Sayaka Blakeney is a parent, doula and yoga instructor in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has found utility for Yoga Ed. in nearly all aspects of her personal and professional life.
Although Sayaka has been able to utilize her Yoga Ed. training toward expanding her opportunities for teaching yoga in schools and studios throughout the Honolulu area, she notes that “at the end of the day, I still use techniques for classroom management at home with children.” Now a mother to four children between the ages of one and 17, Sayaka has been able to apply what she now knows about child development to how she understands, engages, and communicates with her kids.
“Yoga Ed. gave me a clear understanding of what children are, their motivations for why they think and act the way that they do,” said Sayaka. Looking at her children’s behaviors through an informed, logical lens, she can now make sense of why they feel or act certain ways. Even in the face of tears and tantrums, Sayaka has the self-efficacy to unpack her children’s behavior down to the biological level, so that she can address the problem at the source. This new insight has taken some of the frustration out of high-emotion parenting situations, so that Sayaka can focus on making her children feel heard and understood.
Connecting with Yoga Ed. has also enabled Sayaka to see the big picture of how her personal development from childhood to adulthood not only influenced her past experiences but continues to shape her personality and how she presents herself to her kids. “The effect has been transformative,” she says. “Because we were all once children, and we are all children on the inside,” Sayaka feels that she not only knows herself better, but can better connect and engage with her children. With the insight and tools to slow down, Sayaka can engage with her children on their level and facilitate more meaningful relationships.
Finally, Sayaka’s experience with Yoga Ed. has led to more fruitful communication with her children, especially her teens. “It makes it so much easier to communicate with my teenagers, to let them know that I really do understand what is happening and what they’re experiencing.” Even further, Sayaka feels she can now explain her rules and boundaries to them in a way they understand — something she wishes her parents had been able to do for her. “I know what developmental phase they are in and can communicate that to them. It’s been awesome in opening up our communication.”