Meet Our Youngest Certified Youth Instructor, Aderyn McLean

by | Jun 28, 2015

Kelly and Aderyn McLeanWhen Kelly McLean was diagnosed five years ago with ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune form of arthritis, she followed her doctor’s recommendation and took up yoga. It helped her so much that she decided to become a yoga instructor and eventually earned her certification.

This made a big impression on her 8 year old daughter Aderyn – so powerful, in fact, that when Kelly decided to add a Youth Instructor certification to her RYT-200, Aderyn was right by her side, practicing yoga along with her.

A Budding Passion for Yoga

About a month before Kelly was to take our 2014 Summer Intensive, she contacted us and said that Aderyn wanted to get certified, too! Previously, our youngest applicant had been 18. Now, here was an 8 year old! She’d been watching our online course videos with her mom and practice-teaching to her schoolmates.

I wasn’t quite sure how to reply, so I asked Lynea what she thought.

She thought it was great. And no surprise. With her peer teaching approach, she regularly saw children get so comfortable with the class structure and poses that they would lead complete classes in the behavior classroom at the school where she used to work.

So we told Kelly to have Aderyn read our book, Yoga Calm for Children, and then get back with us.

Just a handful of months later, Kelly contacted us again. Aderyn had been reading the book and was ready to pursue teacher training. Unfortunately, this email got buried in my inbox, but Kelly reached out again:

I don’t know if you remember me talking to you about my daughter wanting to become certified to teach Yoga Calm, but she is still hounding me about it. 🙂 She has been teaching a few poses and sun salutations in her classroom and during P.E. at school.

Over the winter break she came and helped teach my classes at Vancouver Yoga Center. She led a group of adults in relaxation, taking them on a journey in a snow globe and a hike through the forest. They were absolutely beautiful stories she made-up and the students loved it. I am afraid I have some competition…she was the highlight of my classes. 🙂

That said, I feel like she is the type of kid with the focus and drive to actually do it. I know you guys have a lot on your plate, but was wondering if you have thought about this anymore, if it might work and how to go about it? I am still in the process of becoming certified myself and thought maybe there was a way we could do it together. I still have to complete the Practicum and Capstone. Let me know your thoughts.

How could we say “no”?

Aderyn attended our next Wellness 1 course with her mom, who retook it. She especially loved Lynea’s Archetypes, Myths and Storytelling video talk, particularly the techniques for creating your own stories – something kids love and often create themselves for our classes. Before they read them to the class, though, we ask them to write them down. It’s amazing what they come up with! Here’s one from Jack, a 12 year old student from our Jedi Warrior Training class.

Aderyn’s love of stories and creativity was no surprise. An artistic streak definitely runs through their family. Her mom had impressed us before when she gave us this beautiful drawing inspired by her experience of the Summer Intensive.
drawing by Kelly McLean

The Rest of the Story

Kelly and Aderyn continued with the Certification course series together and completed their Yoga Calm Youth Instructor Certification this June. They plan to teach family yoga classes together at VEGA Gymnastics in Camas, Washington, mother/daughter yoga at Still Moving Yoga in Portland, and Aderyn will be teaching at her school again this fall.

Stay Tuned

Watch Aderyn lead a relaxation story at our 2015 Oregon Summer Intensive in our next post…

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