While Michael wears a variety of hats–doing an assortment of work in the customer service industry to provide for his family–yoga has been a steady and consistent presence in his life for the past decade. Inspired by the profound personal influence yoga has had, and driven by a deep desire to teach, Michael decided to pursue certification to teach yoga, and is on the last leg of his 200-hour RYT certification in vinyasa. However, his journey with Yoga Ed. was much more coincidental. Being tapped into the yoga community in Honolulu, where Yoga Ed. is headquartered, Michael stumbled upon Yoga Ed. at a time when his own children were beginning to delve into yoga practices themselves. Seeing the change in confidence and demeanor of his kids pushed Michael to learn more. Now he holds two certificates in Professional Institutes 1 and 2, and his entire outlook on yoga, and on parenting, has been revolutionized.

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From the inside out.

Even though Michael came to Yoga Ed. with a passion for teaching, he found unexpected applications for his parenting, and has completely reshaped how he approaches his children, starting from the inside out. The developmental lens of the Yoga Ed. curriculum “restructured all my preconceived notions of being a parent and how best to deal with the developmental differences between my children,” says Michael. “It gave me a different perspective on how best to deal with their inevitable and natural changes.” With all three of his kids along the spectrum of adolescence, the ability to understand the physiological basis for what they were experiencing, and how they understood their own experiences, was especially helpful for Michael to release some of the pressure and guilt that comes with being a parent. “I could no longer just assume my children’s behavior was just a fault of my poor parenting,” but rather was influenced by a multitude of underlying developmental factors that all teens experience.

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Navigating the Storm.

Knowing more about how his teens’ brains were at work, Michael was able to take away a newfound patience to navigate, or wait out, the storms that come with the teenage years. “I’ve always considered myself a patient parent, but after my time in Yoga Ed. I learned a new level of patience: not based on turning a blind eye, but one of full observation and appreciation of my children’s overall maturity and development.” Putting this knowledge into action, Michael has been able to develop a new form of discipline that supports his teenagers through the changes. By sharing his insights with his kids, he empowered them to develop self-awareness and self-regulation to help “address and rectify their delinquency” on their own.

“Yoga Ed. provides insight to the natural and inevitable changes your children will experience. You are provided with tools and resources that put the responsibility of your kids actions into their own hands, by helping them become aware of their behaviors and changes.”

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Bonding as Family, Building a Community.

Beyond providing tools and resources for the day-to-day ups and downs, yoga provides Michael and his kids with a way to recharge. Each child embraces their “own practice and style that best suits their desires,” but together as a family, Michael notes that they “practice a lot of mindfulness, breathing and meditative scenarios.” Being able to slow down with the intention of spending quality time together, they have been able to create the space to “give their minds much needed opportunities to release and just surrender to the moment, an opportunity to just be.” In the midst of work, school, friends, extracurriculars and the general business of everyday life, yoga allows them to bond and build a family culture that has both inward and outward benefits. As Michael describes, yoga provides “a greater opportunity to develop behaviors and routines that not just benefit the parent or child, but the family unit and the overall community. It opens up the mind to a more mindful approach to being, and wanting to be a better contributor and participant in the evolution of not just yourself, but everyone you encounter!”

For Michael, this means sharing his passion, and what he discovered through Yoga Ed., with other parents, children, and teens in his own community. “It opened a whole new facet of possibilities,” he notes. Moving forward, Michael is determined to help bring more schools into the movement, by incorporating yoga into their culture as well.

I would definitely recommend Yoga Ed. to all parents, especially single parents!