ChildLight Yoga’s most recent 95-hour Registered Children’s Yoga School graduate, Pat Cavit, joined us for our entire Annual Summer Training Immersion in 2016! She traveled coast-to-coast, all the way from her home in Seattle, Washington to our home training center in Dover, New Hampshire. We loved catching up with Pat and hope you enjoy her graduation interview!
How did you find your way to ChildLight Yoga?
I received my RYT-200 in 2005 and taught adult classes from time to time, but never felt that was a good fit with my primary interest in life, which is working with children and families. When I found out there was an RCYT designation available, I began researching training programs and found myself returning to the ChildLight website again and again. It was by far the most comprehensive and the most evidence-based program available.
Why are you interested in yoga and mindfulness for children?
Coming from a chaotic childhood, I often think about how different my entire life would have been if I had been taught yoga at an early age. That challenging beginning led me to a career in social work where my focus has primarily been working with children and families who have experienced trauma. At the time I began looking into children’s yoga I was providing behavior consultations and coaching for preschool programs and saw yoga as a useful tool for teaching self-regulation and social-emotional skills to children with disruptive behaviors. I found that and so much more when I attended the CLY trainings. The training I received and the people I met there inspired me to expand my vision of the ways yoga could enhance the lives of children and their families.
Can you tell us about your overall training experience with ChildLight Yoga? Any special details you wish to share?
Since ChildLight is across the country from my home near Seattle, I opted to attend the summer immersion so I could complete the training hours as quickly as
possible. Taking the classes back-to-back in that brief period of time really gave me an appreciation for the overall structure of the CLY program. Each training is complete as a stand-alone but taken together they scaffold to provide a broad base of knowledge across age groups and abilities. The sessions themselves were a lively yet relaxed combination of lecture, demonstration and participation and the manuals provide a wealth of information and ideas for on-going use. The facilitators all had extensive experience with children’s yoga but were also skilled in working with adult learners.
Best of all was the opportunity to meet others with this shared interest and to be able to exchange ideas and gain knowledge and inspiration from their experience. Since receiving my certification, I continue to find support on-line through the CLY Facebook groups.
How are you applying what you learned within your community? What are you passionate about sharing?
After returning home from the trainings I began to rethink how I wanted to spend the rest of my career and knew it would involve blending my passion for social work with my love of yoga. The goal I have set is to establish a practice providing yoga therapy for families who have experienced some form of disrupted attachment. That may include teen parents, homeless families, families of medically fragile children, and children and families in foster or kinship care. I am currently talking with a group of therapists who are interested in having me provide on-going yoga sessions for families with children on the autism spectrum.
In the meantime, as this dream develops, I have been teaching weekly sessions in my grandson’s 3rd grade classroom and holding a weekly “yoga club” at our alternative high school where kids can use the yoga classes for PE credits. Our local YMCA had me teach a series of family yoga classes as part of a ‘family fitness’ program, and I have done family sessions in Head Start programs and for preschool Family Fun days. Beyond the direct teaching, I developed and present a CEU eligible workshop for preschool teachers on using yoga in the classroom that has been very popular.
What do you find to be the most beneficial yoga and mindfulness tools for the population that you work with these days?
I use a variety of tools, depending on the group, including Yoga Dots, hoops, scarves, glitter wands, books and musical instruments. The two things I always have in my bag are my Yoga Pretzel cards and a speaker to play Kira Willey’s music!
What else would you like to share?
Bob Dylan summed up my life experience when he said, “I was born so far from where I am supposed to be, I’ve spent my whole life going home.” Now in the third trimester of my life, I finally feel like home is in sight and I am so grateful the for part ChildLight has played in bringing me here.
To learn more about ChildLight Yoga’s 95hr Registered Children’s Yoga School, click here.
Pat Cavit, MSW, RYT-200, RCYT, is a social worker whose career has focused on working with children and their families who have experienced trauma. She began exploring children’s yoga as a tool for positive behavior support, leading to the completion of the CLY 95-hour certification. Pat currently teaches yoga for all ages, from families with infants through high school students. Her website is www.flutterbyyoga.com and she can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.