A comprehensive certification program for teaching yoga and mindfulness to children and youth ages 3 to 18.
Kids need skills to help them thrive in the world and navigate the many challenges they face. Yoga and mindfulness practices give them practical ways to increase their self-awareness, access their inner resources, and find their personal power—all while having fun!
There’s a growing body of research that highlights the benefits of yoga and mindfulness for kids. We’ve worked with more than 100,000 kids since Little Flower Yoga started in 2006, and we’ve seen for ourselves that when kids regularly participate in yoga and mindfulness practices, they:
Amazing class, everything taught I can use right away. The teacher was passionate, thoughtful, interesting to listen to, and engaged the entire group.
LFY Teacher Training is a comprehensive certification program in yoga and mindfulness practices for children and youth ages 3 to 18. Certified by Yoga Alliance, and offering up to 6 graduate level credits (through our accredited partner University of the Pacific) the training focuses on the complete physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of students.
The foundation of the training is rooted in building your own self-awareness and deepening personal practice—after all, we can’t teach what we don’t know. From there, we equip you with a wide range of activities that you can immediately implement with the kids you work with.
Our work is research-based, developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, and centered on healing and resilience building. Trauma-informed teaching practices are integrated into all of our programs. As practitioners and educators ourselves, we are immersed in the latest developments in the field and update our curriculum regularly.
The LFY training program is an inclusive, professional, caring, empowering experience with top-notch trainers who bring out the best in all its participants. I look forward to bringing my new-found wisdom and practice out into the world!
Through an innovative combination of in-person and online workshops,
as well as one-on-one mentorship, you will:
You will return home with a deeper understanding of child development, the capacity and confidence to create lesson plans that meet children’s needs, and the knowledge to teach in a safe, engaging, and compassionate way.
This was the most comprehensive, well-planned, and creatively structured children's yoga course I have ever attended...I now feel much more confident in working with children in my yoga studio
People from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences attend our Teacher Training Programs. The one thing they share is a desire to give kids the tools they need to embrace joy and build resilience, regardless of their circumstances.
Note: You do not need to be a yoga teacher or an advanced practitioner to attend this training, although we recommend you have some yoga experience and a basic mindfulness practice.
I can’t say enough about what I took away from this program. Not only do I feel totally prepared to teach yoga to children, but I’m a better teacher and a better person.
There are two ways to participate in the workshops and courses offered through the LFY Teacher Training Program.
Some of our classes are available to take as stand alone learning experiences based on your interests and needs (or for continuing education). The Level 1 course (Foundations of Children’s Yoga + Mindfulness: Creating Safe and Engaging Mind-Body Experiences), Chair Yoga for Children and Adolescents, and Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices are open to anyone at any time.
We also offer online programs and webinars that have no prerequisites. If you find yourself inspired and want to learn more, you might consider getting certified.
If you are interested in becoming a Certified Little Flower Yoga Teacher, you’ll need to complete the following requirements: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 (in person), Trauma Informed Teaching Practices (online), Chair Yoga (online), Mentorship (online), and reading and writing assignments (at home).
In some locations, we combine L1, L2 and L3 of training into Part 1 and Part 2, which covers all of the same material. There is no required time frame for completion—you can work toward certification at your own pace.
We suggest you begin your certification training with the Level 1 (or Part 1) course. If you are unable to make it to a Level 1 course first, you could start your certification training with the Trauma-Informed Teaching or the Chair Yoga workshop, which are both available online and occasionally in person.
Learn to share yoga and mindfulness with children and teens ages 3 to 18. Take an in-depth look at the relationship between the brain, the body, and the nervous system. Explore our 5 Element framework —connect, breathe, move, focus and relax. Learn to create developmentally appropriate lesson plans.
Explore the physical, emotional, and social aspects of youth development. Refine your teaching skills, with an emphasis on connect element practices. Learn a compassionate approach to classroom and behavior management, with a focus on how to handle challenging behavior mindfully and effectively.
Gain the tools you need to effectively create curricula and teach from your own authentic presence. Explore the challenges and opportunities of working with adolescents. Learn strategies to best support students with specific needs. Practice teach and refine your skills in supportive community.
Chair yoga reduces barriers to participation and creates a more accessible practice for students. It’s an ideal style of yoga for children to practice in school without the need for mats or open space, which are often in short supply, and it is useful for healthcare professionals and others who would like to incorporate practice in short increments during other services.
While our entire training is trauma informed, in this advanced workshop you’ll gain a greater understanding of the physiological and neurological effects of trauma, the relationship between trauma and behavior, and learn how yoga and mindfulness practices can support healing and boost protective factors.
We incorporate recommended reading throughout each level of training, but in order to qualify for certification there are required reading assignments as well, including texts such as: Best Practices for Yoga in Schools; The Whole Brain Child; How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk; and Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.
In order to support integration of material and get the mind working on implementation, we require 4 short papers for certification. These include a reading reflection, a classroom management scenario work-up, an action plan and a journaling project. All are offered to support your learning, and no grades are given.
Mentorship is an essential part of your training, and an opportunity to put what you have learned into context and practice teaching in a supportive and intentional way. Most LFY students participate in our online mentorship program, designed to fit into your life regardless of schedule or location. We have a limited number of live mentorships available as well in select locations.
I have been an educator for 30+ years and this was one of THE best trainings I have ever attended. The presenters are impassioned individuals who have deep respect for children and their development and share their passion, tools and resources with grace, intelligence and humor. They created a safe space for us to learn, experiment, ask questions and make mistakes. They also facilitated time for us to reflect, collaborate and nurture ourselves. TOP NOTCH!!!
Educator for 30+ Years
We all need ongoing support to integrate our learning, continuing growing as educators, and to chat with likeminded folks about the many challenging (and funny) scenarios that arise during teaching. Graduates of the LFY Teacher Training are eligible to join the LFY Member Teacher Program. This community of support is designed to offer you both tangible resources to support your career, and and a built in group of colleagues. Benefits include:
In addition to our Member Teacher program, graduates can join our private Facebook Group at no cost. You can continue to learn from and tap into the wisdom of your colleagues in this vibrant and active community of educators, yoga teachers, mental health care providers, coaches, parents and many others. We’ve got about 850 members of this group so far, and the generosity of spirit and advice freely offered is helpful and inspiring.
Our graduates take their certification into the world in a wide variety of ways, from teaching full time in schools, to integrating learning into their current service oriented careers, to starting innovative programs of their own.
Police officer & founder of LEAP community policing program
Founder of the non-profit Center for Resilience in Providence RI
Children’s Program Director Alluem Yoga, founder of Embody Love Camp
Tuition based on location, and ranges from $595-$795 per level ($895 for Part 1/Part 2 courses, which combined include L1-L3 content). See individual events for more details. Weeklong trainings average $1285 for tuition, and housing costs vary.
The requirements for our chair and trauma courses can be met through online options at $145 per course. Live workshops on these topics are occasionally available and tuition varies by location.
Both online and live mentorship options are available, and tuition is $350 for either.
The cost of reviewing required reading and writing is included in your program and there is no additional charge.
Estimated tuition cost for full certification ranges from $2425 – $3025 based on location of in-person training components. Payment plans are available in most locations for those who commit to full certification.
Because we wish to make these practices available to as many children and youth as possible, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of 50% tuition scholarships for our trainings. Scholarships are based on need, and we receive more applications than we can fulfill. Thank you for your understanding.
Each summer we offer a weeklong training (Levels 1, 2 and 3) at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. This program requires a separate scholarship application.
We regularly offer all three levels of training in NYC, Washington DC, Princeton NJ, and several other partner locations around the world including in Iceland and Montreal. Each year we offer several 8 day retreats, combining the three levels of training, at retreat centers such at Omega Institute
in Rhinebeck NY and Art of Living in North Carolina. View our events page for details on upcoming offerings.
Definitely not. This is a comprehensive training that is appropriate for anyone who is interested in helping children become the best versions of themselves. Each training session contains a diverse group of yoga teachers, classroom teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, counselors, parents and many more.
You don’t have to be able to do advanced yoga poses for training, but general familiarity with the practice is important. The best thing to do is to just participate in classes at a local yoga studio before our training, and, if possible, take a beginners yoga workshop in preparation.
No. Some people register for Level One and find that they have the tools they need to introduce yoga to the children in their lives. Most participants do eventually participate in all three levels, but there is no timeline for completion and no requirement to take all 3 levels unless you are hoping to become certified.
Yes. Yoga Alliance certification requires that you participate in all three levels of training, chair yoga and trauma informed yoga courses (one day or online), complete some required reading and accompanying writing assignments, and participate in the mentorship program.
We work with each teacher to adapt the mentorship to the demands of busy schedules. If you participate in live mentorship (usually greater NYC area only) we require 18 hours of class participation, and many people choose to attend once a week for two back to back classes, and complete the program in 9 weeks. Most folks participate in our web based mentor program, which takes 6-12 weeks based on your pace.
Yes. All of our School Yoga Project teachers are LFY certified, and we only hire teachers who have completed our training. Participation is not a guarantee of hire, but we are adding new school programs every semester and regularly need new teachers and subs in NY. We also receive regular requests for teachers around the country and do our best to refer those opportuntities to member teachers and training graduates.
LFY Trainings are accredited through the University of the Pacific for graduate level credit. Each L1-L1 course is eligible for 1 credit, and full certification is eligible for 6 credits.
Payment for these credits is made directly to the University, at the rate of $64 per credit.
Here is some additional information:
The University of the Pacific is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state of California. The Graduate-Level Professional Development semester credit provided by the University of the Pacific is accepted by school districts nationwide. The University of the Pacific is fully accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The credits offered are post-baccalaureate, graded, graduate-level semester credits, provided directly through the University of the Pacific, University College. They are specifically designed to meet the needs of educators for Salary Advancement and Recertification.
The credits are acceptable where local districts approve and applicable to state licensing where authorized. We always encourage teachers to check with their employer for acceptability of these credits. All participants are responsible to determine acceptability of these credits for their intended use.
It is under the discretion of individual universities as to whether or not they will accept some or all of these graduate-level professional development units towards attainment of specialty credentials or masters degrees with them.
Teachers are advised to verify with their school district or state licensing bureau acceptance of such graduate-level professional development semester units/credits prior to registration for unit credit.