“This year my First Grade students had the pleasure of having Sara come into their class to teach them Yoga and the skills that come with it. My students were always so enthusiastic and excited to have her come into the classroom. I was able to see the students use what they learned from Sara within the classroom, from finding ways to calm themselves down to using kind words amongst their peers. I was able to see students who have such high energy be able to calm themselves down in order to perform their work in the classroom. It was also amazing the connection that Sara made with the students and her willingness to come into the classroom to help students with one-on-one yoga sessions if there were behavior problems.” – Kristen Espe, First Grade Teacher
“The first thing that struck me about Sara’s yoga class in my classroom was the language that she used with my students. It is empowering, powerful and truly hits at the heart of what we fight to teach them everyday: that they are worthy of greatness and that they can achieve anything they want to if they work hard and believe in themselves. She speaks to them calmly and with high expectations. She does not let them get away with anything that would compromise their personal integrity and is quick to redirect them or remind them of their best selves. It amazes me to watch her interact with our students as she demands structure and participation but does so with grace, love and understanding.
Her program in our school this year was extremely inclusive of all levels and abilities. Every student was able to participate in Sara’s yoga. Students with ADHD, students with disabilities, students who love to be at the center of attention and students who are quiet and reserved and don’t ever want the spotlight. Every student looked forward to their time with Sara and was disappointed when class ended.
Although the impact Sara had on my class this year was widespread and all encompassing, there is one relationship that sticks out as particularly impressive and impactful. I had an autistic 2nd grader this year that was extremely sensitive to his academic surroundings and classmates. He was very uncoordinated and dreaded any type of active enrichment. Often times active periods of the day would trigger him and send him into screaming fits that would take a long time to calm down from and be very disruptive to our entire building. I will never forget the first time he went to yoga class. Sara gently invited him to participate, clearly treating him as an equal among his peers in our classroom. She helped him in poses he was uncomfortable in, gave him leadership and calmed him down quickly when he would start to get upset. She allowed him to be completely himself, while also including him in each and every activity. It was not long until this student would leave yoga every time with a huge smile on his face and say, “Mrs. Thompson, I did a good job in yoga today!” It was truly a joy to see Sara help this student enjoy something active and feel successful as he did it despite his disability. This not only set this student up for success and focus for the rest of our school day, but also gave him something to look forward to in his day. This is only one of countless stories I could tell of how yoga class positively impacted my students.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this program or about Sara. She is changing lives and empowering each and every child she interacts with. She is inspiring to both my students and to me!” – Carolyn Thompson, Second Grade Teacher
“Rise Up Yoga brought self-regulation and mindfulness skills into our classrooms in a way that was engaging, creative and fun for kids! Our students looked forward to class and couldn’t wait to show off what they had learned for the rest of the day leading to better moods and a higher level of focus. Sara rocks!!!” – Melissa Seigle, School Counselor
“Ms. Sara brought such a calm and supportive attitude to my rather chaotic classroom of 5th graders. She helped build their confidence with yoga and meditation techniques while fostering a caring and respectful community. Many of my tougher students found a place in the yoga classroom where they could be at peace with themselves and others during the school day. Sara’s warmth and wealth of knowledge in both yoga and teaching was something that positively impacted not only my classroom but our school as a whole” – Emily Kirby, Fifth Grade Teacher
“Sara brought an aura of positivity and self-respect into my first-grade classroom every time she arrived for specials. My students ended each yoga class calmer and ready to start their learning as a result of Sara’s teaching.” – Emily DelMonte, First Grade Teacher