Meet Yoga Bean Director – Alex Atkins

How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years and love it more and more as I get older.

Where did you do your Teacher Training course? 
I did my training in the beautiful landscape of Ubud in Bali with ‘Byron Yoga’. The experiencewas the best thing I have ever done and led me on a path to find my true passion.
What sparked your interest in teaching kids yoga? 
I initially did my yoga teaching training with the desire to strengthen my own personal practice and then possibly teach adults.
However, when I was introduced to kids yoga shortly after the course, I knew straight away i wanted to teach children.
What effect do you find yoga has on young yogis? How do they respond? 
Kids these days sometimes have more stress than adults and their brains are still developing. Stressors for children can lead to feelings of being unsettled and sometimes overwhelmed with their emotions. Children also often see things as black or white and I think yoga allows them to see the grey. Children start to see how their breathing calms them down and they begin to appreciate what their bodies can do. They develop an understanding about other childrens’ reactions and behaviours. Overall, yoga brings a greater understanding of themselves and others, emotionally, physically and mentally.
What is your favourite part of your job? 
Seeing children and teens come to yoga, thinking it’s all about chanting and sitting in the lotus position and then leaving with a smile and a whole new perspective of their view on yoga. I also adore a child/teen having the opportunity to be calm, be still and have some quiet time – a place where there are no masks, no striving, they can simply just be.
What is your favourite yoga posture? 
Love the nourishment of a good downward dog – gets me every time!
What advice do you have for any aspiring yogis? 
Absolutely follow that desire to learn more and share with others. Yoga is such a beautiful gift to feel and share. If you know this is really what you want, things will fall into place and over time you can see the path you have been moving towards. There will always be challenges, but they are there to allow us to get clear on what we really want.
Can you share with us a favourite story from teaching kids yoga so far? 
Just recently I had a year 6 boy come up to me and say  “I finally – found the piece that was missing in my life” –  yoga for him was a kind of sanctuary, a place that felt safe and nurturing and a new found resource to balance his life.