Advisory Board Members
Lisa Flynn, E-RYT, RYT 500, RCYT
Lisa is the founder of ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms, organizations providing yoga-based education to children in schools and communities, and to professionals whose work supports the well-being of children. It is her mission to teach strategies that help children and youth develop resilience, positive perceptions, good health habits and mindful awareness. Lisa shares the ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga 4 Classrooms Trainer Intensives nationally, and speaks at many education focused conferences, schools, and yoga centers around the Northeastern United States. She is also a respected leader and collaborator in the school yoga and mindfulness movement and greater kids' yoga community internationally.
Besides the ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms Program Manuals (Self-Published 2007, 2010 respectively), Lisa is the author of the Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck (2011); and Yoga for Children: 200 Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children (F/W, Adams Media, 2013).
Lisa is an active member of several yoga-focused organizations including Yoga Alliance, The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Yoga Service Council, and The International Association of School Yoga and Mindfulness (IASYM). She is also actively involved in several groups and organizations which are focused on supporting and growing the field of contemplative education.
Louise C. Janelle, M.Ed.
With over 20 years of school counseling experience, Louise’s career accomplishments to date include elementary and middle school counseling, curriculum development, school improvement planning and school climate support. In 1993, she was elected to President of the New Hampshire School Counselor Association and then was elected to be the North Atlantic Regional Vice-President of the American School Counselor Association (2001). Serving in those positions led her to develop strong leadership, communication, and systems skills and acquire a reputation for competence, honesty and integrity. As a yoga practitioner, she understands the numerous benefits yoga contributes to her own philosophy of lifelong learning, as well as to the academic, personal and social success of her students.
“Adopting Y4C into my elementary school program has given me a different understanding of its sustainable benefits and brought a whole new depth to my professional skill set as well as my own yoga practice. There are many choices in quality evidence based programs. Over the course of my career, I’ve made every effort to bring these best practices to my students. This program, however, has become for me a necessary component of all direct services to the students in my school. Easy to use techniques and strategies, grounded in centuries of practice, have become essential components of individual and group work, and particularly classroom guidance. I delight in seeing students both enjoy and benefit from this program.
Marcel Duclos, MTH, MED, LCMHC, RLPC, RLISAC, ACS
After a forty-five year career, Marcel still enjoys the performing arts of teaching, psychotherapy and clinical supervision. He has consulted in the field of Child Protective Services, Addictions and Trauma. He served twenty-eight years as a faculty member, administrator and consultant in Community College Education. He has directed a non-profit agency specializing in crisis intervention, substance use disorder treatment and homelessness. He has taught Body Psychotherapy in the United States, Brazil, the Netherlands and in Germany. He currently serves as the Clinical Director of the Northland Family Help Center in Flagstaff, AZ. He is a specialist in Trauma and Addiction Treatment. A life-long learner, he brings his study of Philosophy, Theology, Developmental Psychology, Jungian Archetypal Analysis, Core Energetic Evolutionary Therapy, EMDR, Body Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy and Gnostic Spirituality to his psychotherapeutic practice, and to his life.
Marcel has co-authored four books with Connie Robillard, MA, LCMHC: Common Threads: Stories of Life after Trauma, Necessary Illusions: Musings by a Man and a Woman in Prose and Poetry, A Door in the Desert, and Cultivating Hope for Abuse Survivors: Watering the Cracks in the Sidewalk due in the Fall of 2012.
"Y4C is based on yoga, the oldest known robust discipline that combines the psychological, physiological, and complex body dynamics; and remains one of the most highly valued disciplines in the world. It focuses on posture, gesture, breathing, physiology, relaxation, mental concentration and intellectual knowledge that constitute an individual. Y4C is a present day adaptation. It returns to children, as their birthright, healthy ways and means of living and learning through body, mind and spirit.
The above borrows language from the acclaimed masterpiece, Body Psychotherapy: History, Concepts, and Methods by Michael C. Heller and published by W. W. Norton this past August. Chapter 1 of this book underscores the fundamental properties of yoga as the bedrock of healing for adverse childhood experiences. Y4C is an essential and crucial gift of what we owe to all of our children".
Dan Huston, MST
Dan is a professor in the English Department at NHTI, Concord’s Community College. He has been incorporating mindfulness, mindfulness meditation, and emotional intelligence into his communication curriculum for fifteen years and was awarded NHTI’s 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Dan’s work is informed by training he received at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He enjoys the interplay of bringing mindfulness into his everyday life, teaching, and writing—each application informing the others with inspiring, sustaining fluidity.
His essay “How Mindfulness Can Help Us Become Better Communicators” was published in a 2006 Rowman & Littlefield anthology entitled Teaching with Joy: Educational Practices for the Twenty-First Century. More recently, he contributed a chapter called “Waking Up To Ourselves: The Use of Mindfulness Meditation and Emotional Intelligence in the Teaching of Communication” to a Jossey-Bass Sourcebook titled New Directions in Community Colleges: Contemplative Teaching and Learning. He also co-authored a peer-reviewed paper, “Mechanisms of Mindfulness in Communication Training", on the results of a controlled study on his Communicating Mindfully curriculum, which appeared in a November 2011 special edition of the Journal of Applied Communication Research. His textbook, Communicating Mindfully: Mindfulness-Based Communication and Emotional Intelligence, details the innovative teaching methodologies he has developed, and it has received acclaim from educators worldwide.
In addition to fulfilling his teaching responsibilities as a member of the English Department, Dan works tirelessly to increase mindful communication throughout NHTI’s campus community: advising the student meditation club, providing training to faculty and administrators, leading workshops at the Business Training Center, and working to infuse mindfulness throughout a variety of curricula.
“Y4C is doing things right. It is heart-centered, true to the lineage of contemplative practices, and steeped in current research that is steadily uncovering the benefits these ancient practices bring to education. Mindfulness builds community in classrooms and fosters engaged learning; it helps students feel comfortable enough to take the risks that are necessary for learning to take place. Over time, students develop a gentle loving-kindness toward themselves and others that helps them to be resilient in the face of challenges, obstacles, and conflicts they experience in and outside of school. Importantly, students learn these skills because they have tapped into their innate wisdom and compassion through a process of discovery that involves opening to themselves and to the world around them.”
Jenn Bogard, M.Ed. & Doctoral Candidate
Jenn Bogard is a literacy coach for grades Pre-K to five in South Berwick, Maine. She taught elementary school (grades one through five) for over ten years. She received the honor of Teacher of the Year for Elm Grove Elementary in Kingwood, Texas. Jenn is also an adjunct professor in the Language and Literacy Division of the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University where she teaches The Teaching of Writing K-12. A PhD candidate at Lesley University, she studies transitional readers, including the sociology of families, reading pedagogy, and family and school engagement.
Jenn’s work is published in The Reading Teacher, and she has presented for the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative. She has published two books with Shell Education entitled: Strategies to Integrate the Arts in Language Arts and Strategies to Integrate the Arts in Social Studies. She also writes teacher guides and discussion questions for children’s books published by Penguin Young Readers books.
"As a third grade teacher at Central School in South Berwick, Maine, I had the unique opportunity to join Y4C Trainers during the school residency as they modeled the Y4C curriculum sequences. As a class, these sessions allowed us to experience being in the present moment with a sense of belonging; so much was happening in these peaceful sessions: confidence was building and students were cementing practices to help them in their everyday lives. I was amazed at how my third graders internalized the tools and strategies, and how they naturally generalized the ideas about yoga to many aspects of their daily worlds. I heard, “I am strong!” before assessments, and I observed students using Bumble Bee Breath as they solved conflicts on the playground. At the writer’s workshop, students chose to invent their own Imagination Vacations using sensory images, voice, and descriptive word choice. Fascinated by the way yoga was setting the stage for learning and for reaching the whole child, I conducted my Master’s thesis on yoga in the classroom, and I continue to spread the word about the power of yoga for learners of all ages. As an educator, I am excited to help Y4C grow and find its way to as many classrooms as possible".
Learn more about Jenn here.
Joy Bryan Markley, 500-RYT, Ph.D.
Joy has been in the world of education for nearly 30 years. She has taught at every grade level from elementary school to graduate school in both the Northwest and the New England area public schools. She has academic degrees in education, special education and developmental/social psychology. She has presented at national conferences on the topic, Children You Don't Like. Seven years ago Joy found yoga and began her studies with Yogalife NH. She has since completed meditation training, yoga teacher training, and is currently studying to become a yoga therapist through Yogalife NH. She is also a certified ChildLight Yoga instructor and has taken advanced trainings in children’s yoga. She has taught general yoga to children at the elementary school she works in, but has also run small yoga groups with the school counselor for children with behavioral challenges. Once she completes her training, Joy will also be working with individuals, families, and adults for private yoga therapy sessions and continue to teach yoga to kids. She maintains a blog on YogaLife NH’s website, Little Buddhas, retelling her often heartwarming experiences teaching yoga to elementary-aged children.
“As both a psychologist and educator, I am forever interested in how the emotional life of a child affects his/her ability to learn. I think I am more of an educational therapist than anything else when working with students in general, but particularly when working with students with serious behavior challenges. I have found that Yoga 4 Classrooms techniques, such as balloon breath while sitting quietly in a chair, is perfectly suited for a classroom or small group setting. For example, it is not uncommon for me to guide several rowdy Kindergarten students to stop, close their eyes and take several slow and deep breaths, before they even begin the reading task at hand. Clearly, we care for and nurture the development of a child's mind in our public schools. Schools have even begun to value the development of good citizens. But what we also need to nurture is the development and growth of every child’s sense of who they are as individuals and who they are as learners. And I believe that our most important task, before a child can settle and learn, is to guide children towards finding happiness and peace in their little lives. When kids are happy and stress free, they are ready to learn. I believe that yoga provides guidance and strategies in this regard where current educational and psychological theories fall short.”
Marina Ebert, M.A.
Marina Ebert, M.A., is a researcher at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where she works on several projects investigating the role of emotional intelligence in children’s social and academic functioning, creativity, and psychological well-being outcomes. Marina has broad interdisciplinary training and experience in social and developmental psychological research (including labs at Yale, Tufts, and Northeastern University), as well as educational program development. Most recently, Marina has served at the Khalsa Research lab at the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she worked on studies on the benefits of yoga in schools and as an intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition to her research projects at Yale, Marina also develops public educational workshops teaching emotion and creativity skills through engagement with the arts, as well as leads the facilitator trainings and assists in the program evaluation efforts.
Marina has been a part of the Yoga 4 Classrooms team for several years, taking on a leadership role in relationship building, research coordination, and advocacy initiatives. Together with Lisa Flynn, Marina published a number of articles and blog posts promoting yoga and mindfulness for children, as well as presented at the professional conferences in the field of contemplative education and research. Marina also coauthored several academic papers on the benefits of yoga programs for school aged children.
“I strongly believe in the benefits of social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and yoga for children’s healthy development and well-being. The accessible and developmentally appropriate activities that Y4C brings to schools are wonderful tools for everyone in the education system. I find it crucial to foster the connection between practitioners and researchers, and to provide a solid research base to support educators in their efforts”.
Contact us to learn more about the development of our Advisory Board.