Who We Are

While running a local nonprofit called ZENworks Yoga in Northeast Ohio, we found the schools we were working with wanted quick and easy classroom tools for yoga and mindfulness. The teachers didn’t always have time or space for traditional mat-based classes. As a group of experienced educators and yogis, we knew that children benefit more from daily exposure to yoga skills in shorter increments of time. We came together to create a simple tool that allows classroom teachers to quickly and effortlessly incorporate yoga and mindfulness exercises into their daily routine. In addition, amaZEN U will donate a portion of its profits from each subscription to ZENworks Yoga, a Northeast Ohio based 501(c)(3) that brings yoga and wellness to under resourced schools and community organizations.

In 2010, I moved back to Cleveland from New York after completing a two year
commitment teaching elementary students through Teach for America (TFA). While in TFA, I worked at Leadership Prep Charter School – Bed Stuy teaching 2nd and 3rd grade. I noticed that my students were very over stimulated and stressed whether it be from the pressures at home or other environments. And there were limited opportunities for them to refocus their energy and find some solace in their day. While teaching at the school, I would occasionally show my students basic yoga poses and breathing techniques during PE and quick transitions during the day. They enjoyed it very much and it provided them a chance to reenergize and refocus. Upon returning to Cleveland, I worked for Breakthrough Charter Schools in HR focusing on teacher recruiting and started ZENworks Yoga.

Prior to TFA, I worked for the Monitor Group in management consulting and Mattel Inc. in International Strategic Planning. I graduated from NYU in 2003 with a BS in Finance and Accounting and also have a MEd from Teacher U (Hunter College).

Aside from amaZEN U and ZENworks Yoga, I enjoy spending time with my energetic daughter, playful son and supportive husband and extended family.

My love of yoga started in 1998 attending my first class while on vacation. Savasana (corpse pose-final rest) was sweet and wonderfully peaceful. I signed up for a series at the gym when I got home and have been following yoga’s lead ever since, … learning to live mindfully and skillfully.  Saying yes to what life has to offer.

I taught Kindergarten and First Grade for 15 years in retiring in 2005. My first assignment after receiving a BS in Education from Cleveland State University was in Cleveland Metropolitan School District in 1975. Following time off for raising three daughters, I returned to teaching in 1995 in private schools in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2011 I completed a Hatha Yoga Teacher certification from my teachers Todd Norian and Ann Greene and registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT-200). This Anusara based training led me to the Grounded Yoga program developed in Atlanta, Ga. by Cheryl Crawford and Amy Haysman earning the Children’s Yoga Teacher designation with Yoga Alliance (RCYT) in 2014.

I connected with Sonya and Zenworks Yoga 2011 and began as a yoga teacher blending my love of working with children and experience in the classroom. When Zenworks received a non-profit 50l(c)(3) status in August, 2013 I joined as founding board member. As our teaching staff grew, I accepted the position, Program and Teacher Development Consultant in April 2014, while keeping my other roles.

Our newest adventure amaZEN U was born out of the understanding that children benefit from daily, short and frequent experiences in mindfulness, breathing exercises and yoga poses. These experiences can support the development of self-regulation, self-awareness and empathy in children. With the classroom teacher as the guide, I am confident this tool can facilitate calmness, focus, balance and energy in the classroom.

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