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What do you do?
I am Jamie Wilson-Murray kids’ yoga instructor and creator of Mindful Play Yoga. I teach mindfulness (awareness), play and yoga to children. When children connect with their breathing it is transformative. It brings them into the present moment and gives them the opportunity to make healthier choices. Being in the body and out of the head brings children to a calmer place where their best self resides. Giving children’s these tools empowers them with resources for better decision making.
Why did you start Mindful Play Yoga?
As I child I was both curious and anxious. Growing up my mom kept me busy with school and dance lessons but I needed more. As an adult I was introduced to yoga and meditation which I grounded me. Being playful and open to learning as we age is essential for continued growth. After taking many amazing adult yoga trainings I was very fortunate to have incredible teachers in New York City in the late 90’s, then I took a kids training from Leah Kalish, creator of, Move With Me Yoga Adventures and Yoga Pretzels. The kid’s yoga training inspired me more that I’d ever imagined it would along with parenting our daughter (now age 9). Having tools helps kids navigate their world and the many pressures the standardized testing bring.
When I choose the name of my kid’s yoga business I gave it a lot of thought. Why am I doing this and what gives it meaning? It needs to be fun and give kids an understanding of the fundamentals of yoga along with learning mindfulness. In 2015 Mindful Play Yoga was born. Attending the first and second National Kid’s Yoga Conference’s in Washington, D.C. expanded my knowledge and the relationships continue to be an incredible growth experience.
How did you get started?
After my kids training I wanted to share my knowledge with my daughter’s classmates at Concordia learning center. This was the beginning and I have taught at:
Newark Yoga Movement teaching in Newark Public Schools
Jersey City Public Schools, PS3 & PS5
Sattva Yoga Jersey City
Hudson County Community College
Jersey City Public Libraries
Hamilton Health and Fitness
What makes you unique?
My passion is to share yoga with kids by offering them the tools to feel grounded, balanced, strong, flexible and learn body awareness to self-regulate emotions. Connecting with each child and inspiring children to be curious lifelong learners is my focus.
What do you love about it?
I love learning from a parent that their child loves my class and teaches yoga poses to their family is a real high for me. Parents tell me their kids ask for me time to sit and do some breathing. Both parents and kids benefit greatly from taking a 5 minute me time breathing break. As a parent I know everyone in the house benefits.
How do you make learning awesome?
Being where a kid is at keeps learning fresh and awesome – I come to class with my lesson plan and it can take a number of turns depending on the class energy that day.