Summer’s almost here! Add some fun with a twist to your kids summer plans with kids yoga at Evolve Yoga & Wellness. We’ve got a new Kids Yoga teacher who is certain to entertain the kids while teaching them about mindfulness and wellness.
Ryan Allen is Associate Professor of English and Writing at Briar Cliff University. Ryan is currently in our 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and the Lotus Kids Yoga Teacher Training. He and his wife, Meghan, founded Lumin Therapy in Sioux City to bring yoga to families and children with special needs. We caught up with Ryan to interview him about his practice, his teaching, and life in general. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself – family, pets, hobbies, etc.
I’m a father of three, a husband to one, a friend to many, and a lover of all. I’m a reader, a writer, a teacher and a student. I’ve been a camp counselor, an environmental educator, a paraprofessional, a substitute teacher, an adjunct instructor, and an assistant and associate professor. I’ve taught judo and coached basketball and t-ball. I feel most alive when holding my kids, kissing my wife, catching a fish, and breathing in pose.
What part of your yoga journey was the most transformational for you?
We are all born yogis. Having children, though, is what awoke this reality within my being. It was always there, but having children, like nothing else, exposed my greatest strengths and my profoundest weaknesses; it made me more aware and more afraid and more determined than any other experience in my life; it provided me the day to day, moment by moment awareness of the dance and divine play of life and love. My yoga mat is where I come to practice my dance moves and learn new games to play.
What is your current inspiration for your classes?
I like thinking about what the world needs and then translating that with my students. When I look outward, especially at young people, what I see is the need to breathe more, to slow down and chill out, and to find some peace and love and gratitude in the present moment. And then without doubt, my students stories inspire me. It’s about them. I’m humbled and fulfilled by the journey of helping others help themselves.
What do you hope your students take away from your classes?
I invite my students to breathe, to move, to rest and meditate, and to find gratitude.
What are you currently exploring and learning about in your own yoga practice?
I am supremely interested in the mythology of yoga. I’m finding that the more I learn about the story of yoga the more I am able to write the kind of healthy, balanced narrative I seek in my own life. I’m learning ways to apply the practice of what is happening on my mat out beyond it: in my relationship to my Self, my family, my community, and to the universe.
One last thing: What’s your favorite yoga pose right now?
Savasana: “Minutes to learn, a lifetime to master,” is what it reads on an old game of Othello. I feel like this is true of the corpse pose. One of my major goals lately has been to let go–to let go of what doesn’t serve me and keeps me bound, and to release my own grip on things or people or ideas I hold too tightly, which restricts their ability to live and freely choose their own path. Also, I love savasana because like most people, I need to rest. I spend way too much time in the numbing go-go-go that I enthusiastically embrace any opportunity to stop and breathe (and to get one of those lovely neck massages from all my favorite teachers).
PRACTICE WITH RYAN
KIDS YOGA, Saturdays at 1pm
Our kids yoga class is all about finding fun and focus and empowering our children to love and learn through the practice of breathing, meditation, movement, and gratitude. We’ll discover animals and adventure, and an awareness of the magic within through mindful play.