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This East Lansing mom, teacher and yoga instructor helps kids control their anxiety

0 2 years ago

Sybil Shelton-Ford is a yoga instructor who does things a little different.

The East Lansing resident obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Michigan State University in 1988, followed by a master’s in early childhood education from Siena Heights University in 2010 — with a total 21 years of classroom experience.

While already practicing yoga individually, she started to get interested in teaching it to her own children too. And the idea took off.

She started teaching yoga in 1999, then began to specialize in family lessons — which led to one-on-one sessions with kids who have disabilities (such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome). At the time, teaching yoga was only a side job, until 2005 when she opened the ‘As You Are Yoga’ studio.

“I’ve been a teacher for a long time, and the number one rule is you teach to who’s there,” Shelton-Ford said.

It was there she decided to take it one step further, and offer her lessons to more groups of kids and especially children with disabilities.

‘Yoga for the Special Child’

Shelton-Ford was particularly interested in yoga for kids because the oldest of her three children has autism. At the time the family found out, she already had a personal passion for yoga and was curious as to how yoga could benefit her children.

After finding a program called ‘Yoga for the Special Child’ from Sonia Sumar (an instructor based in Brazil), she wanted to learn more. It was 2003 when she found a week-long class Sumar was teaching in New York City and decided to travel to the Big Apple.

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