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Why Kids Yoga will Make a Lasting Impact with Deven Sisler

Hi and welcome to today’s episode of Ohm All Day, the podcast hosted by Ari engages herself. Today, we are speaking with the one and only Deven Sisler. She has been working with kids and families for over 15 years with something near and dear to my heart: yoga and acro yoga! I loved getting to sit down with her and get to know her in this conversation because she’s a seasoned professional and has an amazing, powerful message.

I hope you all enjoy it! Deven has always loved being around children. Growing up, Deven was the oldest of three children, and he always watched his little siblings when his parents were away. Deven is the oldest of many cousins, and his family has their own daycare for kids.

He was always around kids when he wasn’t in school, so he never lost touch with the younger kids. Even though most of us lost touch with kids after high school, Deven didn’t. Deven was that kid who played sports but still loved kids.

His academic pursuits in theater, creative writing, and fine arts during his undergraduate years, coupled with the knowledge that he would work with children in some capacity, allowed him to design a major unique to his diverse interests.

The turning point in Deven’s life came in 2007 when he found yoga and meditation; it not only helped him to heal his mind, body, and spirit but gave him a whole new world of possibilities in which to heal others.

As Deven, divine-being-in-the-physical, was also exploring a career in theater, his avenues naturally met while he was teaching kids’ yoga classes. In 2007, kids’ yoga teacher training were literally just beginning to arrive (the lengths to which Deven drove for very special’ kids’ yoga training just boggles the mind these days), and the stars began to align. 

The journey from theater to teaching yoga, incorporated with his experience teaching children yoga, has influenced Deven’s teaching. “From there, I started to bring in the philosophy of yoga.

The concepts of ahimsa (nonviolence) and satya (honesty) became the foundation for how I taught in the classroom. That translated into how I would teach yoga teachers and how I would train them, bringing a whole yoga concept—not just a workout, not just a bikini body, not just handstands.” He started to teach different classes in different parts of New York City, such as acroyoga.

His suggestion from one of his students sparked the idea of writing a book. Rather, Deven focuses on giving everyone the ability to love—not even enjoy—not even understand—but to love, flow, and experience yoga.

Physically. Spiritually. Beres’ goal is for everyone to be able to do all of the yoga poses, and he strives to create philosophically sound, ethically motivated, all-inclusive, fun meditations, games, and activities that can be done every day, anywhere (e.g., in pajamas). 

As we move our focus to the business end, Ari and Deven discuss the dynamics of narrowing in on a niche, and in Deven’s case, focusing around kids and family yoga.

Deven recounts dealing with imposter syndrome and the mindset shift from competition to one of enjoyment and playfulness. He then elaborates on the importance of “reveling” in your work, as he puts it, to show off every aspect of the magnetic positive energy that spreads to others. 

Deven’s journey has made him an expert in many things: family yoga, acro yoga, and being a mentor in the field. He helps others find their unique voice and passion while giving them the tools to identify opportunities that align with their strengths. During our provider interview, you will hear about the many possibilities that go along with working with children.

The conversation also went into depth about the challenges entrepreneurs face when it comes to taking on parenthood and the rewards that come with owning your own business. Ari and Deven both shared intriguing insights on how they involve their children in their business at such a young age. 

By instilling the basics of entrepreneurship and wellness early on. Which they both note has a huge beneficial impact on future generations.

A key point of the implementation of wellness trends among school-age kids today and the changes it has brought into the education system. The interview wraps up with the three core pillars of Deven’s teacher training programs when it comes to teaching yoga to children: the ethics of yoga, which she often refers back to the definitions of Yamas and Niyamas to help children understand what the ethics of yoga mean.

The second core pillar is nonviolent communication, which means consciously adjusting adult language to communicate in a way that the kids can understand. The third core pillar is empowering children to find their unique voice, or, in other words, to encourage each and every child to find their own personal way of communicating their opinions. 

As you can see, when it comes to lessons on yoga, Deven shows a great deal of intense passion, especially when it comes to providing tools and lifelines to children through the resources yoga is entitled to provide during challenging times.

Deven’s journey is a great example of the intersection of passion, purpose, and business, with family and kids yoga at its heart. If you are looking to carve your path in the ever-evolving space called wellness, turn to Deven’s story time and again to inspire you to continue to make yoga accessible, to make it joyful, and to make it matter for all ages. 

Apart from his teaching in his business ventures, Deven’s also built community and collaboration. His passion for connecting yoga teachers and educators is something all people understand through his network. His is in us to really influence him in his connections with his peers.

Supporting communities and people to be themselves, like because he really enjoys supporting other people, there were times when it’s been a little hard taught when I’m really lovely and creating destructive things, as you can see from my peers. 

I’m Macia, which is the Asian people, because the faster I do whatever for me, the more I find it will have a vast impact on my teaching, from sessions to events to whatever, and I found that to be a recurring theme in a way that has been really helpful to me.

Deven also shares stories of collaborations, working in workshops more as a primitive technology nerd and as a marketing nerd with beautiful writers and reporters. These kinds of collaborations have greatly enhanced Deven’s own journey and benefited the broader community. 

While collaborations often happen because somebody knows somebody or they happen fortuitously, they typically start with a pretty simple goal: I make something and you’re good at selling things, or you write well, or you have a quirky take on wellness.

Most are just kind of one-offs or require very little involvement, but they allow for some pretty cool interplay of skills. We talk about the shifting landscape of yoga in the West: a trajectory toward inclusivity and erasing some of the ancient barriers to practice.

 Ari and Deven are both agents of this change. Deven sculpts culturally savvy, cross-referential nuggets of yoga that are plugged into the lives of diverse communities, fitting yoga to our time but also, always, to the ancient traditions and teachings.

We are chatting about how technology is assisting and maybe hindering the wellness industry. I ask how they are using it, and Deven goes on to tell me how they have filmed virtual classes and done teacher training online. They have found that the internet has been everyone’s downfall unless you use it in the correct manner. 

Their brand’s belief is that it’s been great for them, and whenever they talk about wellness expanding when they teach, it is already happening and only going to get bigger.

The great part of the integration of technology, as they explain, is that yoga and wellness used to be very small, very counterculture, and for very specific groups; today, you can go online and can probably find people across the whole world. 

The amiable, relaxing ambiance of the room as well as our energetic, relaxed state begin to change! As the conversation comes to a close, we take a major reflective turn as Deven shares the significant lessons he has learned in his life thus far on this journey.

These lessons range from the essentialism of resilience and adaptability to the supremacy of staying true to oneself. Deven’s own personal experiences of having challenges but being authentic resonated with me because oftentimes we see entrepreneurs seem like they never have any trouble doing what they love; however, that is not the case. 

Deven also emphasizes how continuing learning and self-reflection can help a person’s growth. Because he is always a student of yoga and life, he looks at everything with curiosity and self-awareness in the hopes he will learn something and become a better person.

In the interview, he speaks about some of the resources, books, and mentors that have helped shape the way he teaches today and offers some recommendations for anyone looking for some inspiration or guidance. 

Ari and Deven have adopted a forward-looking ideology in this clip, allowing them both to look at the influence that yoga will have on future generations and families. There is much talk about children’s wellness and yoga’s reliance on family-oriented mentality in their pursuits to spread the practice far and wide.

Deven refers to the benefits of physical activities in schools, and Ari continues to talk about how today’s world is shifting towards mindfulness and even offers that yoga may enter the mainstream of public schools. They also emphasize parents as partners in ensuring the well-being of the children in their care, and Ari nicely concludes with the message that the world is working towards.

So for the future, I think it’s a collaboration between yogis, therapists, educators, and everybody combining knowledge to make this a continuous growth, not only by giving them a tool set that works but also by continuing to give them a kit that allows them to fit on their own. You know what I mean. Like, ultimately, we have to grow. 

We can’t just give them the same old, tired circus show. The episode ends with an inspiring closing message from Deven, who shares a piece of advice for aspiring yoga teachers and people generally wanting to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

Deven epitomizes the perfect blend of passion, personal purpose, and business and leaves us with a ‘bigger question’ of how we can not only serve our purpose but also monetize it and create benefits for us all in the realms of wellbeing and education. 

All in all, the Ohm All Day podcast with Deven Sisler is an insightful look into the world of yoga and the role that it plays in the development of entrepreneurs and healthy communities.

His perspective stems from a background in theater that he used to laterally enter the world of yoga, combined with his current life geared towards family and kid wellness, which provides a great insight for listeners. The importance of joy and being your authentic self, and humanity gaining access to technology in our effort to continue, are a few of the narrative quilt squares that are woven into this story. This is a rich interview that applies to the many ways that listeners are interested in leading a well-lived life.

Listen to this episode on the Om All Day Podcast

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