Who We Are
In 2007, while volunteer teaching in a local elementary school, Lisa Flynn was inspired and challenged by the classroom teachers she encountered to create a yoga and mindfulness-based program focused on the whole child that would also be appropriate for the classroom setting. After three and a half years of research, development and test piloting, Yoga 4 Classrooms was born. Now in several schools around the Seacoast areas of NH and ME, Yoga 4 Classrooms is growing rapidly. Qualified, certified ChildLight Yoga Instructors are returning for additional training such that they can bring Y4C back to the schools in their regions around this country and others.
About Lisa Flynn
Lisa Flynn, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, RCYT, has completed over 250 additional hours of yoga and mindfulness based training focused on children and youth. Trained in Classical Yoga through the YogaLife Institute of NH, Lisa views the practice of yoga as a lifestyle, providing a wonderful framework for living healthfully, body and mind.
"My mission is to teach strategies that help children develop resilience, positive perceptions, good health habits and mindful awareness. That includes yoga postures and conscious breathing of course, but also gratitude, positive thinking, healthy eating, reflection and self-study, building healthy relationships, and connection to community. These are universal ideas for improving health."
Lisa has had the privilege of sharing yoga with literally thousands of children and families in yoga studios, fitness and community centers, and schools. Lisa also trains and speaks at many locations throughout the U.S as a recognized expert in the field of yoga for children. She successfully developed and implemented the ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training program with the intention of assisting others to share the gifts of yoga with children. Nearly 1,000 people from all over the world have been inspired by this training.
Learn more about Lisa on the Advisory Board page.
As Y4C's Director of Research and Relationship Development, Marina has taken a leadership role in relationship building, research agenda, administration and internal education. She is also a research assistant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. Most recently, Marina has also served at the Khalsa Research lab at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she worked on studies on the benefits of yoga in schools and as an intervention for post traumatic stress disorder. Marina contributed to the interdisciplinary psychological research in the domains of emotions, creativity, resilience, coping strategies, depression and well-being at Tufts University, Northeastern University and the University of New Hampshire. Marina is originally from Belarus, where she earned an MA in Information and Communication and also graduated from a music and art school.
Though Lisa has led the charge, many individuals have contributed to the development of Yoga 4 Classrooms. Classroom teachers, school principals and guidance counselors, school nurses, yoga teachers, psychologists, social workers, researchers from the Department of Physical Therapy at UMass Lowell, and many others provided input and feedback which contributed to the program design and curriculum. Pictured above are just a few of the ChildLight Yoga Team who contributed in some way from writing portions of the manual, to doing endless hours of research, to sharing Y4C in schools throughout the pilot program, and creating the Y4C logo and design of the program's associated card deck. A special thanks to Sharon Trull, MS, CTRS, E-RYT, RCYT, who has served as the lead collaborator and program instructor from the very beginning.
Finally, our gratitude to Principal Vicki Stewart, and the students and staff of Central Elementary School in South Berwick, Maine, for welcoming us into their classrooms from 2007 to 2010. Their feedback and encouragement during the 3-year pilot program were the inspiration to continue on to create this program such that other school communities might benefit from Yoga 4 Classrooms.