Teacher: Jennifer Cohen Harper
School Yoga Project Teacher
All children deserve opportunities to thrive. I’ve always been interested in how people connect and communicate and am struck by how often we ask kids to focus and how rarely we teach them how. I’m excited by how yoga and mindfulness can help with this. My aim is to build on my past experiences as a student, an educator and a mother as I keep learning in order to bring more to every session.A decade ago, I found my way to yoga, which I initially viewed as another challenging physical activity after many years of dance and running. I soon saw that yoga was impacting me in a much more profound way. As I moved beyond the physical practice, I began to notice how utilizing breath and mindfulness was developing my inner awareness, with meaningful benefits for my life. Today I value my yoga and meditation practice, and I completed my Certification with Little Flower Yoga in 2018. I’ve received additional training in Chair Yoga and Trauma-Responsive Teaching, and Yoga for Special Needs Students.I’m also passionate about food justice for all communities. I volunteered with City Harvest’s Nutrition Education Program, leading numerous cooking demonstrations in supermarkets and farmers’ markets in all five boroughs of the city, and teaching classes for children and adults in schools and community community settings. I earned a Certificate in Culinary Nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute before beginning work as a Nutrition Educator with elementary and middle school children within the Harlem Children’s Zone system.I’m proud to teach children’s yoga and mindfulness with Little Flower Yoga’s School Yoga Project, bringing these to diverse communities all over NYC. I’m endlessly inspired by the children I teach. One small student new to the practice, responded to my asking what he knew about yoga with: “I think it’s something about your spirit!” I’m inspired by the possibilities for bringing spirit into education for all children. I’m working toward a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Education at The Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, exploring the intersection of science and spirituality through the framework of psychology. I am focusing on Social and Emotional Learning and the implementation of mindful awareness practices in schools, and I look forward to how much more I will be able to bring to the world of the children’s classrooms.