Twists & Turns (I’m teaching kid’s yoga with a musical twist)

Ellen AllardMusic for Early Childhood, Yoga

Yoga Yeladim logo2

Life has its’ funny twists and turns, doesn’t it? Last summer, I had an opportunity to train with Haris Lender to do Kidding Around Yoga, and subsequently Yoga Yeladim. But before I even knew who she was, earlier that summer I taught music classes at a preschool camp in Worcester. You can click here or on the picture below to see a Youtube video of me teaching the end of one of my classes. You’ll notice that I incorporated a relaxing breathing exercise so that I could send the kids back to their teachers ready for their next activity, without them jumping off the walls. Little did I know that breathing and yoga was hurtling my way.

About a month after teaching my last summer music preschool class, I was introduced to Haris. She is a bright, shining light, an amazing woman entrepreneur, and I’m sure that her father, Murray Lender, of Lender’s Bagels fame, would be proud of the impact she is having on the world., especially the work she does for children.

So, why did I start this blog post with the phrase “twists and turns” (every pun intended!)? My life has taken a few of its’ own twists and turns in the last four years. As I came out of my own personal fog post-divorce, I knew that I wanted to continue my work as an Early Childhood Music Educator and Performer. But I decided that I would be important for me to diversify. And as I reflected on how to best diversify, I realized that I was and am uniquely positioned to offer a wide array of offerings. I am equally comfortable teaching a music class to infants and toddlers and preschoolers as I am to sharing music with people in Assisted Living facilities. I work as a Shaliach Tzibor for Shabbat services, for Bar & Bat Mitzvahs and for High Holidays as well as being a member of The Fringes, the house band for Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester. I lead Tot Shabbat and Wow Worship services for religious school and for intergenerational groups (my calendar). I do keynotes on why music is important in the lives of young children – in both secular and Jewish settings. In fact, I’ve even keynoted for a Methodist Early Childhood conference because of the songs I’ve written about God. I offer music and health-related workshops (I’m a certified health coach) for all types of Women’s conferences, large and small. All of that and more can be found on the Programs page at my website.

But the twists and turns analogy? Well, I am so excited to share my news. I am now beginning to teach yoga classes to children. And I can do it in my both secular and Jewish settings – the secular program I trained with is called Kidding Around Yoga (I highly recommend this training, and you don’t have to be trained in yoga to do it – it’s a wonderful program for ALL Early Childhood teachers). I will have my own name for my work in this arena (I’ll keep you posted). And the Jewish version is called Yoga Yeladim. It is no ordinary kid’s yoga program. It incorporates the COOLEST aspects into it. We do lots of singing based on familiar Jewish melodies, yoga poses on and off the mat, meditation and so much more.

I feel stronger than I ever have in terms of my work and my life. I would love to visit your community to share my music and I would love to teach yoga to the kids in your community. I can do it as part of a full weekend of events or as a stand-alone one time class or as a series of classes. Please get in touch with me at If you want to schedule a time to chat, by all means, let’s do that! And if you’re even the least bit interested, contact Haris Lender and get trained to teach yoga to kids. You’ll love it as much as I do, I’m sure of it!

Meanwhile, be well and namaste! And as Haris says “So what are you waiting for? Stop your kvetching and start stretching!”.

warmly, Ellen


Ellen Teaching Music JCC Summer 2014