Win a Copy of Trauma Informed Yoga by Joanne Spence

Win a Copy of Trauma Informed Yoga by Joanne Spence

Donna Freeman, founder of Yoga In My School and host of the podcast, recently sat down and chatted with Joanne Spence about her new book Trauma Informed Yoga (release date March 9. 2021).

Listen to their conversation about trauma, the importance of becoming trauma informed, polyvagal theory and why it’s important, and specific tools that everyone/anyone can use to help self regulate. 

Enter to win a copy of her book. Contest runs March 1-8, 2021. Open to all 18 years of age and over. Winner will be contacted via email. Multiple entries encouraged.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yoga Nidra Script for Teens and Tweens

Yoga Nidra Script for Teens and Tweens

I LOVE yoga nidra. Years ago I was first introduced to this amazing restorative practice during a local yoga nidra afternoon workshop. From that first experience, each time I practice it feels more and more as if I am coming home to myself. The gift of taking time to soften, relax and listen is deeply healing.

Yoga nidra is fabulous for teens and tweens. The practice of yogic sleeping is both meditative and therapeutic. Different from the unconscious sleep of night time, yoga nidra cultivates relaxed awareness of body, breath, and mind encouraging all to surrender, to compassionately be here now without judgement.

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

  • Available to Everyone: Everyone can practice yoga nidra. No special skills, attitudes or abilities are prerequisite.
  • Can’t be Done Incorrectly: Anyway you do nidra it is a success. Some people fall asleep, some are wide awake the entire time, some drift in and out of awareness. What matters is that you surrender to the practice and let it be whatever it is, trusting that it is what you need in the moment.
  • Simple way to Reduce Stress: Yoga nidra requires no special equipment. It’s beauty is in its simplicity. Practice it once and you’ll notice its profoundly relaxing impact.
  • Balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems: The quiet, calm produced by stillness in the body and attention to various states of awareness is deeply soothing and healing to body and mind.
  • Builds patience and self control: The invitation to remain still and observe during yoga nidra fosters tolerance and equanimity.
  • Connect with Yourself: Probably one of the greatest benefits is a greater understanding of yourself, your goals, your inner being. This provides important insight, sensitivity and receptiveness for teens as they navigate the often difficult years of junior and senior high school.

The 8 steps to a Complete Yoga Nidra

  1. Entry
  2. Resolve/Sankalpa
  3. Body Scan
  4. Breath and Pranayama Awareness
  5. Feelings and Sensations Perception
  6. Images, Visualization and Journey
  7. Repeat Resolve/Sankalpa
  8. Return

Tips for Practicing Yoga Nidra with Teens

  • Keep it short: while adult practices can range from 15-60 minutes, yoga nidra for tweens and teens is best kept abbreviated. Five to 15 minute practices are perfect. The younger the participants the shorter the practice.
  • Keep it simple: Keep your language approachable and simple. Use easy to understand terms. Work in broad generalities. Adult yoga nidra can sometimes become extremely detailed. The younger the participants the more general the terms. For example during the body scan focus on a general overview of the body.
  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: We thrive on repetition. It provides routine and a touchstone in a often confusing world. Feel free to use the same script every time, repeat the same words/phrases (Deepen the breath, relax the body, calm the mind), or at least do one part of it the same way during every practice.
  • Allow a variety of positions: Invite participants to find a comfortable position where they can remain still for the duration of the practice. This may be lying on their backs, sides, stomachs or seated against a wall. The goal is comfort and that may look different for different individuals.
  • Use Background Music: Soothing, ambient music without words is lovely to have playing in the background. You can find lots of playlist for massage, reiki, relaxation and more on your favorite music source.

Yoga Nidra is included in the Teaching Teens Yoga Manual and taught during the Teaching Teens Yoga weekend workshop.

Click on the button below to download a Yoga Nidra script. Please feel free to modify to find your own words, expression, and adaptations for your students and loved ones.



pinterestFind more Yoga Nidra resources on our Yoga Nidra Pinterest Board




Some teens testimonials about their yoga nidra practice

Loving Kindness Metta Meditation

Loving Kindness Metta Meditation

The world needs more love, compassion and understanding.

Metta is a Pali word meaning Loving Kindness.  This is a simple yet profound practice which directs our intentions to wishing ourselves and others happiness and peace. Loving Kindness Meditation helps us understand that all beings deserve compassion.  I always use this meditation during February to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Loving Kindness Metta Meditation (length 5:35)


We love teaching the magic of mindfulness to kids and teens. It’s easy and amazingly effective. Learn how.

Metta Mindfulness for Thanksgiving

Metta Mindfulness for Thanksgiving

This holiday season cultivate a sense of gratitude and loving kindness with this quick metta mindfulness practice.

  1. Close your eyes, take a couple slow deep breaths
  2. Imagine someone who is loving and kind – a friend, relative, pet, teacher, spiritual leader, mentor
  3. Take a moment to bring their image to mind and feel as if you are looking into their eyes
  4. Imagine that person saying to you “May you be happy. May you be healthy, May you be safe. May you be at peace.” (You can use your own words or aspirations)
  5. Now say the same words back to that person with feeling and intention
  6. Now imagine your family or those who you will spend the holidays with, some of which you may not always get along. Wish them well using these same words.

Allow these words and the feeling behind them to resonate within you. Take your time. Invite gratitude and loving kindness to grow within your heart and mind.

Enjoy your holidays with a greater sense of thanksgiving and love for all.


Find more kids yoga resources for THANKSGIVING and HOLIDAY YOGA

Inspiring Yoga and Meditation Quotes

Inspiring Yoga and Meditation Quotes

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to guide our lives, our thoughts, our yoga and meditation practice. I’ve collected inspiring messages and quotes for as long as I can remember, posting them inside my school locker, writing them in my personal journal and using them to direct my yoga classes. I trust you will enjoy this collection. You may also want to check out our Inspiring Words Pinterest Page.


  1. “Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners.“ Shakespeare
  2. “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.“ Arabian Proverb
  3. “The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.“ Sogyal Rinpoche
  4. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” ProverbThe end of all our    exploring will be
  5. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I cam changing myself.” Rumi
  6. “The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” Yogi Bhajan
  7. “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” Plato
  8. “You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” Gene Mauch
  9. “You only lose what you cling to.” Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha
  10. “The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” Rumi
  11. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
  12. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt
  13. “Do not ask for less responsibility to be free and relaxed—ask for more strength!“ Shengyan
  14. “The creation of a thousand forest is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  15. “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” Jason Crandell
  16. “We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” Eat, Pray, Love
  17. “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.“ Rodney Yee
  18. “Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem.” Anonymous
  19. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” BKS Iyengar
  20. “Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” Bob Harper
  21. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Anonymous
  22. “The beauty is that people often come here for the stretch, and leave with a lot more” Liza Ciano“The noblest of ideas have always been
  23. “Don’t just do something—sit there!” Unknown Yoga Quote
  24. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  25. “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.“ Krishnamacharya
  26. “Don’t waste a good mistake. Learn from it.” Robert Kiyosaki
  27. “Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” Ymber Delecto
  28. “Whenever you see a successful person you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah
  29. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde
  30. “Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety.” Baxter Bal
  31. “You can do anything, but not everything. Anonymous
  32. “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” Jason Crandell
  33. “Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time, we can learn to direct attention where we choose.” Eknath Easwaran
  34. “Do not speak unless it improves on silence.” Buddhist proverb
  35. “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” The Bhagavad Gita
  36. “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Buddha
  37. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier
  38. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” Mary Radmacher
  39. “Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things.” Matthieu Ricard
  40. “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” Dalai Lama
  41. “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.” BKS Iyengarinspiring quotes
  42. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. “ Jim Rohn
  43. “The yoga pose that you avoid the most you need the most.” Anonymous
  44. “Take the time to just do nothing. It will open up a completely new world of insight for you.” Scott Shaw
  45. “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak
  46. “Intelligence comes into being when the mind, the heart and the body are really harmonious.” J Krishnamurti
  47. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra
  48. “Make the driving force in your life love.” Dr. Oz
  49. “Happiness is an inside job.” William Arthur Ward
  50. “Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong, but just to watch it and to move with it.” Krishnamurti
  51. “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Lee Runbeck
  52. “Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.” Rumi
  53. “Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are.” Allan Lokos
  54. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun
  55. “Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.” Swedish Proverb
  56. “Silence is not silent. Silence speaks. It speaks most eloquently. Silence is not still. Silence leads. It leads most perfectly.” Sri Chinmoy
  57. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee
  58. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Gautama Buddha
  59. “Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.” Sting
  60. “Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.” Daisaku Ikeda
  61. “We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” Hermann Hesse
  62. “Creating space frees the spirit to bring in what it truly desires.” Deb Reble
  63. “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” Osho
  64. “She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures and doubts, but because she continued on despite of them.” Beau Toplin
  65. “Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet tot he mind.” Tryon Edwards
  66. “Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.” Deiter F. Uchtdorf
  67. “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul to another.”George Elliot
  68. “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” G.K. Chesterton
  69. “Life is meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  70. “Nothing ever is, but is always becoming.” Plato
Meditation for Kids

Meditation for Kids

Anyone who works with children knows that they are often noisy and rambunctious. This natural energy is a wonderful part of childhood.

Aruna Kathy Humphries of Young Yoga Masters also knows how important it is for children to be quiet, to tap into their inner stillness and to discover personal peace.

Aruna stops by YIMS to chat with host Donna Freeman about the power of quiet, the benefits of meditation for children and youth and her advice for parents and teachers on accessing inner calm quickly and easily.



itunesYoga In My School podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed this interview rate and review the show so others can find it.

+100 more on the Yoga In My School podcast on iTunes.

Chanting OM: Teaching Kids to Chant {Video}

This is Part 2 in a four part series on Om for Kids and Teens. Watch for Part 1: The Sound of the Universe. Part 3: To Om or Not to Om and Part 4: The Benefits of Om.

Hello, my name is Donna Freeman, founder of Today we’re here to talk about the wonderful sound OM.

Invariably when I go into a school or to teach children, somebody in the class who has never done yoga before will come in, sit down on their mat and go like this, “OOOMMMMM!” They are all excited to begin chanting. So, I’ll show you how to do that properly and the aspects of OM you can teach to children.

Today Alea has joined me. She is going to learn a few mudras, hand positions that you can do while chanting OM. As well as the different aspects of the sound itself.

Now when you chant OM, it’s really helpful because the vocalization changes the energy in your body, it provides healing energy. It enhances your overall health. It calms your emotions and quiets the mind while providing relaxation. And increases the sense of togetherness.

When you chant om, a lot of people, because of how it is written in English, think it is just two sounds O-M. I actually prefer the written form A-U-M, for OM, because that represents much better the sounds which you are producing.

There are three and a half parts to om. The first is down here in your belly. It is a big aaaahhh sound. And then the uuuuu sound is up into your chest. From there the mmmmm comes to your head. It’s like a buzzing bee. Then there is blessed silence. When you OM you have those parts to it.

The other part is a mudra if you are comfortable with that. The two most popular are anjali mudra, or namaste hands. Anjali meaning heart. So you can bring your thumbs to your sternum. The other would be gyan mudra where you make a circle with your index finger and thumb and the rest of your fingers are extended, and then you place that on your knees. You can choose whichever one of those you like. Or if you are not comfortable with either one you don’t need to do it either.

Join with us in oming three times. Close your eyes. Inhale.




Take a deep breath. Bow your head. And allow your eyes to fall open.

Very nicely done.

So I hope that helps for when you are teaching OM to children and teens and bringing the lovely sound of yoga into your life. Have a wonderful day. Namaste.


Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.