Hi, I’m Aruna and I write the Young Yoga Masters blog with a focus on tools for great kids yoga teachers.
Hope Springs from a Trauma
In terms of yoga, I started doing yoga in 1995, looking for a way of dealing with my stressed out life. 1995 was the year I experienced the biggest trauma of my life, one that really sent me for a loop (you can read about it at this link).
I signed up for some classes at the local gym to help fight off the depression. The loud music in the aerobics class was just too much for me and someone suggested trying the yoga class.
Wow! I found a way to get in shape and to deal with all the stress I was going through.
Yoga became the favorite part of my week and before I knew it, I was going to every yoga class the gym offered. I remember riding my bike to yoga one day and I noticed I had started to whistle. It had been a long time since I had been spontaneously happy. I was hooked on yoga because in time it brought me out of a dark place and into the light.
Yoga gave me tools to relax my mind when I laid down to sleep at night. It also gave me courage to start living my life again, and this time on new terms.
6 Years in an Ashram
In 1998 I became a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and began teaching yoga. From 1999 to 2005 I lived in the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Toronto and immersed myself in the yogic lifestyle. In 2000 I accepted the position of Manager and lived under one roof with 15 other spiritual seekers for six years while I also managed the house (read: unplugged toilets, mediated arguments, and sat on committees when people wanted to move in listening to questions like: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?). I still teach yoga at this Ashram in Toronto because it is such a special place to do yoga.
Meditation and Entrepreneurial Inspiration
Around this time I also met a Meditation Master, the author of Ancient Secrets of Success for Today’s World, Tulshi Sen. Mr. Sen became a mentor for me to begin to think BIG using spiritual principles.
Kids Yoga Experience
Back in 1998 I began teaching kids yoga at the request of my friends. My lessons were based on the tools I had learned in the Radiant Child Yoga Program and in any kids yoga books I could find to get ideas (they were not that easy to find back then).
Filling the Gap for Kids Yoga Philospophy
These tools were effective, but after 5+ years teaching kids, I was getting burnt out and felt the deep desire to take kids yoga beyond animal yoga poses and games. This was how the Young Yoga Masters Teacher Training began. It filled the gap for kid friendly yoga that also incorporated meaningful philosophy.
Using the inspiration to follow my dreams from my Meditation Teacher, I developed a Kids Yoga Teacher Training with yoga philosophy. To support this I started blogging on Kids Yoga and posted my first blog blog called Teaching Kids Yoga in 2007. It was the first blog in the world dedicated solely to kids yoga.
Bringing Yoga Into Schools
In this video Aruna is featured at the 2:23 – 6:50 min mark.
Now our Kids Yoga Teacher Training has expanded to meet Yoga Alliance requirements for 95 hours of training and is a Registered Children`s Yoga School.
Currently, most of my focus is on training new teachers around the world and in person, through the blog, on-line and live Teacher Training. I still teach a few kids classes in Toronto, Canada. I teach privately in day cares and I have a few open classes, for children, for adults and tots, and for adults only (adult classes are so pleasantly quiet after teaching kids!). This gives me lots of opportunities to test all these yoga tools on real students. Plus it’s fun.
Why so Many Names?
I remember laughing at someone who was using a spiritual name when I was in University. Little did I know I would be one of “those people!” I received my first spiritual name when I made my Confirmation in the Catholic Church when I was in grade seven. I chose the name Anne, who was the grandmother of Jesus (but I was also influenced by the spunky Ann of Green Gables).
Yogi Bhajan bestowed the name Santokh Kaur in 1998 which means “princess of patience and contentment.” Was this foreshadowing for a future in kids yoga?
Years later l received the name Aruna from my meditation teacher which means “The sun at the dawn when it is loving and compassionate.” A spiritual name helps one understand their path and destiny in life. Meditating on myself in all these capacities has helped me grow.
For information on having a private consultation about your kids yoga questions click here.
If you have any questions about Kids Yoga or are interested in booking a Young Yoga Masters training in your area, please feel free to contact me.
Aruna Kathy Humphrys
416-944-2888 (Toronto, Canada)