Meggan is a yoga instructor and content developer for TakePride Learning®, an innovative digital education company and creators’ of the award-winning iKnow ABC Adventure. Children who use the program know Meggan as “The One Who Moves & Breathes with the Animals”. She teaches them animal themed yoga postures and breathing techniques to assist in vitalizing the mind for focused academic learning!
Tell us more about this empowering program.
iKnow ABC Adventure is an early literacy program for young readers, ages 3-6 years. In addition to being an incredibly effective program for learning the ABC’s and beginning sounds, I am proud to be a part of the program because of it’s mindful content which includes animals, nature, music and wellness components. With the use of technology increasing in our children’s classrooms, students nationwide have become less active and more sedentary. We have targeted the need for greater activity in a child’s life, by including the 26 yoga and meditation videos that I developed for the program. It is an incredible feeling to not only expose students to yoga and mediation, but to also be a part of solving a problem facing our school system! As students learn each letter of the alphabet using interactive e-books, webisodes, online activities and more, they are also able to access a yoga video that blends phonetic content, breath and movement.
How did you get started in the program?
My friend of nearly 20 years, and now colleague, Cindy Finelli Coleman, M.Ed. is the creator of the iKnow School Adventure. She and I have had many incredible adventures together, which include live music, vacations, yoga retreats and supporting one another in living healthy, loving lifestyles. As the visionary for iKnow, Cindy wrote all of the educational content for the program, which includes 15 original songs. In the early years of development, I connected her to my then colleagues, musicians from Cirque du Soleil. I remember sitting in the recording studio, watching our musical friends lay the tracks for what is now a collection of 15 original songs! Cindy and I care deeply about educating young people! We are a match personally and professionally, which is another layer to the magic in this program. Our team is SMALL but MIGHTY!
Why is bringing yoga and meditation into the kindergarten classrooms so important?
Technology has incredible potential to connect us to one another, but if misused, can further disconnect us. The deepest goal of yoga and mediation is connection. As yogis, through the practice of postures, breath work, meditation and mindfulness, we work to cultivate an internal connection of mind, body spirit, so that we can connect externally to others in the same way. With kindergarden age students, we have an incredible opportunity to teach youth in our communities the importance of both internal connection to self and external connection to others, It is a critical phase in their socialization, so this program is revolutionary in terms of offering mindfullness practices, as well as the physical component of yoga postures! I am just so proud to be a part of this!
Of course there is the direct benefit of physical activity, but also, as it is with adults, yoga offers school aged students tools for focus, stress release, increased energy, emotional balance and intellectual stimulation!
What advice do you have for parents who want to implement yoga and meditation into their children’s lives?
One of the most beautiful aspects of my involvement with Take Pride Learning®, is that I recorded several of the yoga videos with my 10-year old son, Quinn! The blessings and abundance that yoga has brought into my life is beyond words, and to extend yoga into his life is a source of joy that I will never take for granted! As a parent, the best way I can think of bringing yoga into my son’s life, is to keep practicing myself. It is not my work to make Quinn do the things I love, rather allow him to become himself and do what HE loves. I walk my path knowing that he is watching. It is my intent to lead by example. To walk the talk. To teach him the gift of becoming ones self.
To learn more about the iKnow ABC Adventure, please visit: www.iknowabc.com
“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence fmor the world in one generation.” – Dalai Lama
The photos below are from the iKnow ABC Yoga Video collection; property of Take Pride Learning®
The photos below were taken at the iKnow ABC Adventure Launch Party.
Children at C.C. Ronnow Elementary school where test scores skyrocketed by 100%!