"Victoria has been a Yoga and Mindfulness instructor at Devonshire Community P.S. for two school years. Victoria offers paid yoga programs to all grades during the nutritional breaks and also offers mindfulness sessions to students during the instructional day (6 week sessions). She is well loved at Devonshire by students, staff and parents and part of our school team! Students benefit from her calm, caring and open approach to yoga and mindfulness. She scaffolds learning for all sessions, teaching the students important calming and self-regulation skills as well as yoga poses that are accessible for all ages and abilities. Her work in our school with our students is beneficial to all students and has high impact on student learning, engagement and achievement. Students are calmer, they have developed breathing and self regulatory techniques. Students who have never been exposed to yoga before or mindfulness are now using these skills and hoping to participate in more sessions.
Victoria is an excellent partner to work with to create programming suitable for unique groups of learners. She and I have worked together to provide various programs and I am always appreciative of her flexibility, her willingness to make whatever work and her positive vibrant attitude. Victoria is always welcome in our school. Simply said, we adore Victoria!" Julie Derbyshire, Principal - Devonshire Public School
"Victoria Lynes is to children as sunlight is to crops. I can speak of her abilities as her student, fellow teacher and as a grandmother who has witnessed her magic. My wish is for all children in this community is to be exposed to her teachings, her energy and her love. As a psychotherapist and family educator I know that when children are given the tools of mindfulness and yoga, that they become better prepared to trust themselves in the world and to function optimally. Victoria has so many tools to offer and the children love learning from her and respond so beautifully. My grandchildren can't wait until Victoria's next class. Last week I asked my 3 year old granddaughter what she liked most about her class and without hesitation she replied "Victoria!" Susan Prosser, Psychotherapist, Family Educator , Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Mother and Grandmother
"Thank you for bringing Yoga and Mindfulness to our school again this year! Nothing brings me more joy than to see my students learning how to calm themselves with your various breathing techniques and challenge themselves with different yoga poses. I can see their love for yoga developing already and I know we will all to continue to use all of the wonderful tools you have given us! Here are some thank you pictures from the Firefly class." Anneke Zuijdwijk, Kindergarten teacher - Elmdale Public School
"Yoga has been a wonderful way to introduce my students to a new form of exercise. As a teacher, it is interesting to see different students excel in this physical activity. Victoria keeps them engaged with a variety of fun movements that build balance, strength and flexibility. The relaxation techniques taught have benefits that extend way beyond the actual yoga session into the classroom. Victoria’s yoga classes are a staple in my Phys. Ed curriculum." Beth Lacasse, Grade 4 Teacher - Robert Hopkins Public School
"Victoria has been instructing our preschool and kindergarten children in yoga for three years now. What an experience for these children! The children are always excited to see Victoria arrive and are anxious to start their sessions. The effects on the children last well into the day. They are much more relaxed, calm and focused. They will even practice the poses and techniques on their own. This can be attributed to Victoria’s warm and positive personality. Victoria engages the children completely and effectively in a variety of fun movements. We can’t wait until our next session begins!" Karen Cole-Thrasher, Director - Canyon Walk Childcare Centre
"A lot of the kids seemed very engaged during the exercises and some have started to use the techniques at home. I am sure you also noticed students not wanting to try at all and removing themselves from the process. I think you handled everyone very well by being very welcoming and engaging and creating a safe and calm environment where students felt they could try the techniques with no pressure. As well, you did not single out anyone who was not trying and focused on those engaged with you. There will always be reluctant students and that's ok, it's not for everyone". Thank you for introducing mindfulness to the students and myself:) 4 week Mindfulness Program Micheline Radi, Grade 6 teacher - Devonshire Public School
“This year I've got a very busy bunch of kids, many who are struggling with problem-solving skills and self-regulation. I've implemented 20 minutes of mindfulness into each day (the same time slot). We use this time for breathing techniques/exercises some days, yoga sequences other days and sometimes just a talking circle to work on listening and valuing contributions of others. It's a work in progress but I really enjoy that time of the day. We also have a mindfulness area in the class with bins filled with those styrofoam balls, plastic balls, rocks that you used in your workshop, as well as yoga sequence cards, breathing exercises and movement sequences for individuals who need a calming space.
So overall, it's going well but still very fresh. I'm excited to keep it moving and hopefully see some progress in our problem-solving and self-regulation skills. Thanks again for all your help!
I will quote one of my students from last week for you: (I went to see her out in the hall because she needed some space)..."I'd like you to know I did Taco Tongue out here and I feel muuuuch better" :)” Jessica Pirabauer Grade 4 Teacher - October 2017
Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Children - One day Workshop:
"I'm a very detail oriented person. Victoria put a lot of effort into this class, and was thoughtful in her presentation as well as with her handouts and goodie bags. Over and above my expectations! Thanks for the snacks and tea too :)"
"Victoria's passion was evident in her presentation of the workshop. It was a pleasure learning from her. I hope that some day I can bring as much passion to the way(s) in which I choose to use my RYT certification."
"I was really impressed with this workshop (the activities, initiatives and everything in between). Thank you again for this opportunity."
"Victoria is a great teacher and my husband and I really enjoyed taking this course from her. There was such a wide variety of people taking the course and it made me feel happy to think that all of these people will be helping children through yoga! Thank you Victoria!"
"I really enjoyed all of the takeaway games and songs and the "bag of tricks with items to remind us of activities we can do."
Workshop Participants - 2017
“Thank you so much for the Mindfulness workshop. There were so many things I loved about it and I cannot wait to implement so much of this into my teaching. The Grade 2 teacher and I have already talked about Breathing Buddies next year instead of Reading Buddies. It really was such a wonderful experience for myself and will be for my students.”
Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Kids Workshop Participant, June 11th, 2017
From the kids ...
8 and 9 year olds:
Colin: The five finger breathing helped me calm down when I was angry at my friends at home.
Oscar: When my brother got me mad I went to my room and did some mindful breathing.
Dahlia: Now when I’m sitting down and feeling kind of sore I sit up tall like Victoria taught us to.
Fiona: In the morning I always do one of the poses with my sister so I can stretch.
Aseel: The best thing about it was how fun it was.
Ethan: Every morning when we started our morning with yoga it made me feel happy and calm.
Nia: When I’m bored I do yoga.
Neva: When I’m stressed I do mindful breathing
Madison: I hope Victoria will come back.
Aseel: I liked the yoga and why did you leave. I wanted it to continue forever.
Melody: I would like to learn more yoga!
11 year old thoughts:
Abby: It really helped me with when I was stressed and to calm me down. Maybe I’ll go breathe now in a quiet corner and stay for a while.
I felt relaxed. It was a different kind of relaxation.
Thomas: I really enjoyed it and it was good for breathing exercises.
I like the yoga poses and moves.
It was fun.
It’s going to make me calmer because now I know mindful breathing.
It helped us breathe.
We did fun yoga.
Victoria helped everyone to breathe; please thank her for coming to our school.
Applying Self-Regulation Skills
"I wanted you to know that David (Grade 2 teacher) turned around the other day and saw Noah(super busy, ADHD) sitting with his eyes shut, one hand on his chest, one on his belly, taking a good long moment. It took him a moment to figure out what he was doing! Since then, he at one time noticed 7 of his students doing the same. I thought that was pretty cool and knew you'd love to hear it. Their lives will forever be changed by their new found grounding tool."
Note from a Principal after 3 years of Yoga and Mindfulness programming in their school.
Nourishing bright minds, kind hearts and brave spirits