13-year-old yoga instructor opens online shop in Park City
Yogie Flow is for children
Sienna Stark wants to make yoga accessible to children, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 13-year-old certified yoga instructor and Park City resident offers yoga programs through her website yogieflow.com.
Her motto is “Yoga for kids, by kids.”
“During my yoga teacher training, I found that most kids like me can’t get into a studio because yoga isn’t accessible to them,” Stark said. “That’s why I decided to make Yogie Flow. I love helping and teaching people, whether they are my friends or siblings. And when I teach, I’m also learning, too.”
Stark offers yoga fundamentals, advanced yoga, meditation and yoga for athletes, in addition to a snow program aimed at skiers and snowboarders.
“This is something I’m still developing and adding to my website,” Stark said.
Competitive gymnastics ignited Stark’s love for yoga when she was 10 and living in Arizona.
“We always stretched before practice, and liked the stretching more than the actual gymnastics,” she said. “So, I started practicing stretching at home, and that’s how I got into yoga.”
Stark liked the way she felt after stretching.
“I was relaxed and calm, and I felt free,” she said.
As Stark started getting deeper into her yoga research, she and her mother, Maggie, began attending sessions at a studio.
“We’d go a few times a week, and then one year for my birthday, my parents signed me up to the studio’s yoga teacher training,” Stark said. “But while I did that, I realized I wasn’t learning anything new about yoga. So I switched studios.”
After the switch, Stark asked the instructor if they had a teacher training program.
“I found out you had to be 18 or older to do that, but my teacher reached out to a company called Y2T2, which is Yoga Youth Teacher Training for teens.”
Stark signed up for the program, and found herself in yoga heaven.
“I had a meditation instructor and yoga instructor and, although I’m still constantly learning yoga, I had learned what I needed to know to teach,” she said.
One of the things she learned was that yoga isn’t about flexibility or burning calories.
“Yoga has evolved a lot since when it first came to America from India, and people are always trying to find ways to make it more interesting and modern,” she said. “But what I found was people mostly go for the exercise, and the real reason we practice the poses is so we can meditate longer.”
After fulfilling the 200-hour yoga requirement, Stark became a certified yoga instructor and started thinking of her own curriculum.
“I spent some time brainstorming different classes I could do, and it was hard at first to figure out what I wanted to do,” she said. ”But once I decided what I wanted, things led to another.”
Stark’s ultimate goal is to make yoga accessible for everyone.
“I want to travel around the world to teach and find others like me,” she said.
For information regarding Sienna Stark and Yogie Flow, visit yogieflow.com.
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Park City Beethoven Festival presents a preview of an upcoming Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performance.