Babies thrive on loving touch. Parents and caregivers have known the importance of skin-to-skin contact for millenia, but it’s only been in recent times that science has begun studying and trying to quantify the amazing  power of massage and other touch techniques:

Massage after baby bathtime

Flickr user Miss Pupik CC License

Improved Sleep Patterns
Infants who were massaged before bedtime adjusted to a more favorable rest-activity cycle by the age of 8 weeks and produced more melatonin, a sleep regulator, during the night by the age of 12 weeks.

– Ferber SG, Laudon M, Kuint J, Weller A, Zisapel N. Massage therapy and sleep-wake rhythms in the neonate. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2002;23(6):410-415.
Reduction of Stress

Cortisol levels, a stress indicator, was significantly lower after infant massage.

– White-Traut RC, Pate CM, Modulating infant state in premature infants. J Pediatr Nurs. 1987;2(2):96-101.
Improved Interaction in Families

Fathers who used massage techniques with their infants experienced increased self-esteem as a parents. The babies greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalizing and reaching responses. The fathers were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor-play interactions with their infants.

– Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Father-infant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47.

Support of Mother’s Mental Health
infant massage classLearning the practice of infant massage by mothers may be an effective treatment for facilitating mother-infant interaction in mothers with postnatal depression. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scores improved for the mothers who learned massage, as did their video-taped mother-baby interactions.

– Onozawa k, Glover V, Adams D, Modi N, Kumar RC. Infant massage improves mother-Infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression
Increased Weight Gain for Premature Infants
Premature infants that were massaged regularly had higher daily weight gain, increased motor activity, and better Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scores. They had a better conversion of calories to weight gain.

 – Field TM, Schanberg SM, Scafidi F, et al. Tactile/kinesthetic stimulation effects on preterm neonates. Pediatrics. 1986;77(5):654-658.

– Phillips RB, Moses HA. Skin hunger effects on preterm neonates. Infant Toddler Intervention. 1996;6(1):39-46.

Upcoming Classes

Aug
14
Wed
Infant Massage @ Christ Church :: August 2019 :: Tuesdays
Aug 14 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Massage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

infant massage classOur classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over three weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home, with the help of provided handouts, and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome. The emphasis in class is on following baby’s cues and learning the techniques to incorporate into your home routine.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes.

Private home classes are limited to four (4) pairs. Public venue classes are limited to eight (8) pairs. Please register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment a week in advance of course start may be cancelled.

About the Series

  • Register Button3 classes for $75
  • 5-6 pm Wednesdays
  • August 14-28 with Jen
  • Class will be held in the Sunday school nursery at Christ Church.
  • No drop-ins, full series registration required.
    • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to attend that same class in a subsequent infant massage series. Infant massage graduates are also invited back anytime they would like a review.
    • While, any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  the same adult should attend all classes.
    • Still not sure if Infant Massage is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.
  • Infant Massage classes involve a full-body massage with oil for baby. We provide sunflower or safflower oil and a bottle for you to use at home. Please contact us if you have allergy concerns and need an alternative oil.
  • Please bring a baby blanket or towel to cover our mats/blankets and a small toy to use during class.
  • Expect your baby to be a baby and know that their voice is welcome. Crying, eating, diaper changes, and sleeping is all perfectly fine during class.
  • Please bring only water or milk/formula in closed top containers into the yoga classroom. Feeding your baby – breast or bottle – is always welcome.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to sit on the floor and move around easily (jeans are typically not ideal).

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About The Venue

Christ Church – Washington Parish, which hosts many of our day off camps, is located at 620 G Street SE (map).Map illustration of Christ Church garden entranceChrist Church - Washington Parish - Capitol Hill DC

Classes are in the parish hall, most easily reached by the rear entrance. The parking lot/garden entrance off F Street Terrace SE between E & G and 6th& 7th Streets SE.

Christ Church is an easy walk from Eastern Market metro and bus stops. Car parking is very limited, but bike/stroller parking is plentiful. Street parking can also be found on G and E.

Strollers can be locked to the bike rack in the courtyard – contact us about the combination – or tucked into the hallways off the parish hall. 

Category: class locations

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About Your Instructor

jen-mueller-yoga-headshot-sm

Founder/Director

Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to lactation consulting and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.

Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages.

Jen and Maya volcano

Why Breathing Space?

Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.

When she became a mother, her yoga practice became even more important: for building strength and flexibility, as relief for the discomforts of pregnancy and then the stresses of parenthood, as a reminder of the miracle of the human body and of her own resources and capabilities, and a regular connection to her breath and true Self during a time of significant identity changes. Her weekly baby yoga class during maternity leave encouraged her to embrace her daughter in the same loving, non-judgemental way that her own practice did for herself.

Family Yoga

After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up. That turned out to be the first step on new path.

She has since trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield.

Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY).  She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Beyond Breathing Space

Jen is honored to share her expertise with others who wish to share yoga with children as a teacher trainer for ChildLight Yoga, nationally recognized children’s yoga school. Jen co-authored and instructs the ChildLight Yoga for Babies & Toddlers Teacher Training (newborn-2 yrs) and instructs the ChildLight Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Teacher Training (ages 2-12). Learn more about local trainings with Jen or offerings around the country.

You might also run into Jen over at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington DC, either as a consultant or in the twice-monthly Baby Care Basics class.

Other Experience

Before turning her attention to yoga full time, Jen spent more than a decade working with non- profit organizations in everything from daily operations, event and volunteer management, and finance to national policy advocacy and media relations. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master in Public Management degree from the University of Maryland. Her experience in social change movements and managing charitable organizations has been extremely helpful when working with schools and community organizations to implement yoga and mindfulness programs for children

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Feature photo credit: Flickr user Curry Strumpet / CC License

Sep
25
Wed
Infant Massage @ Shenanigans – Sept-Oct 2019 Series :: Wednesdays
Sep 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Massage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over three weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home, with the help of provided handouts, and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

baby being massagedThe ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome. The emphasis in class is on following baby’s cues and learning the techniques to incorporate into your home routine.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes.

Private home classes are limited to four (40 pairs. Public venue classes are limited to eight (8) pairs. Please register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment a week in advance of course start may be cancelled.

About the Series

  • Register Button3 classes for $75,
  • 12 noon Wednesdays
  • Sept 25-Oct 9 with Jessica
  • No drop-ins, full series registration required.
    • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to attend that same class in a subsequent series.
    • While, any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  the same adult should attend all classes.
    • Still not sure if Infant Massage is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.
  • Infant Massage classes involve a full-body massage with oil for baby. We provide sunflower or safflower oil and a bottle for you to use at home. Please contact us if you have allergy concerns and need an alternative oil.
  • Please bring a baby blanket or towel to cover our mats/blankets and a small toy to use during class.
  • Expect your baby to be a baby and know that their voice is welcome. Crying, eating, diaper changes, and sleeping is all perfectly fine during class.
  • Please bring only water or milk/formula in closed top containers into the yoga classroom. Feeding your baby – breast or bottle – is always welcome.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to sit on the floor and move around easily (jeans are typically not ideal).

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About The Venue

Shenanigans Art Space (lower level)inside of studio at 316 F Street NE, lower level, hosts early childhood and family classes as well as workshops. The studio is convenient to Union Station and bus routes along Massachusetts Avenue or H Street.

The studio is down an external flight of stairs (on the right side of the building) and there is no lobby space to store strollers. 

There is a bicycle rack outside for looking up bikes or strollers and we have a long cable lock students are welcome to use. Contact us about the combination. Small strollers that can be folded are welcome to be tucked out of the way downstairs.

Category: class locations

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About Your Instructor

Jessica LaGarde has been teaching creative movement in the metro area since 2005 and is passionate about helping children discover and explore their bodies and the world around them. She was trained by Joye Newman, MA to teach preschool creative movement for Kids’ Moving Company, a Bethesda-based creative movement studio. In 2017, she completed her Baby, Toddler, and Children’s Yoga Teacher Training through Childlight Yoga.

In addition to working with preschoolers, Jessica is a registered massage practitioner and is trained in infant massage instruction. She has practiced massage for over twelve years and taught massage as part of Potomac Massage Training Institute’s professional training program. Outside of the movement space and massage room, she enjoys cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening and exploring the outdoors with her daughter.

Categories: about, staff bio

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Oct
6
Sun
Infant Massage Series – Oct 2019 – Sundays @ Hill Center
Oct 6 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Massage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over three weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home, with the help of provided handouts, and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

baby being massagedThe ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome. The emphasis in class is on following baby’s cues and learning the techniques to incorporate into your home routine.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes.

Public venue classes are limited to eight (8) pairs. Please register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment a week in advance of course start may be cancelled.

 

About the Series – June 2019

  • Register Button3 classes for $75
  • 11:30 am Sundays,
  • Oct 6-27, no class Oct 13
  • No drop-ins, full series registration required.
    • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to attend that same class in a subsequent series.
    • While, any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  the same adult should attend all classes.
    • Graduates of previous massage classes are welcome to attend anytime as review.
    • Still not sure if Infant Massage is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.
  • Infant Massage classes involve a full-body massage with oil for baby. We provide sunflower or safflower oil and a bottle for you to use at home. Please contact us if you have allergy concerns and need an alternative oil.
  • Please bring a baby blanket or towel to cover our mats/blankets and a small toy to use during class.
  • Expect your baby to be a baby and know that their voice is welcome. Crying, eating, diaper changes, and sleeping is all perfectly fine during class.
  • Please bring only water or milk/formula in closed top containers into the yoga classroom. Feeding your baby – breast or bottle – is always welcome.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to sit on the floor and move around easily (jeans are typically not ideal).

Load More

About Your Instructor

jen-mueller-yoga-headshot-sm

Founder/Director

Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to lactation consulting and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.

Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages.

Jen and Maya volcano

Why Breathing Space?

Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.

When she became a mother, her yoga practice became even more important: for building strength and flexibility, as relief for the discomforts of pregnancy and then the stresses of parenthood, as a reminder of the miracle of the human body and of her own resources and capabilities, and a regular connection to her breath and true Self during a time of significant identity changes. Her weekly baby yoga class during maternity leave encouraged her to embrace her daughter in the same loving, non-judgemental way that her own practice did for herself.

Family Yoga

After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up. That turned out to be the first step on new path.

She has since trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield.

Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY).  She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Beyond Breathing Space

Jen is honored to share her expertise with others who wish to share yoga with children as a teacher trainer for ChildLight Yoga, nationally recognized children’s yoga school. Jen co-authored and instructs the ChildLight Yoga for Babies & Toddlers Teacher Training (newborn-2 yrs) and instructs the ChildLight Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Teacher Training (ages 2-12). Learn more about local trainings with Jen or offerings around the country.

You might also run into Jen over at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington DC, either as a consultant or in the twice-monthly Baby Care Basics class.

Other Experience

Before turning her attention to yoga full time, Jen spent more than a decade working with non- profit organizations in everything from daily operations, event and volunteer management, and finance to national policy advocacy and media relations. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master in Public Management degree from the University of Maryland. Her experience in social change movements and managing charitable organizations has been extremely helpful when working with schools and community organizations to implement yoga and mindfulness programs for children

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About the Venue

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (map) hosts classes weekly early childhood yoga classes and occasional workshops.

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, Capitol Hill, Washington DCLocation Notes

  • Classes are most likely in the Art Room on the 1st floor. Check the info board by the reception office at the 9th Street entrance (ground floor.)
  • All strollers should be parked on the ground floor, near the kitchen. There is also a bicycle rack at the top of the 9th Street driveway.
  • Please plan to leave all non-valuable personal items outside or store them on the shelves in the classroom to keep the floors clear.  There will be a coat rack in the hallway outside the classroom for your coats and larger bags.
  • Hill Center is an easy walk from Eastern Market metro and bus stops.
  • Street parking can be found on Pennsylvania Avenue or E Street. Please do not park in the very small Hill Center lot. That is reserved for loading and staff use.
  • Parents and children should still wait on the ground floor for classes to start, if the room isn’t open yet. There is usually seating near the kitchen and always seating in reception.
Category: class locations

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Featured image photo credit: Flickr user Miss Pupik/CC License

Nov
12
Tue
Infant Massage Series :: Nov-Dec 2019 :: Tuesdays @ St Marks Church
Nov 12 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Massage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over three weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home, with the help of provided handouts, and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

baby being massagedThe ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome. The emphasis in class is on following baby’s cues and learning the techniques to incorporate into your home routine.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes.

Private home classes are limited to four (40 pairs. Public venue classes are limited to eight (8) pairs. Please register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment a week in advance of course start may be cancelled.

About the Series

  • Register Button3 classes for $75,
  • 10:30 am Tuesday
  • Nov 12-Dec 3, no class Nov 26
  • No drop-ins, full series registration required.
    • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to attend that same class in a subsequent series.
    • While, any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  the same adult should attend all classes.
    • Graduates of previous infant massage classes are always welcome to attend as a review.
    • Still not sure if Infant Massage is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.
  • Infant Massage classes involve a full-body massage with oil for baby. We provide sunflower or safflower oil and a bottle for you to use at home. Please contact us if you have allergy concerns and need an alternative oil.
  • Please bring a baby blanket or towel to cover our mats/blankets and a small toy to use during class.
  • Expect your baby to be a baby and know that their voice is welcome. Crying, eating, diaper changes, and sleeping is all perfectly fine during class.
  • Please bring only water or milk/formula in closed top containers into the yoga classroom. Feeding your baby – breast or bottle – is always welcome.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to sit on the floor and move around easily (jeans are typically not ideal).

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About The Venue

St Marks Episcopal Church is located at at 301 A St SE (map), just a block off Pennsylvania Ave SE and a few blocks walk from Union Station.  

Exterior of St Marks ChurchThe most prominent part of the building is the Nave, or sanctuary. To access the dance studio (or undercroft for camp), enter through the A-Street courtyard. Use the door by the bike racks and take the stairs or elevator to the left of the entry way.

  • Tuesday early childhood and baby yoga classes are held in the dance studio on the second floor.
  • Strollers can be left in the lobby downstairs or brought up and stored outside of the studio door.
  • Please remove shoes before entering the dance studio.
  • Bathrooms are on the lobby level.
Category: class locations

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About Your Instructor

jen-mueller-yoga-headshot-sm

Founder/Director

Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to lactation consulting and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.

Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages.

Jen and Maya volcano

Why Breathing Space?

Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.

When she became a mother, her yoga practice became even more important: for building strength and flexibility, as relief for the discomforts of pregnancy and then the stresses of parenthood, as a reminder of the miracle of the human body and of her own resources and capabilities, and a regular connection to her breath and true Self during a time of significant identity changes. Her weekly baby yoga class during maternity leave encouraged her to embrace her daughter in the same loving, non-judgemental way that her own practice did for herself.

Family Yoga

After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up. That turned out to be the first step on new path.

She has since trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield.

Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY).  She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Beyond Breathing Space

Jen is honored to share her expertise with others who wish to share yoga with children as a teacher trainer for ChildLight Yoga, nationally recognized children’s yoga school. Jen co-authored and instructs the ChildLight Yoga for Babies & Toddlers Teacher Training (newborn-2 yrs) and instructs the ChildLight Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Teacher Training (ages 2-12). Learn more about local trainings with Jen or offerings around the country.

You might also run into Jen over at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington DC, either as a consultant or in the twice-monthly Baby Care Basics class.

Other Experience

Before turning her attention to yoga full time, Jen spent more than a decade working with non- profit organizations in everything from daily operations, event and volunteer management, and finance to national policy advocacy and media relations. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master in Public Management degree from the University of Maryland. Her experience in social change movements and managing charitable organizations has been extremely helpful when working with schools and community organizations to implement yoga and mindfulness programs for children

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featured photo credit: Flickr user orangemania / cc license

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