I fell in love with yoga when I was 5 years old. It has helped show me how to live in a way that serves others. By the time I was 9 years old, I knew I wanted to share my passion for yoga and become a teacher.
It took a few years to find a program that would allow me to get certified at such a young age. A lot of people kept saying that it couldn’t be done, but when I was 12, my mom found a 200-hour teacher training course that helped make my dream come true. At 12 years old, I completed my training and passed the yoga certification test with several adults and became the youngest female yoga instructor in America.
I am grateful that I get to share my love for yoga with people of all ages. I enjoy teaching because I get to pass along the benefits of yoga like living in the moment, using breathing exercises to find inner peace and applying healing techniques. These benefits have also helped me in my daily life. Being in the performing arts, meditation and breathing techniques help me center myself so that I can be present and enjoy acting, dancing and singing on stage to the fullest.
Most importantly, teaching yoga has helped me make a positive difference. All of my classes are donation-based, so people can donate as little or as much as they like. The donations received from my classes go toward building a school in a rural village in Kenya through my partnership with the Unstoppable Foundation (http://www.myunstoppablechallenge.org/stellaandnatalie). I am thankful that I get to go to school every day and I want to bring that opportunity to other kids. Children are the future, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to share my blessings.
Since becoming a yoga teacher, I have been fortunate to meet many amazing people including the inspiring yoga master, Tao Porchon-Lynch (https://bit.ly/2kO66ob). At 99 years old, she is so full of life and one of the most incredible people I’ve met. Getting the honor of learning from her and seeing the positive impact she has made continues to inspire me to use yoga to help others. No matter how young, or how old, we can use our gifts to make the world a better place. I look forward to collaborating with more yoga teachers, businesses and schools in the future to help make a difference and bring mindfulness, meditation and yoga to as many young people as possible.
Photo Credit: Robert Sturman