Yoga and Mindfulness Testimonial
The most important component of Abby’s teaching has been her own presence: calm, curious and accepting. The sense of warmth and appreciation she offers the children cannot be underestimated. When children raise challenging topics or offer responses that could “throw” some teachers, Abby responds with care and with genuine curiosity. What I appreciated was the way that Abby empowered the children. She accepted their responses and gently helped them to recognize their own self-regulatory options. She paced the lesson well – moving skillfully between stillness, discussion and movement – all the while embodying the message that she was trying to convey. Her language was clear and easy for the children to follow. Additionally, integral to every lesson that she leads, is mindful listening,mindful breathing and a heartful closing. In each lesson the concept of noticing was central: noticing our own bodies, our physical and emotional responses, and our own needs. From there she gave options for adjusting accordingly.
Another important component of Abby’s work has been the impact on teachers. Each lesson that she does in classrooms is geared to the teachers as well as the students. Through watching (and hopefully participating), the teachers learn these same tools for themselves. Abby’s lessons also provide a powerful vehicle for modeling so that teachers learn techniques and approaches to use once Abby is gone. For many teachers, it is the watching of someone else working with their students that makes the difference and gives them the confidence to then “give it a go” on their own. Abby scaffolds her teaching in such a way that the teachers can learn simple and easy-to-implement practices. She is respectful and supportive of teachers.
In my own classroom (a group with a large cluster of children identified with behavioral and learning needs) her teaching style has been geared to reach everyone. Some children need a high level of sensory and motor engagement. Some need verbal directions scaffolded and simplified. Her teaching is multisensory and effective. The children like her and look forward to her visits. For me, as the teacher, her impact is less around particular lessons, than the opportunity I have had to watch another mindfulness instructor with my students. I have been carefully studying the way that Abby weaves mindfulness and movement together. It is incredibly powerful to learn from a colleague and such a rare and valuable opportunity to observe someone as skillful as Abby.
A specific example of her impact comes from a lesson on relevance I observed Abby do with another class. I loved its clarity and the way she languaged it. The next day, as I was planning a Ruler SEL lesson, I realized that I could incorporate much of what Abby did into my next Ruler lesson. Because of her clarity and very clear purpose, I was easily able to take what she did, get some great ideas and then modify them for my own needs. I would imagine that other classroom teachers, similarly, take her work and integrate it into their SEL or mindfulness teaching.
-Elizabeth Slade, M.S. , teacher, Mindfulness and SEL coordinator, Mamaroneck Public Schools
Coaching Client Testimonials
“Honestly, going into empowerment coaching with a previous background in psychology, I did not expect to learn anything extraordinary in comparison to the things I had learned in college. I was shocked by the amount of self-discovery and self-growth that I accomplished in a short amount of time. Yet, my biggest shock of all has been the maintenance- Especially when comparing the workshop to my college career, the tools I leaned in the workshop have become an integrated part of my daily routine, not something forgotten at the end of the semester.”- A.L
“I definitely recommend empowerment coaching to anyone that needs clarity and faith and understanding in their life. Abby truly is amazing in her ability to let people come out of their shells and to feel what they were feeling without being judgmental about anything. My life experiences are so different from anyone else's and yet Abby could relate to everything, and always had good insight into what I was feeling. She was patient while you were discovering what it was that you needed to discover.”- R.R
“Participating in empowerment sessions helped me to create a vision for myself, and the life I want. There's so many areas that I want to develop and change that I used to get so overwhelmed trying to fix all my problems at once, that I ended up not really succeeding in any. The workshop helped me examine my life in concrete areas so that I could really zero in on specific things I wanted to change. By learning to develop growing edges, and watching myself accomplish measurable goals, I now feel empowered to create the life I want.”- K.K
“I can't tell you how many times I listen to my friends recount difficulties in their life, and want to say YOU NEED TO TAKE ABBY'S COACHING SESSIONS! I think it would be impossible to do coaching and not grow in some way. As I get older I realize how important it is to set personal growth as a priority, and this workshop is a perfect opportunity to do that!”- E.K
“Since participating in the empowerment workshop I have gained a greater sense of self along with uncovering my self-worth and working to uncover more of it along my way. I would recommend this workshop to others as a great way to get in touch with yourself, especially if you are at a stagnant point in your life, or lacking inspiration. This workshop will definitely help to restore your personal inspiration by allowing you to explore different parts of self and uncover hidden dreams and beliefs.”- M.C
“Since the workshop, I try to consciously stop and give gratitude to precious moments that without much thought may seem ordinary, but are overwhelmingly beautiful. I am on the path to fully appreciating what it means to feel alive. The workshop taught me how to be present. It helped me to let go of baggage that I was holding onto – an extremely liberating process! It helped me put my life into perspective and to realize I have the freedom to decide the life I want to live. To trust that I know what is best for me. To trust that I belong to something much bigger than myself, and we all have a very important purpose.”- C.B