Entry Title

Meet Emily, Longtime Teacher, New Yoga 4 Teens Teacher

By Christy Brock Miele    

Last week, I had the honor of witnessing a new high school yoga class taught by Emily Barro.  Emily is a high school biology teacher (22 years teaching) who is pioneering the first ever Yoga course at her school, Fountain Valley High .  She has witnessed her students’ mental health decline and wanted to provide tools for students to manage their stress.  Luckily, her school agreed and the administration approved of her offering yoga 3 days a week to her health class. Here’s how Emily describes it:

I personally discovered Yoga as a life changing practice that helped me manage my stress. I needed to bring it to my students. I became a Yoga Alliance certified instructor, convinced my administration to allow me to teach, and when they agreed, I was ecstatic and simultaneously terrified.  

I began my summer in search of a resource so that I could begin planning. Because Yoga is so special, it’s important to deliver it well.  I needed something really good... In a thorough google search, I discovered the Yoga Minded, How to Teach Teenagers Yoga Course. It was the only training I could find that was specifically tailored to teens. Although I typically prefer live training, I took the plunge and purchased the course and I loved it! I am so grateful I did and that it exists!!  The video classes and discussions were informative and engaging, and the reading / lessons provided are excellent guidelines for teen-specific instruction. After completing the course, I am feeling so much more confident about starting my class …


Emily took our Yoga 4 Teens Online Instructor Course and, as a result, was well prepared to teach her class, though still a bit wary about whether she was “doing it right”.  This is a familiar feeling to me as for years I wondered how I could better reach my students and orchestrate an effective class. By connecting with my co-author, Jennifer Lightsey, a long time teacher and teen yoga teacher, we formed a relationship that affirmed what we were observing in teen yoga classrooms.  We took it many steps further and wrote an Instructor’s Manual on how other adults might replicate an effective class for teenagers.  That has led to an online video course to prepare adults more extensively for teen yoga.  How awesome that the Yoga 4 Teens Online Video Course and Yoga 4 Teens Instructor manual could give Emily (and so many others) the foundation she needed to begin teaching.

Here's more from Emily:

I also have The Yoga 4 Teens Instructors Guide, an absolutely fantastic resource. It provides clear steps for how to begin with students brand new to yoga up through sample class sequences for more practiced teen yogis  (including modifications and challenge poses). It is obvious that decades of experience, working specifically with teens, went into its creation. That said, I trust it as much to use it as my floaties to “wade” into my new role as teen yoga teacher. 

Christy provided sincere and conscientious feedback to my quiz answers in a way that made the online course an authentic learning experience. Her positive energy can be felt through the instruction she provides in video and through email discussion. Through this course, in addition to feeling much more confident and having new tools in my toolkit, I have gained an online mentor I am grateful for as I begin this new journey.  

Witnessing 36 students new to yoga and Emily, new to teaching yoga, was a privilege and an affirmation of how much this work is needed.   Imagine observing 14 and 15 year old girls and boys of all shapes and ethnicities practicing conscious breathing, moving, balancing, and exploring yoga poses with total concentration and doing the best they can do!  The experience is bringing them equanimity and calm.  Rather than adding more stressors to their school experience, they have an outlet to reduce stress and be refreshed.  They are learning life skills of breath, posture, grounding, and awareness.   And they are taking it all in.   


It can happen for you and your teen students.  It’s a process and one where you welcome support and affirmation in how you approach it.   Emily spent the first few weeks getting her students acclimated to the classroom experience, wavered through the onboarding of her teen students “buy-in”, and now has arrived in a more comfortable place of approaching teen yoga on a weekly basis.


Do you want to know more about yoga for teenagers?  We offer complete resources on this website:     

Yoga 4 Teens Online Video Course

Yoga 4 Teens Instructor Manual: A Guide for Teaching Yoga to Teenagers


If you’d like to have a personal teen yoga coaching Zoom video call with Christy, email christybyoga@me.com.


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