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. Yoga 4 Classrooms is growing rapidly and qualified, certified ChildLight Yoga Instructors have returned for additional training so that they can bring Y4C back to the schools in their regions around this country and others. As the model continues to evolve, school team IMPLEMENT leadership training has been developed to help ensure customized and sustainable implementation.
Lisa Flynn, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, RCYT, is the founder and director of ChildLight Yoga® and Yoga 4 Classrooms®, organizations providing evidence-informed yoga and mindfulness education to children, as well as training for professionals who support their well-being. She is the owner of ChildLight Yoga Studio & Training Center in Dover, NH, named “2015 Small Business of the Year” by the region’s Chamber of Commerce. Lisa is the author of the Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck (2011); and Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditation for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children (Adams Media, 2013), co-creator of “I Grow With Yoga”, a popular CD of yoga songs for children, and founder of the Teen Yoga Network, a service project focused on making yoga more accessible to teens. She is a leading expert on yoga for children, and serves as a leader and collaborator in the school yoga movement and greater kids’ yoga community worldwide. She has written a variety of articles on the topic of yoga and mindfulness for children and yoga in schools for publications such as Yoga Living and Green Teacher, as well as for online outlets such as Elephant Journal. She has been featured on TV news programs including Fox News, as well as in Parents Magazine, Yoga Journal, Kiwi Magazine, Yoga Therapy Today, Chicago Tribune, and Yoga Teacher Magazine. Recognized for her engaging presentations, Lisa speaks regularly at school counseling, education, yoga and mindfulness conferences around the country. Her accessible, sustainable programs are successfully implemented in schools and communities worldwide.
With a degree in Communication, Lisa spent over 10 years working as a Senior Advertising Executive and subsequently as a Marketing Director in Atlanta and Chicago. After moving back East to start a family, she spent five years as a Business Manager for a commercial property developer in Portsmouth, NH. She is extremely grateful to have been able to combine the knowledge gained from her professional background with her passion for yoga and children.
Most importantly, Lisa is a Mom. Admittedly, work, her children's activities and running a household can prove stressful at times. She uses yoga, meditation, gratitude and positive thinking to maintain balance in her life. Her intention is to inspire her young students to do the same, providing them with tools they can use for a lifetime of health and wellness..
Learn more about Lisa on the Advisory Board page.
Karen Michaud-Holland, RYT 200, serves as Assistant Director at Yoga 4 Classrooms. Karen is a certified ChildLight Yoga® Instructor, a Licensed Yoga 4 Classrooms® Trainer and developer of the ChildLight Yoga® Teen Teacher Training. Karen holds a 200-hour teacher training certification through Yoga NH. For many years she was employed as a paraeducator in a K-8 school working with students of all ages and abilities. She saw an immense need to bring movement and mindfulness to children and teens. Working in a school provided Karen a unique opportunity to implement Yoga 4 Classrooms and support students and educators in their classrooms. Karen has over 17 years of experience as a group fitness instructor and a passion for promoting the physical fitness of children and adults. In November of 2013, she completed a Shamanic Reiki Master training.
Karen resides in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire with her husband and two daughters.
Amy Taylor, Ph.D., CYT 200, is thrilled to have joined the Y4C team as Director of Communications. Amy is a school psychologist, writer, ChildLight Yoga® Instructor and Licensed Yoga 4 Classrooms® Trainer. Amy has served school buildings from preschool through high school in four states. She also loves to write; her reflective essays on yoga and parenting have been widely published. Amy trained to become a yoga teacher at CITYOGA in Indianapolis in 2008 and, since then, has taught adults, families and children wherever she can. In 2014, Amy took the leap to become a Licensed Y4C Trainer and now shares these wonderful tools with students and educators in the schools she serves.
Amy lives in West Lafayette, IN with her husband and two sons.
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.
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. 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.