwi husband and they spent many years traveling the globe before settling down to have their family. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, travel and practice yoga!
Paula has been passionate about yoga since she was just 18 years old. She has a vast knowledge and enjoys practicing and teaching hatha, vinyasa flow, and Iyengar yoga. She holds 200-hour teacher certification as well as mini yogis kids and teen/tween yoga trainings. She enjoys teaching young children of all ages, teens, pre/post natal mommies and her experience has helped expand awareness of yoga and its healing benefits to her mommy and family communities. Her ambition is to give the entire family an opportunity to understand their spiritual and physical balance with the Universe through the practice of yoga. The result is a calm, happy being.
Melvin: “Sit in the corner, count to ten and be still!!!” A phrase I heard a lot as a child. Through yoga experiments with my yogini daughter i have learned a way to parent through compassion. I have been honored to have this same compassions teaching creative writhing and self-esteem classes to youth since 1996…I fell in love with yoga in 2002 and learned its amazing healing and calming benefits for children. For the last four years, I have taught yoga to youth and adults in the Los Angeles area and recently the Honolulu community. My yoga teacher training was with the humble Nzazi Malonga E-RYT, who taught us to have compassion and care through deep inhales and exhales…So know when I ask children to sit and be still, they usually count to 1000! I am also a certified mini yogis instructor.
As a certified mini yogis yoga instructor and experienced children’s fitness and soccer coach, I wanted to share my passion for teaching through yoga, while providing a community for my students and their families to safely practice together. The best part of my job is making children laugh. The second best part is teaching kids something new, and watching them find confidence in practicing what they’ve learned. The way they think and express themselves is something extremely precious and awesome. It is my job to make their journey in yoga and in my classes fun and rewarding. I love to demonstrate the joy of yoga throughout Orange County and be a cause for positive change in our community, teaching love, patience, kindness, and teamwork.
Marni loves teaching kids yoga! She provides a fun and imaginative environment filled with support and encouragement where children feel safe, respected, and find enjoyment and success. Kids love yoga with Marni. A yogi since 2008, Marni has completed children’s yoga trainings with mini yogis and Ga Ga for Yoga.
Marni holds a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz where she graduated with honors. She studied Child Development at the College for Developmental Studies and earned her California Teaching Credential. Marni enjoys raising her daughters, Rebecca (18) and Noa (14), spending time with them and her husband, Peter.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Liz considers her favorite position as that of Mom to her two girls, ages 6 and 8. Professional highlights include her position as Executive Director at a non-profit corporation for teenage entrepreneurs, and positions at various group homes for teens. Liz splits her time between her family and her athletic pursuits including tennis, skiing, hiking and of course yoga!
Active in many sports throughout her childhood, Liz started her college career by earning a BA in Sociology at SDSU and moved on to earn a MA in Social Work from USC. This education combined with her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification and her Children’s and Teen/Tween Yoga Certificates from mini yogis yoga for kids makes Liz a warm, empathetic teacher whose classes are lively and fun.
- laurie d.
Laurie has completed children’s yoga certifications with mini yogis and YogaFit Kids, as well as adult certifications through YogaFit and CorePower Yoga. She also holds a Master of Science in Education and has been an Early Childhood Educator for 15+ years. Her yoga training has driven her to deepen her own practice while strengthening her desire to share the fitness, flexibility, confidence and compassion she has experienced with others. Enthusiasm to live your best life is contagious around Laurie. Her motivation for personal growth connects people to their own joyful potential. When not teaching, Laurie loves caring for her family, while introducing her children, Aubrey and Boden, to all the wonders of the world around them.
- laurie a.
As a mother of two teens, Laurie practices patience and mindful parenting daily. In teaching yoga, she brings a sense of calm while being playful and encouraging to children, teens and adults assisting each individual to connect with their breath and inner strength. Children are natural yogis willing to explore and discover their inner wisdom and potential with loving guidance.
Laurie is a certified mini yogis teacher and Loyola Marymount University Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT800C). Her Yoga Therapy training included an internship at the Venice Family Clinic working with patients experiencing chronic pain. Laurie is a Certified iRest-Yoga Nidra teacher-in-training (Integrative Restoration). She also completed an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) through Insight LA and Groovy Kids yoga teacher training. She is a long time student and practitioner of non-violent communication (NVC) that shows up in class as mindful listening/communicating and understanding an individuals needs.
Kristin has been able to share her passions in different capacities with children from swimming, to theater and the arts, to Yoga and hiking. Kristin moved to the West Coast in 2009, leaving her career as a custom fabricator for Broadway on the east coast in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. She took the leap to becoming a family Yoga instructor in 2010. On this path she has received certifications for 200-hour YogaWorks teacher training, mini yogis teacher training, 30-hour Karma Kids Teacher Training, Yoga Education for the Autism Spectrum, and Every Kid’s Yoga for Special Needs. Her mission is to be able make a connection with any child that crosses her path. Currently she is taking Early Childhood Education credits at Santa Monica College to further her understanding of child development. She loves the positive affirmation, “If you try you can do, it is in trying that we achieve.”
Kimberly: As a yoga teacher, I’ve had many amazing opportunities to work with all different types of people at various levels of practice. My passion for teaching is always rewarded by the aid I’m able to give my students. I’m humbled and grateful to forever be a student of yoga and pride myself in learning as much as I can as often as possible. I have completed both mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings and am proud to be certified through Shana Meyerson to teach children of all ages. Additionally, I completed my 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from Rising Lotus Yoga.
Kathleen is a mini yogis certified teacher who completed her 200-hour training at Yoga Works. She graduated from California State University Long Beach with a B.A. in Recreation and a specialization in Recreation Therapy and Child Life. At the age of six, Kat began as a competitive gymnast and went on to become an accomplished dancer. It was through dance she discovered yoga and took to it naturally. Yoga provided a way for her to integrate her love for body movement, expression and conditioning within a warm and peaceful environment.
Her love of yoga, dance, and teaching children lead her to mini yogis foundation training, and her teaching style incorporates respect, integrity, creativity, attitude, and a lot of ENERGY. She actively volunteers for a number of children’s wellness foundations and it is her continual goal to share her knowledge, instill a love of dance, movement, yoga and help guide others to achieve their dreams.
Julian is a mini yogis alumnus who received his 200hr yoga Teaching Certification from YogaWorks. Previously he has taught 2-5 year-olds preschool classes at the Pressman Academy ECC at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. He graduated Beverly Hills High School and earned a soccer scholarship to Division I Long Island University in Brooklyn, and then transferred on scholarship to Adelphi University in Long Island also a Division I school. He coached men’s soccer at Beverly Hills High School and he currently holds a USSF National “D” Soccer Coaching License. His favorite yoga teacher, and life teacher is his 6 year old daughter Zooey Mykayla!
Jody is an Associate Clinical Social Worker with over 12 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults struggling with a history of sexual abuse, domestic violence, PTSD, disrupted attachment, adoption and depression. It was through this work that Jody’s interest in the mind-body connection was reinforced and led her toward utilizing yoga as a adjunctive practice toward healing and building life skills that really facilitate lasting change. Jody is certified in mini yogis yoga for kids, is a graduate of Cloud Nine Yoga School and a RYT-200.
Jody’s intention is to create a practice that inspires personal greatness and creativity, promotes healing and inspires humor through a journey of exploration. Currently, Jody offers transformative groups and yoga to children and adults.
Jodi started practicing yoga in 1998. She believes that yoga is a life-long practice that goes beyond the physical & should be introduced as early as one can walk. In 2007 she completed both her 200-hour Living Yoga and mini yogis certifications. She teaches yoga to children & teens, in addition to coaching & teaching yoga to the Special Maccabees, a co-ed basketball team for children with special needs. In 2013, Jodi did her second 200-hour training with Rudy Mettia. Jodi’s teaching philosophy is that yoga can benefit all bodies; if you can breathe, you can benefit from yoga. Her classes are light, fun & accessible to beginners, while also challenging for intermediate & advance practitioners with individual attention towards to each student. She has worked with toddlers through seniors of all levels of experience and abilities.
Joan is a certified mini yogis teacher and has been teaching yoga to children, ages 2-7, for years. She started taking yoga classes in the early 2000s and explored many different types and teachers to develop a well-rounded practice. Joan became interested in yoga for kids when she was pregnant with her first child. She believes she owes her smooth childbirths to yoga. Joan started teaching in her daughter’s and son’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The practices became so popular, that she started teaching all around the school…and beyond. It is absolutely her passion, she loves this age group and says “Teaching the little ones is by far the best part of my week”.
Jessica found yoga in 2006 as a way to alleviate severe back problems she had since she was a child and has been hooked ever since. She loves bringing yoga to all walks of life and considers it her life’s purpose to spread as much joy, love, and health that she can. Jessica has completed 200-hour trainings with both YogaWorks and Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India. She completed mini yogis teacher training in 2014 and has been teaching kids yoga ever since and loving it. Since her first experience teaching yoga to kids she has been inspired in whole new ways – not only by the amazing effect that yoga has on children’s lives, but by all the ways she has learned from each and every child as well, believing that each child is a beautiful and unfiltered being of creativity, emotion, and intelligence.
Jen has been practicing yoga since 2003. Yoga kept her healthy and sane during her years as a publicist and agent in the fast paced entertainment industry. Her love and passion for yoga was so strong that she wanted to make the career leap and share it with others.
Jen is a graduate of the Equinox/Pure Teacher Training Program as well as mini yogis Foundation Training Program. She now helps others discover the joy and transformative power of yoga.
Janet’s first job with kids was as a teacher assistant for Kindergartners at an elementary school. It did not feel like work or a job because time flew by when being with the kids. Janet has two little brothers and being around them has reminded her how much she misses being around children on a daily basis. Teaching yoga is nearly a full time job for Janet and she had to connect both together, kids and yoga.
“Yoga is transformational, allows us to become conscious of the present. Children can’t miss out on yoga !”
Janet has been teaching vinyasa for almost two years and had to expand and create the opportunity to teach yoga to children. Janet received her first 200 hour yoga certification with Laure Sheehy at Malibu Sun Yoga, kid’s yoga certification with Shana Meyerson with mini yogis and is in the process of completing her second 200 hour yoga therapy certification with Naam Yoga LA.
Yoga for Families started for Ingrid as a small child, going to class with her Dad in the late 1970′s. Her Dad was a corporate type, but also enjoyed stretching his body during his time off. In a room full of adults, Ingrid remembers trying to coordinate her body into as many yoga poses that she could figure out. She feels very grateful to have been exposed to yoga at a very young age, since it has helped with discipline, peace, and self-confidence throughout her life.
After moving to Los Angeles, she received her teacher training certification for adults from Steve Ross and William Duprey at Maha Yoga, as well as her certification for yoga for kids from Shana Meyerson at mini yogis. She enjoys having fun, because as her teachers have showed her, without smiles and giggles, yoga is just a lot of hard work!
Hope has been joyfully teaching yoga to children since receiving her mini yogis certification in 2008. After successful careers as a journalist and a professional dancer, Hope, a 20-year practitioner of yoga, sought a career which would allow her to spend as much time as possible with her now going-on-seven-year-old daughter (also a mini yogi!) “While the primary focus of my classes is always yoga, children also get incidental lessons in language, musicality, math, astronomy, and ecology among many other topics. Empathy and caring for others is also an ongoing theme.” “I continue to learn from and be surprised by my students, the littlest teachers.” In her spare time Hope enjoys dancing, gardening, and doing yoga with her daughter. She also holds certification in adult Barre Yoga.
A lifelong athlete, Erin has always had a passion for fitness and health. Erin holds her 200-hour certification from Awakened Life School of Yoga, as well as children’s certifications through both mini yogis and Move-with-Me Mindfulness & Movement trainings. Beyond that, she is also a certified fitness coach and massage therapist. Erin found yoga not long after this after undergoing three knee surgeries within one month, and realizing she had probably been overworking her body, creating imbalances, and needed to slow down, breathe, and properly take care of her body, and mind. She has never been more in-tune with herself physically, but even more so mentally. She would have loved to have found yoga earlier in life. This is one of the reasons she became interested in working with children; she wanted give this to them, to be able to start them early with such a great discipline which they can take with them in all aspects of life.
D.M. has taught in studios, private homes, and more than a dozen schools since completing her mini yogis training in 2008. Her experience spans all ages–from toddlers to teenagers–and includes one-on-one instruction for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger syndrome, and Down Syndrome. A yoga practitioner since 1999, D.M. builds classes around students’ ideas, and encourages children’s self-expression every step of the way. D.M. holds 200-hour certification from Liberation Yoga, as well as certifications from mini yogis and Yoga Ed. She has also completed Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga Certification from Yoga Tree SF, Thai Yoga Therapy Certification from White Lotus Foundation, and Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum Certification from Vanessa Kahlon.
Brooke has worked with thousands of children around the world on US Embassies, military bases, schools, youth centers, and private homes. She has a degree in Creative Drama/Youth Theatre/Theatre in Education & Performance from the University of Northern Iowa, received her RYT200 training from Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA and kids yoga trainings through: mini yogis and Yoga Ed. Tools for Teachers and is a registered Children’s Yoga Instructor with Yoga Alliance. As a child, Brooke spent five years in a back brace for scoliosis and had a spinal fusion at age 13. This experience fueled her passion to help children take care of their bodies, minds, and find the voices of their unique selves. She is certified by Infant Massage USA and the International Association of Infant Massage as an educator for parents learning to massage their babies. She received training from Clarity Institute in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is licensed by the father of NLP, Dr. Richard Bandler as a practitioner of NLP. Over the past nine years, she has also worked professionally in Children’s Entertainment throughout LA, representing more than thirty companies in costume, providing improvised comedy, silly magic, games & drama, painting faces, balloon sculpting, storytelling, and more. Her work with children parallels the creation of her paintings, colorful expressions inspired and fueled partly by the love she feels working with children and paying attention to the details in life that children naturally appreciate.
I have been practicing Hatha Yoga since 2000, completed both mini yogis Foundation and Teen/Tween trainings, and received my 200-hour yoga certification from Yoga at the Village in 2009. My quest to harmonize body, mind, and spirit led me to study yoga and philosophy in more depth, and I became aware of how much stress could hold people back from doing what they love to do. My passion is to share the positive effects yoga has had upon my life and to teach healing through movement. For me, yoga is about awareness, and inner changes, and that continues to draw me to my mat. Although I love a strenuous physical practice of Ashtanga and the stillness I experience throughout the day, the joyful and playful atmosphere I experience when teaching kids has transformed my life in many folds. My classes are warm and inviting and accommodate all levels of experience.
Ania’s relationship with yoga began more than ten years ago when she stepped into a Santa Monica Power Yoga class led by Master Teacher Bryan Kest, and left physically exhausted, but mentally invigorated.
Since then, she has completed 200-hour teacher training lead by Shana Meyerson and Rudy Mettia at the National Yoga Institute, yoga for kids training with mini yogis, Thai Yoga Massage certification from Exhale, 500-hour training from YogaWorks, plus Lead Primary Ashtanga Teacher Training.
An avid and dedicated yogini, Ania was suddenly stricken with a serious illness in 2011 that not only chained her to a hospital bed but also caused total immobility. This led to the profound realization of how precious every moment in life is. Since then, she has learned to appreciate the days of physical flow, the stillness of meditative state and power of daily pranayama.
Andrea is a lifelong lover of movement. She is a Professor of Dance at Pasadena City College, and an Arts Integration Specialist currently working with teachers to bring movement and dance into K-12 classrooms. Andrea has always adored working with children, and her classes are developmentally geared towards the physical and creative empowerment of young minds and bodies. She is on faculty at Bloom School of Music and Dance where she teaches an array of children’s classes including Creative Movement and Family Yoga. She received her kids yoga training with mini yogis, and her 200-hour training with White Lotus Yoga Foundation. She holds an MFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts.
Amy started practicing yoga in 2003 because of a running injury. After she left her first yoga class she felt calm and at the same time rejuvenated and was back on the mat the next day. Her running injuries subsided and she took her first yoga teacher training in 2005 with Bikram Choudhury. She taught Bikram for a year and then was fortunate to take both mini yogis foundation and advanced teacher trainings with Shana Meyerson. She has also taken the Kundalini-based Radiant Child teacher training with Shakta Khalsa. Amy also works with special needs children and has studied with Sonia Sumar and Vanessa Kahlon. She earned an additional 200-hour certification at The Green Yogi in 2013. Amy is passionate about teaching yoga to children and her classes are fun, engaging and challenging.
An accomplished pianist, Allison’s first teaching experience came as a children’s piano instructor while she was an undergraduate at UCLA. In 2013 she completed her 200-hour teacher training with Shana Meyerson, founder of YOGAthletica and mini yogis yoga for kids, and Michelle Mazur, Yoga therapist. In 2014 she completed her mini yogis training, as well as Vinyasa Krama certification. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University and will be completing an additional 200-hour training with Tamal Dodge in Fall 2014. Allison is extremely playful and young at heart…two endearing qualities that shine through in all of her teaching.