A Letter from our Founder…
Growing up as a red-head with glasses, I was teased, bullied, and called names in school. I was left with feelings about myself that were simply not true. I felt inferior to my peers. I felt that I was not acceptable or worthy of being included. Both girls and boys made fun of me or antagonized me with physical violence. School felt unsafe. Years later as a mother of two young daughters, the same thing started happening to one of my girls. I began to wonder, “How could school become safer for our children socially and emotionally?” I started to envision a platform that could help students develop a stronger understanding of their own worth and feel more comfortable in their own skin. From there, I imagined children and teens could settle into themselves enough to begin asking the deeper questions of: “Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is the point of it all?”
As an adult, I faced these questions with some consternation while beginning to practice yoga. I learned to dig deep with self-inquiry, listening from within, and reflecting on my behavior. My teacher, Douglas Brooks, summed it up when he said, “We are the point the universe is trying to make.” What I did not recognize then, is that I knew my purpose all along and just needed to connect the dots. I want more than anything for young people to start grasping their sense of purpose early and therefore carry more confidence forward into their teen years. Unfortunately, the teen years seem to do the opposite by degrading a child’s sense of self.
Conscious Classroom® helps students move from anxiety and stress towards EMOTIONAL REGULATION, SELF-CONTROL, increased CONCENTRATION and AGENCY over their mind, their body and their education. It all begins with meditation. Slowing down our minds is a stepping stone to tolerating stress, regulating our emotions, and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships, all of which helps us align with our bodies, our world and our purpose.
In the words of Ram Dass, the true teacher lives within each of us and it’s our individual and collective journey that allows us “to all walk each other home.”
I imagine my life at school might have been different if I’d had these capacities available to me earlier on. Maybe I would have been able to accept that being different was okay. Maybe I would have developed into who I wanted to become rather than molding my personality into who I thought others wanted me to be.
I believe these ancient traditions should be accessible to everyone, especially our youth. School is the perfect environment for exposing students to the physical practice of mindful movement, an understanding of the body and brain, and the discipline of meditation. When a child learns to slow down their breathing, they begin to support a steady mind and develop a strong body. Conscious Classroom® allows students to participate in their own well-being. The simple act of teaching a student to regulate their nervous system and shift their state of mind changes their world and ours.
With a love of lifelong learning,
Meet the Team
Stacy Hemingway has been teaching Yoga since 2003. She has over 2500 hours of training. She was Anusara certified in 2012 and certified to teach kids yoga. In 2015 she was trained to teach teachers to teach kids yoga. In 2020 she trained in mental health and wellness and trauma informed yoga with Yoga Medicine. In 2023 she studied with Hala Khouri on trauma informed yoga. Yoga Alliance 500 EYRT CYT.
Jenn believes developing SEL competencies through mindfulness and movement is the greatest skill we can provide for students (and everyone really!) As a mom of three, she challenges herself to include more Conscious Classroom practices, like breathwork, into her days.
Stephanie believes the visionary movement of Conscious Classroom is the solution to help transform school life for students, teachers, and parents. This was missing for her in school in the 1970s and 80s. She says, “We can do better and we are.” She’s committed to mindful movement and meditation daily.
As a working professional and mom of two, Jen can attest to the struggle of a busy household. Listening to her body, tuning into her breath, and observing, rather than reacting are the practices she’s most thankful for. Her journey to becoming a yoga teacher has been life-changing and she remains a dedicated student. She’s proud of the important work that Conscious Classroom is doing to develop SEL within our schools and across our communities.
Social Media Director
As a soon-to-be-college-graduate, Sarah credits her daily mindfulness and movement routine with maintaining balance and achieving her goals. She believes in the power of the Conscious Classroom practices to promote emotional regulation, focus, and overall well-being. Sarah is dedicated to sharing the benefits of this type of practice with others, particularly in helping students develop social-emotional learning competencies.