ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Internationally Certified Yoga Teacher. Creative. Mompreneur. Professional. Kids Yoga Expert. Fitness Enthusiast. Trailblazer. Certified Happiness Coach.
This is the story of my transformation from a Chartered Accountant into a full-fledged yogapreneur. I came to the mat at an early age myself; yoga was introduced to me at school. But the concepts were quite dense and hard to grasp. However, through the years and other fitness activities, something kept bringing me back to yoga. When I was juggling work responsibilities as a young mom, I began to look for an activity for my daughter that was both a stress buster and a learning experience. However I couldn't find anything similar in Mumbai ! I decided to seize the day and pioneer kids’ yoga classes in December 2018, in Mumbai. My goal was simple: transform the yoga teaching experience and thus, transform the students.
My quest was becoming apparent.. Could I help kids connect with yoga even though it had been hard for me to grasp as a child? Fortunately, a wonderful yoga guru helped me find some answers. She deftly and gently illuminated how much a mind-body connect can transform one’s life. My way of paying it forward is helping kids, and by extension their parents, the way my guru helped me. Now, qualified with a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification, I am working to help kids begin their yoga journeys. The classes I’ve designed aim to fire up young minds and calm little hearts. They are based on kids’ needs and boundless energy, helping them express and dissipate the same. I’ve seen amazing results with my own child and then every single one of my students.
The journey with Li'l Yogis has not been long but it’s already been extremely rewarding. For one, I’ve been honoured to be curriculum head for yoga at DIY X Kyt Academy. Another vote of confidence for Li’l Yogis was being featured on Mother’s Menu for the Living Foodz TV channel. I even helped Radio One’s RJ Annie and her listeners celebrate International Yoga Day. Most humbling of all, I realised I had organically passed on my knowledge to over three thousand little ones within one short year! Before the pandemic, our lessons were in the invigorating sea air. With the onset of Covid-19, we went online; now kids as far away as Singapore and Europe join us! We look forward to making a difference to hundreds of parents and kids nationally and internationally, propagating this deep cultural knowledge.
Our teachers have spent hours upon hours honing their skills. You can be sure they know how to really make yoga classes interesting and engaging for your kids.
A teacher first connects with the child and then teaching just follows. A certified Montessori teacher, Nelofer is brilliant with children. She has been conducting story telling sessions across the globe for 2 years now.
I was introduced to Yoga and it's benefits at an early age as I would accompany my mother to her yoga classes. Yoga has really helped me build a strong bond between my mind and body. Yoga has made me emotionally and physically strong . I always got back to yoga at all phases of my life to heal and rejuvenate. I am glad to be given this opportunity of imparting this ultimate art to the little ones, helping them relax in the most fun way possible.
Li’l Yogis began as a way for me to bring the life-changing power of yoga to the community in Mumbai. I wanted to help parents, as well as kids, with an activity that had transformed me and then my daughter. However, through experience, I saw that without a good guru, it could be vast and difficult to grasp. There is a lot of physical work alongside dense concepts; so the agility of the mind and the body had to be equally addressed. Finding a way to teach all this to children and keeping them engaged all the way through, was a challenge, although it was a fun one.
It always felt right to create Li’l Yogis as a forum to help kids imbibe yoga in an enjoyable, sustainable way, rather than emphasising certification too much. Taking cues from my yoga journey and teaching my daughter, I was able to create a comprehensive blueprint for working with other kids. I was also lucky enough to be able to bring together a team of trustworthy, patient and experienced teachers who share the load with me.
Together, we carefully design our classes to address kids’ needs. We constantly try to make concepts and poses as easy to understand as possible. And this means making them as fun as possible. We have found that teaching through storytelling works best. We can convey everything from asanas to philosophy by wrapping it all up in stories and games, songs and themes. These are curated, based on the ages and thus the developmental phases of the kids.
Yoga also has deep roots in nature and natural imagery, which most kids love; so we found it important to deepen this connect. Kids can imbibe the majesty of a lion through the lion pose or the grace of a bird through the pigeon pose. Finally, breathwork, meditation and asanas better kids’ mind-body connection, keeping students on their toes, sometimes literally! In our classes, learning is continuous, spontaneous and free flowing. It’s holistic development, tailored to each child. We’re happy to see that boys and girls as young as three and as old as fifteen stay engaged in our classes.
Making yoga a way of life for many more kids and helping parents with the task of raising well-rounded, stable children gives us a lot of joy. In order to achieve this, as well as move with the times, we’ve become more digital this year. So, while our offline classes continue, we can take our tried and tested methods far and wide through the power of the world wide web. In this way we can be safe and reach more kids across the world; win-win!
We’ve even gathered all our learning into a comprehensive online course for anyone who wishes to be a yoga teacher for kids. You can learn at your own pace and you get practical advice and lessons to supplement the theory, too. Our goal is to continue spreading the yogic way of life from Europe to Australia, one little yogi at a time!