Kids Yoga United is a non-profit organization.
Our mission is to provide a safe, non-competitive community empowering educators and children to create a calm, healthy mind and body through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care. Kids Yoga United commits to working with children regardless of ability and circumstance.
Organization Vision: Partnering with schools and educators, KYU will use yoga and mindfulness to help unlock a child’s ability to navigate life providing skills that maximize resilience, build a sense of personal power and promote self-awareness.
Through yoga, mindfulness and breathing activities students and educators will learn skills to:
Help to focus their attention
“We love Kids Yoga with Jessica! My kids have attended her summer camps and special classes for many years. Her patience and knowledge has truly connected with all of my children. My girls love to show me their poses and how to take deep breaths. Jessica has a unique ability to connect with kids of all ages through the peaceful practice of yoga.”
- Alison S., St. Louis
The founder of Kids Yoga United, Jessica, has a doctorate degree and a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology with backgrounds in childhood development and education. As an audiologist, she worked with children from birth through the teen years in diagnosing and treating hearing problems.
She began practicing yoga in 2005 and was quickly drawn to the benefits she gained both physically and mentally. In 2013, she became a certified yoga teacher and completed a RYT500 in 2017. She continued her yoga education with Yoga to Grow and earned a Children’s Yoga Certification in 2018. In addition, Jessica has a Yoga Nidra Certification from Shiva Shakti School of Healing Arts, a Certified Personal Trainer certification (CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and pilates certification through Polestar Pilates.
She has taught yoga to children in the studio, community setting, private events, and in several public and private schools in Saint Louis. Through the experience she gained as an instructor and sharing the practice with her own children, Jessica directly saw the benefits of yoga and mindfulness for kids. Jessica created KYU with the goal of enriching the lives of all children regardless of socioeconomic and physical means.
Judy began practicing yoga in 2002 while pursuing her Master's Degree in Education. She immediately realized the physical and mental benefits. Over the years her practice ebbed and flowed, as did her career, but she never stopped loving working with children or practicing yoga. Currently, Judy teaches yoga and trains yoga teachers at Trufusion in St. Louis, MO. She has a passion for working with her clients in groups and individually and loves to help students feel seen and heard in the yoga room. Judy received her RYT200 in 2019 and is Yoga Alliance certified. In addition, she holds certificates in Yoga Nidra and Pranayama & Meditation through Shiva Shakti School of Healing Arts. She also teaches pilates and barre. Judy's passion for teaching stemmed from her degree in Education and immense love and respect for the benefits fo yoga. When Judy learned about KYU she was immediately hooked, knowing how much kids, teachers and the education systems as a whole can benefit from all KYU has to offer.
For decades, Melissa Stanza has dedicated her time and care to the growth and well-being of children. Her passion started in classrooms, flourished through motherhood and has recently led to her newest venture of blending her love for yoga and mindfulness with teaching children. Yoga and mindfulness practices maximize a child's ability to cultivate resilience. It is a practice that promotes social, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being and helps children thrive as they develop tools to navigate the challenges that exist in their daily lives.
Alongside her bachelor's in Elementary Education, Melissa is a E-RYT500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) through Yoga Alliance and has been a lead instructor in several certified yoga teacher trainings. In 2018, she earned her certification with IRest Yoga Nidra, an organization that works extensively with military and others who suffer from traumatic events. Melissa finished her Children's Yoga Teacher Certification with Little Flower Yoga. She also completed Level 1 and 2 training with Mindful Schools. Melissa has shared yoga and mindfulness practices with children in the St. Louis City and County schools.