Episode #57 Social Emotional Learning (SEL) with Miss Amy’s YOGA-2-GO, LLC

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Amy Starkey has practiced occupational therapy for over 20 years as a school-based and early-intervention occupational therapy assistant. She is the founder of YOGA-2-GO, LLC, a children’s and teens yoga & mindfulness organization that specializes in therapeutic, trauma-informed and special needs yoga and social-emotional learning. Through her work with YOGA-2-GO, Amy has provided yoga enrichment programming for schools, youth organizations, and individual clients since 2007 and currently offers virtual services for students and families.
Amy’s mission in starting YOGA-2-GO was to make the many therapeutic benefits of yoga available to ALL children, regardless of any physical, mental, or socioeconomic challenges they may have.
Amy loves to share her knowledge in children’s trauma-informed yoga by providing professional development trainings and workshops.
She is the creator of RE-MIND©, a therapeutic children’s product line that offers therapy materials and educational games for teaching self-regulation skills and mindfulness to children ages 5+.
In addition to her OT degree, Amy has earned certifications as a children’s and adult yoga instructor, Qigong instructor, continuing education provider, Certified Natural Health Counselor, and a Certified Trauma Practitioner (CTP). She recently started CHOOSE2LOVEU Self-Care Healthcare, a virtual natural health & wellness practice with an emphasis on self-care and therapeutic mind & body-based practices for teens and adults.
Last year, she combined her OT knowledge with her love of Qigong to create the Qi-Go® Therapeutic Qigong + Mindful Movement program which we will be practicing a class from this evening.
Amy lives in beautiful Greenville, SC with a very spoiled cat who graciously adopted her last year. When she is not seeing clients or working on new
projects, she enjoys practicing Qigong, writing, hiking, and gardening.

You can find more information at https://www.missamysyoga2go.com/

Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

yoga, programs, adults, calm, mindfulness, therapists, virtual, tools, listeners, awesome, stress, children, amy, trainings, schools, sel, mind, ci, absolutely, professional development

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast. Again, we have another wonderful special guest. She's coming back from season one. Now in season two, Miss Amy with Miss Amy show. Good to go. Welcome to the show.

Hello. Hi. Nice to be here. Thank you.

So Amy, tell us a little bit about your organization, you'll get to go and some of the programs are offering.

Absolutely. So yoga to go is a therapist owned and operated virtual yoga program. It is I started it, I founded it in 2007 while I was working as an occupational therapist in the schools. And it just became a really good supplement to my occupational therapy sessions using yoga and mindfulness to help children, particularly children with special needs and trauma. So we specialize in trauma informed yoga, cell focused yoga, special needs yoga, and we provide programming for schools grades K through 12.

And it's so awesome.

For our listeners who maybe don't know what cell means, Can you spell that out?

Yes, thank you. social emotional learning very big right now. So teaching children to really become more self aware and figure out what's going on with their emotions, their mind, their body, and then also socially aware. So when we're more self aware, we can be more socially aware and make better connections and relationships with others. So we're really getting those SEL skills in the yoga to go courses as well in the class. Oh,

this is so needed, especially in early development. I'm so glad that you work with younger children as well as older children. Can you kind of give us a breakdown of what age groups are for what

services? Yeah, absolutely. So like I said, I work with K through 12. But I kind of keep the K through five kiddos under one program. And that would be the calm, calm Schools program. So calm schools is more of the out of school time. Okay, they're doing more yoga, maybe after school programming, phys ed, recess options. Then we have another K through five program. And that's SEL move mind, which I'm really excited about. This is our newest one. And that is bringing sell, sell skill, so curriculum, sensory movement and mindfulness into the classroom setting. So movement is really something you want to do in the classroom right from the desk, very easy to do. No props, no matter nothing needed, just right there in the classroom. So this is the K through five programs. Then I have ci mine and she might disperse six through 12. The older kiddos, NEC combines ci Gong, which is just a very gentle moving and mindfulness exercise. So we have Qi Gong and mindfulness movement combined for older kiddos makes it a little more interesting. They kind of view it like martial arts. So there's a little more buy in then. Yes,

yeah. And then with with COVID and everything, how's that? How's it working with virtual and like for transitioning these programs, that format?

I'll tell you, just like everybody, I was completely blindsided because my programs were all on site 100% for this entire time since Oh, seven and, and now in response to COVID. We just went completely virtual. And it's been really a blessing in disguise because it gives me the ability to reach a larger location of people to reach more people virtually. It's wonderful. So I'm doing programs. I'm here in South Carolina, but I'm doing programs all over.

Awesome. No, that's, that's awesome. That's much needed.

Yes, definitely.

And you also have some products available to help educators and teachers and therapists and families parents.

Yes, all of us. Yes, this is the remind children's mindfulness card deck. And this is basically three steps to self regulation three steps to helping children learn how to get back into that calm, centered, self regulated state, and to really prevent those meltdowns and that dysregulation to catch it before it spirals out. Okay, so first, they're just going to check in step one, step two, they're going to figure out what they're feeling what tools they need to help themselves feel better. There's several This is a 56 card deck, you can see all of these little faces, feelings and tools cards here. They're figuring out what they're feeling what they need, you know, maybe I just need quiet space I need some time alone. And then step three, we recheck can we figure out how are you feeling now that you've used your tools you do you need more time? Do you need more tools? Can you take away some of those hard feelings cards and put in some happier easier feelings cards now, it really just you work with them one on one with this. It's a really good tool for therapists especially out but eventually they very quickly learn how to use the three steps for themselves. So very cool. Thank you.

What is the best place for our listeners to find you online?

Oh, I'm probably well My website is www dot Miss Amy's yoga to number two go.com. We have a Facebook page yoga to go LLC Facebook page. I'm just I'm out there so not hard to do. But if you put in a search, you'll find me.

Awesome. Well, is there anything else you'd like to share with our listeners today and you haven't covered yet?

Yeah, actually I do a lot of trainings. So we offer a lot of professional development trainings. There's a yoga tool series that I have. And some of the trainings involved in that would be yoga tools for schools, yoga tools for trauma, yoga tools for Tots for early childhood population. So there's just several, two, I can adapt them to 123 hour trainings depending on your needs. Right now. They're all webinars, they're all live. And they do qualify for professional development and continuing education hours. So definitely check those out. Those are listed on the website. Just really good stuff in there really good information.

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing.

With me, we always like to ask what would be your advice to our listeners, your best advice

for wear your seatbelt? No. Oh, wait with yoga mindfulness. Yeah, I just say brief. So I think especially adults, adults more than kids, they get very hung up, we get very hung up in our minds. And we think, Oh, am I doing this? Right? I'm doing this right. Oh, by breathing right. And that just kind of takes away from the whole point of it. So if you can just learn to do that calm, slow mindful breathing, that's the best thing you can do. That's absolutely the best thing you can do to switch that brain over from stress state you know, sympathetic to parasympathetic, calm state.

Personally, I've found to with mean, just in everyday life, if I'm getting stressed, it's often much easier to like grab my phone or like distract myself with something than it is to just stop and breathe. And so I think that's such an awesome reminder and people disagree.

True. Absolutely. I'm guilty of that myself and sadly half the time the things we're seeing on the phone and scrolling through are just creating more stress I don't know an adult out there that Witten say I just need a little bit more peace and calm right. We always need a little bit more calm called sacred all that is the lives that we have going on so rudely self care all the way. Yes, if I can mention real quickly for the adults, because it's so important. Thank you for that reminder, our own self care starting with self. So we feel self regulated before we move on to helping our children are tn. I do offer chicoine for adults, there's virtual classes, virtual chicoine for self care for adults. And I can put I'll send a link to the chicoine page for you to

check that out. If you're awesome. Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Miss Amy, for sharing all this wonderful words of wisdom and all the just thank you for all the things that you're doing for your community.

Thank you both for everything you're doing. This is wonderful. I really appreciate it. And thank you for having me.

I very welcome Thank you.

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