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Yoga has many physical and emotional benefits and for years adults have been reaping these benefits. But yoga instructor Kristen Matthews wanted to share these same benefits with kids too. She says, “Yoga is for everybody and for every body. I really love working with the kids. They’re just so fun!”

As a child, Matthews taught herself yoga by looking at poses in a magazine article. She now is a Registered Yoga Teacher and a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher and has 595 hours of training under her belt.

To obtain the training needed to become a children’s yoga instructor, Kristen visited India three times and one trip to Mexico. Each trip was a month long. During her studies, she was able to feel the impact of thousands of years of tradition and practice that yoga has had. She also had the opportunity to get a private lesson from the Dalai Lama himself at his temple in Dharamshala.

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According to Matthews, yoga goes beyond the poses or asanas. “Yoga is not a religion. It’s not a sport. The more flexible and capable I am with my body, I can achieve that much more. I learn how to be peaceful and emotionally stable.”

Matthews has three kids of her own and she loves to share the benefits of yoga with them. She feels it is important for kids to have the tools that yoga can give a person. For example, “I’m having a stressful day, I can meditate it out. That’s what we need more of, we need more children who have these skills,” says Matthews.

While the kids in her class are balanced in a tree pose and look like shaky flamingos, the smile on their faces says it all, they are having a great time!.

For more information about Matthews’ yoga classes for both kids and adults, visit the Ridgefield School District online (Click on Community Education).