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The story behind Mindful Monkeys....
About Miss Monika
From an early age, Monika loved monkeys. Because she lived near the Amazonian landscape, she had the chance to raise monkeys. Pepe was her favorite; he was silly and full of life but had a hard time calming down. She noticed that when she was present with him, he would calm down and listen.
That memory stayed in her mind for years to come. She raised three children, including one who was born with seven different neurological challenges. Having to learn how to deal with a child with different abilities, allowed her to discover her passion for brain development and neuroscience.
Following a fast-paced career in the corporate sphere, Monika decided to change paths and jump into the practice of yoga to embark on a journey of mind, body, and soul enlightenment. After practicing for more than twenty years through different yoga styles such as Ashtanga, Hatha, Anusara, and Vinyasa, Monika received her 200-hour TTC certification and a 95-hour Yoga Children's certification. She has completed several webinars on Early Childhood Development and Neuroscience by Mindbe, and Online Conferences on Yoga, Neuroplasticity, and the New Science by The Embodied Brain.
Monika has been a long-time volunteer at The WOW Center, specializing in people with cognitive and physical disabilities where she has provided yoga and mindfulness tools for teachers and a wide range of clients.
For the past six years, she has dedicated her time to developing a mission and science-based methodology that is meant to support and assist children and teens overcome the daily stressors of life. She founded Happy Tree Yoga, managed and developed classes for YokiYoga, and merged her experiences and knowledge to co-found “Happy Warriors Yoga” becoming a nationally Registered Children/Teen Yoga School by Yoga Alliance. After pioneering the mindful movement into South Florida schools for children and teens, Monika created Mindful Monkeys to dig deeper into the social and emotional learning needs for kids, ages 2 to 18, with the practice of mindfulness. Her SEL-Mindfulness approach is impacting children across K-12 South Florida schools.
"I have been given the most glorious opportunity through Mindful Monkeys to let my inner child come out and teach yoga and mindfulness to children. It brings me immense joy and I love connecting and bonding with our precious students in an environment that feeds their souls and exercises their bodies, minds, and spirits. Through the gift of yoga and mindfulness we can build strong children and provide them with a successful future filled with kindness, tolerance, acceptance, togetherness, love, and peace."
"Being able to teach yoga to children has been such a meaningful experience. It’s a delight to see how much fun the children have during class. Mindfulness and meditation are constructive tools that will support their minds and bodies throughout the rest of their life! It’s an honor to be part of their creative learning process and this wonderful community."
The heart and soul of Mindful Monkeys are displayed in every class through the love and passion of our teachers. Their mission is to nourish and support every child they encounter, thus planting the seeds of our new generations.
Our teachers are trained and certified, they understand the responsibility to teach children the social and emotional learning that Mindful Monkeys methodology provides. Teachers at Mindful Monkeys are registered with Yoga Alliance and comply with Miami Dade and Broward school district's clearinghouse.
"I love working with kids. And I love yoga. Combining both in my work with Mindful Monkeys is such a joy! Children truly are our future, they are the seedlings of what the world will be tomorrow. We need to preserve their innate ability of mindfulness by living in the moment, keep their young bodies moving so they can grow healthy and strong, and help them regulate their emotions so they can walk the walk of life as happy and compassionate people. I love to be part of that mission."
"Kids are often so overwhelmed with conflict and pressure from school, testing, their families and their peers. I love applying our methodology to help them reconnect with their innate wisdom and make mindful choices. Children deserve the tools they need to feel balanced, centered and trusting. I think of the work with Mindful Monkeys as a big tree with solid branches that gives kids a chance to rest upon in the shady breeze - a break from their hectic lives, a piece of nature they can retreat to so they can gather their wits and feel empowered and equanimous."
"After having practiced yoga for many years and experiencing first-hand its many benefits and then becoming a mother, I wanted to bring this tool to as many kids as possible from a young age so they can benefit from this amazing wellbeing skill for the rest of their lives.
I love how Mindful Monkeys approaches the child's need as a whole, helping them to cope with the rising demands of these day's school routines and life in general. I am honored to be part of this wonderful and supportive team.”
"I lived in autopilot for much of my adult life until I discovered the path of yoga, realizing that it was of the essence to seize each moment while maintaining balance through the daily stressors of life.Â Through that journey I discovered that I needed to be part of a movement that was way bigger than me! A campaign to help break a paradigm in society and humanity, comforting and guiding children and teens to help them connect to their minds, bodies and spirits. Today's world has many pressures and stressors on everyone, and children's tiny shoulders become heavy. Children are the answer and need to be equipped with as many tools as possible to bring in the shift required towards a more peaceful and happier world. Children observe, they are curious, they learn, adapt, are resilient, and most of all they know how to be present.Â Children keep us honest, and if we listen hard enough, they may be giving us all the answers."
As a wellness advocate I have always been drawn to help others achieve their goals. When I became a mother I was going through some difficult time adjusting to my new life as a single parent, with some emotional and mental struggles. That's when I started doing some breathing (not knowing what I was doing but I just felt like breathing). I noticed a change in my mental and emotional health. I then decided to get certified as a yoga teacher. I also started practicing some breathing with my son and I can see when he is able to control his emotion just by simply breathing and taking a break from whatever it was making him mad at the moment. Seeing this behavior in my son made me more passionate about helping other kids with their own emotions and struggles. I want this world to be a better world for our new generation so they can live a happier life filled with love, compassion and most of all true happiness! :)
My parents planted the seeds of quantum mechanics, meditation and beingness into my life when I was a child. I didn't realized it until much later that it was my assigned path.
It was through my own son that I returned to the practices, as he inspired me to become a better version of myself, for him and his generation. Different from current ideals of children saving our planets, I believe it is us, as adults, parents & educators that must become the examples from where children will learn the ways of the compassionate heart. Children learn by what they see, not by what it is said. Let's be for the children of the world the wholesome humans we can be.
Working with kids is always magical. Their creativity and imagination is endless and I hope that it never ends as kids are also facing a lot of pressure and anxiety in a fast moving world and especially in times of a pandemic. As a Yoga teacher experiencing the benefits of this ancient practice, Yoga can help kids manage stress and anxiety through relaxation and breathing techniques. At Mindful Monkeys we want to help the children to build self-awareness, mindfulness & balance and I am very honored to be part of the team. I love to bring strength, health, and happiness into the children’s lives, and most of all, a big smile to their faces.
As Mother of two children I realize how fantastic Yoga is for them. In this frantic world they need attention and understanding and the best way for them is through mindfulness, so they can express and control their feelings. Mindful Monkeys provides tons of tools to be able to work with kids and create a solid foundation in their lives.
What if every human being in the world could discover Yoga as a child?
This question always was in my mind after discovering the practice during my pregnancy. Yoga and the motherhood changed so much my inner soul, I had a deep wish to help others…made me feel powerful to chase all my desires and wishes.
Mindful Monkeys came as a life gift, so I can put in practice all I have been wishing for, help grow the seed for a better world we all need. And I believe the seed is with our children, they are the gardeners of a better world.
This is the right opportunity to teach the children the ability on how to manage their anxiety, increase their self awareness, as well as help them to find their essence and other amazing benefits Yoga can bring.
They can make the planet Earth a better place, so, for me, this is much more than a job, it is a way to change the world to be more peaceful and shining!
I am a passionate and creative being excited for the lessons the kids and teens will bring forth as we explore the depths of movement and emotion together. I enjoy the journey in multiple states of being, feeling all the emotions as part of the lessons/journey/cycles, to understand the depths of what I am investing my energy in. Gentleness and compassion through this process is something I want to share with kids and teens. We are beings full of love, sharing the wealth of knowledge through each individual path. I want kids and teens to understand that these false narratives that we nurture in our minds, are a reality we can evolve to develop and explore our authentic self. The pleasures of mindfulness will lead to moments of rest and rejuvenation for the mind and soul to bring us to present state. My goal is to create this space for love and compassion to manifest within in present state.
With a background in cognitive sciences and as a mother myself I truly believe in the methodology and philosophy behind Mindful Monkeys. I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with children and teens, empowering them with skills such as mindfulness, mediation, breath work and yoga. These are powerful tools that can be used to mitigate the stressors that we must all face in our daily lives and yet are not often taught in our schools
If I could turn back time, I would have loved to know about yoga as a kid. The benefits that this practice have in the long run for our daily routines can be life changing for the better. I have practiced yoga for over 10 years and I’m so excited to be able to pass this knowledge through Mindful Monkeys. The structure, balance, and the playfulness that constitutes the class will create a long lasting impact not only the mind, but also our hearts.
As a dentist, I use science to teach children a useful technique to brush and keep their teeth healthy and clean. As a fairy, I use art to create a world full of possibilities for them.
As a yoga instructor I help kids learn how to be kind to themselves, feel better inside and out, and how to start and end their day in a positive way.
As a mom of two daughters I discovered the magic world behind kids minds and that is why working with children is my passion.
I’m truly glad to be part of Mindfulmonkeys team!