Helping children to learn to manage frustration using yoga and mindfulness
Challenges offer children an opportunity to use their inner resources when things get difficult. Learn how to make challenges fun, what the support of community means when kids are facing challenges, and some sample challenging poses to try with your own kids.
Jennifer is an educator, author, public speaker and mother, who works to support all children and teens in the development of strong inner resources through the tools of yoga and mindfulness. Her goal is to help kids, and those who care for them, thrive in the world regardless of circumstances, and navigate the many challenges they face with a sense of personal power and self-awareness. LFY was founded in 2006, by Jennifer Cohen Harper, after her successful use of yoga and mindfulness at Harlem Children’s Zone in NYC had led to requests by other students, teachers and administrators for programs of their own. When programming demand outgrew her capacity, Jennifer began to recruit other yoga and mindfulness teachers with education backgrounds to continue building what had become a dynamic and collaborative program. Jennifer’s Masters Degree in Education and Child Development, from New York University’s Gallatin School, culminated in a thesis on the use of yoga in education settings. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Political Science with a focus on education and healthcare. These formative educational experiences, as well as work in schools, after-school programs, and the children’s program at a domestic violence shelter, combined to drive forward the creation of a mission driven organization dedicated to healing, resilience building and empowerment. As the Founder and CEO of LFY, Jennifer brings embodied mindfulness programing and education to schools and community organizations nationwide, serving students, families, educators, and mental healthcare providers. She is the author of children’s books Thank You Mind: Understanding My Big Feelings on Tricky Days, and Thank You Body, Thank You Heart: A Gratitude and Self-Compassion Practice for Bedtime, as well as Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance, and the creator of many resources for schools and families, including the popular Empower Tools GoNoodle Video Series, and a variety of card decks and activity books. She is an active member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and a frequent speaker for PESI, supporting the professional development of mental health care providers. Jennifer is the past president of the non-profit Yoga Service Council, which works to maximize the effectiveness and sustainability of those committed to sharing practices supporting healing, resilience, self-development, community building and positive social change. In her role at YSC, Jennifer co-authored the What Is Yoga Service white paper that has served an an anchor for the field. She originated the annual Yoga Service Conference at the Omega Institute, and was a developer of the Best Practices in Yoga Service Project, including working as the editor of Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, and as contributor to Yoga and Resilience: Empowering Practices for Survivors of Sexual Trauma. Thought leaders including Dan Siegel, Sharon Salzberg, Rick Hanson and Congressman Tim Ryan have endorsed Jennifer’s work, and she has been featured in prominent publications including the NY Times, The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Publishers Weekly, Yoga International, and Yoga Journal. Jennifer is an engaging teacher and presenter, committed to collective growth and learning. She offers powerful information in a practical, easy-to-implement format with warmth, humor and joy.