Home » Megan Lamb: Helping Create A Centered, Confident Generation
They don’t have the stress of work or other responsibilities of adulthood, and they likely are too young to be seeking any spiritual enlightenment. So why would kids take a yoga class, and how could it help them?
Unsurprisingly, when you consider how different modern childhood is from that of decades past, children today can in fact experience much stress. Busier schedules for their parents and themselves, school-related pressures, and (for some children) competitive sports, dance, or other teams all can contribute to a young person’s sense of overwhelm or even anxiety. And just as yoga can provide relaxation and health benefits to adults, so can it be extremely helpful for kids.
One person who has seen these benefits first-hand is Megan Lamb, the founder of Treehouse Kids Yoga, an independent local company that brings the ancient practice to new generations. Treehouse Kids Yoga holds classes at its studio in the Brambleton area of Ashburn and travels to schools, groups, or sports teams to further reach children of all ages. Megan also is the co-founder of Five Peaks Power Yoga, a traditional yoga studio, of which Treehouse Kids is now part.
Megan has been practicing yoga since 2008, but it was becoming a mom that made her realize that it could help children, too. “My son is the reason I began teaching kids yoga,” Megan says. “As a toddler, he was delayed in both gross and fine motor skills. While he was receiving physical and occupational therapy I knew there was a way I could help him at home as well.” Yoga helped him greatly, she says, and her son, now age seven, still does yoga weekly.
Megan tapped into her strong background in movement as a former professional dancer, Pilates instructor, personal trainer, and yoga teacher to create programs for her son. “He loved doing yoga with me,” she says. “He loved the poses and learning how to breathe to help him calm down and relax. What started as a couple of exercises turned into little classes I was doing with him.
Hayden now is thriving – smart and playing sports – and I do believe the yoga has helped him in so many ways! That is when it came to me… if my own son can benefit from this, I bet ALL kids can benefit. It was then that Treehouse Kids Yoga became a reality.”
We talked with Megan to find out more about her passion for yoga, why the practice is important, and how she sees future generations incorporating it into their lives.
Why did you decide to focus on teaching yoga to kids? How is it different than teaching yoga to adults?
Megan: Realizing how much yoga helped my own child inspired me to help other kids. Treehouse Kids Yoga classes add an element of fun. Each class is based on a theme, such as outer space, as we take a journey through movement and breath – while making it fun with yogi games, songs and books, and age-appropriate postures. For me, teaching kids is what makes my heart sing. I believe coaches and kids’ yoga teachers can be very influential people in a student’s life, because we shape our class activities to instill positive body image and self-esteem and strength, coordination, and body awareness. I consider myself a kid at heart, and what comes through in my classes is how much I care about the kids, what they’re leaning, and how they will use it for their lives. Some people think that teaching kids yoga is easy, but it’s not…to manage a room, to manage emotions, and still land with these kids in a personal and impactful way takes a special person who truly, deep down loves children and wants to show them it’s okay to be exactly who they are.
How does yoga specifically benefit children?
Megan: Yoga is an excellent way for children to build strength and stamina in their bodies and minds. The mindful movement, both physically and emotionally, helps to bring them an awareness of themselves and others. It helps them manage stress, builds their focus and concentration, provides functional strength, and gives them confidence and healthy habits.
What age ranges do your classes target?
Megan: Treehouse Kids offers preschool classes (ages 3-5), elementary classes (ages 6-10) and preteen and teen classes (ages 11-18). We also have classes for athletic teams at the middle and high school levels.
What have your students (or their parents) told you has been the best part of learning yoga at a young age?
Megan: The relaxation techniques they learn are one favorite aspect. The mother of a preteen student says that her son has benefited tremendously from his yoga sessions with me and that “he always looks forward to going to class and uses the techniques learned in class to help him decompress.” She adds in her feedback that “he has been able to incorporate the exercises he has learned into his daily routine and uses them when he begins to feel overwhelmed. We have noticed a marked difference in the way he responds to difficult situations.”
What have your learned yourself by teaching yoga to young people?
Megan: Plans are good, but it is always okay to go away from the plan! Kids are fun; they are eager to learn. You have to stay relevant to the space they are in, to what they like and what they will relate to. Most of all, you must know how to make anything FUN!
Do you have any plans for expansion? What’s new with Treehouse Kids Yoga?
Megan: Treehouse Kids Yoga has joined with Five Peaks Power Yoga. We are offering classes inside the studio as well as out in the community. We are available in schools from preschool to high school, for private groups, and for sports teams and even birthday parties.
What do you do in your spare time?
Megan: I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. We love to travel (we just got back from a cruise to Bermuda, which we absolutely loved), find new adventures, and explore our local area.
How long have you lived in Northern Virginia and what’s your favorite thing about it?
Megan: I have lived in NoVa since 1996 and am a graduate of George Mason University, which my husband also attended. I love how Loudoun County is so family-friendly, and yet you still have access to DC and so much culture and knowledge. It’s truly awesome to have all this, plus the local businesses such as the wineries and breweries.
BY PATRICIA LEE HALL
PHOTOS BY TRACI MEDLOCK