Sara J. Weis is the founder of Go Go Yoga for Kids which includes three bestselling kids yoga books, the popular Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and the Kids Yoga Challenge App. Sara enjoys visiting schools, events, and workshops to introduce children and adults to yoga through the use of engaging lessons with games, poses, music, movement, and literacy.
Sara is also a creative and passionate teacher who has inspired and taught thousands of children for over twenty years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She teaches for the West Des Moines School District and leads kids yoga classes for a nationally-known health and fitness club. She resides Iowa with her husband, three kids, and yoga pup Rocky.
Go Go Yoga for Kids was created from a desire to help kids see yoga as full of movement and fun. A lot of times kids have this image in their mind of yogis quietly sitting cross-legged with hands in mudra, eyes shut, and humming. Yoga can definitely have moments that look like that, but yoga for children is also busy, active, and engaging while effectively introducing yoga and mindfulness to children so they will have the skills and benefits for life.
When I first tried yoga many years ago, I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for me and of what I needed both mentally and physically. Before my discovery, though, I was living a very busy and scheduled life. I didn’t take any time for myself, to be in the moment, breathe and move my body mindfully.
Teaching elementary school, working on my master’s degree, and raising three young children kept me on the go. As someone who is always eager to try new things, I was also training for marathons and triathlons and never missed my workouts or early morning training sessions.
As you can imagine, all of this began to take a toll on my mind and body. I was stronger than I ever had been on the outside, but sleepless nights, anxiety, and nagging pain were all there on the inside. During my last half marathon, a labral tear in my hip brought my long-distance running days to an end.
I could still run, but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t have the same desire to push myself as hard. As I slowed down, literally, I realized I needed to make some changes. Wanting to remain active and fit, I decided to try an alternative workout and showed up for a yoga class at my local gym.
I fell in love during that very first class. Yoga “filled in” everything that had been missing in my body and mind. I loved learning all of the fun poses and recognizing how they made me feel. I appreciated the deep breathing, twisting, and detoxing. Yoga brought me the sense of strength, balance, flexibility and focus that I needed. My body began to heal and my mind calmed.
Being a teacher and mother, I immediately wanted to share my discovery of yoga with all the kids in my life. I realized that if they could have some of the same knowledge, techniques, and skills that I now had, it could make a big impact on their health and well-being.
Eager to get started, I searched everywhere for kids yoga resources such as games, lesson plans, and child-approved yoga games, only to find that most of what was available at the time was not very age appropriate or engaging.
Frustrated with the lack of resources, I went into full-blown lesson plan writing. The teacher in me came out in full strength as I decided I wanted to figure out how to teach kids yoga. I took the things kids are interested in, such as animals, superheroes, and adventure, and then created corresponding kids’ poses and games that were child-friendly and engaging.
Before long I began teaching kids’ yoga classes in schools, preschools, daycares, clubs, yoga camps, and yoga birthday parties. The kids I taught loved these themed yoga lesson plans and games. For me, it was enjoyable and rewarding to make yoga relevant and fun for kids. I loved that they were getting introduced to yoga at such young ages.
After leading hundreds of classes and instructing thousands of children, I knew I had truly mastered what really works for introducing yoga to children. The Go Go Yoga for Kids books were created to help others feel confident and effective in introducing yoga and mindfulness to children in memorable kid-friendly ways.
Soon after that, the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and the Kids Yoga Challenge App were created as a companion to the books or a standalone to engaging ways to introduce yoga to children. Since then, my interest in yoga for kids and its accompanying benefits has only continued to grow. The Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training is for those who are ready to dive in deeper into helping children mentally and physically through the benefits of yoga.
To continue to help others gain confidence in introducing children to yoga and mindfulness, I enjoy speaking and presenting at schools, professional development workshops, and conferences on how to effectively teach yoga and mindfulness to children.
Thank you for joining me in this adventure and for sharing yoga and all its benefits with the kids in your life.