Susan is the owner of Budding Buddhas Children’s Yoga and has been practicing for over 15 years. Prior to teaching yoga, Susan was a Casting Director in film and television. She worked with children on dozens of projects and taught them how to relax before their audition, how to be in the moment and confident when filming, and how to embrace self-esteem and joy. Susan believes these lessons can apply to all children. Susan feels that children of all ages can understand the mind/body connection and she integrates this into her Budding Buddhas Yoga & Mindfulness programs. She empowers students to take yoga techniques off the mat and into their everyday lives. Susan received her children’s yoga teaching certification through Karma Kids Yoga in New York City. She also completed a 200 hr. adult teaching certificate at Yoga Haven in Scarsdale, NY. Susan’s programs enrich children’s lives in ways she never thought imaginable.
Michelle was a preschool teacher for a number of years before she decided to get certified to teach children's yoga. Her love of working with young children and teaching yoga came together perfectly with the addition of this certification. Michelle loves bringing the gifts of yoga to children. Knowing she is giving children the lifelong tools to calm their minds and bodies truly makes her heart smile. Michelle received her children's yoga certification from Yogakids. She received her 200-hour adult certification from Yoga Haven in Scarsdale, NY. She is also certified in Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga and is a NASM certified personal trainer.
Born in Thailand, Melissa has lived throughout South Asia, Southern United States, and now calls New York home. Her yoga practice began with a college elective course, and she fell in love with it. Melissa brings a playful aspect to her yoga that carries into her life off the mat. She is a working artist and leads classes that inspire creativity and kindness. She teaches post-natal yoga, children’s yoga (babies through teens), mommy/daddy and me, and yoga and art combined. With certifications from Karma Kids Yoga, Radiant Child Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child, Yoga Mom Buddha Baby, Pediatric Yoga, Yoga Haven, and is trained in Red Cross First Aid and CPR; Melissa also wrote a NYC DOE Compliant Yoga Curriculum for a private school in Manhattan.
Susie Menkes is passionate about teaching mindfulness and yoga to kids. She earned her 200 hour teaching certificate from Tovami Yoga and has certifications in children's yoga and meditation from Budding Buddhas Kids Yoga and Kidding Around Yoga. Additionally, she has certificates in Mindfulness Fundamentals from Mindful Schools, and KAY4ALL, a diversity and inclusivity training from Kidding Around Yoga. Susie enjoys teaching kids of all ages and hopes her work will help make the world a kinder place.
Mel was an elementary and special education teacher for five years, and has been teaching yoga since 2015. In 2019, Mel enrolled in the children’s yoga teacher training course at Karma Kids Yoga in NYC, and fell in love with teaching kids yoga! Mel finds purpose and joy in teaching children tools that reach beyond the mat—including skills within emotional regulation, social-emotional learning, body awareness, stress-reduction techniques, frustration tolerance, and coping skills. Currently, Mel is getting her doctoral degree in clinical psychology, in which she intends to link yogic practices with therapy for children and adolescents.
Melissa has been practicing yoga for most of her adult life and is a strong believer in the transformative power of yoga and mindfulness. She has over 20 years of experience teaching language to children from Pre-K to 8th grade. Melissa holds a BA in Psychology and a Dual Master’s in Education (Spanish & TESOL.) With her background in childhood education and her love for yoga, it was a natural fit to teach yoga to children. Melissa received her 200-hour Yoga Certification from Tovami Yoga and her Children’s Yoga Teacher certification from Budding Buddhas Kids Yoga. The key to Melissa’s teaching is to always make it fun! She believes that if kids experience joy while learning, they are more likely to develop a lasting love for the subject. Teaching yoga and mindfulness to kids in a creative and engaging way can provide them with lifelong tools to keep their minds and bodies happy and healthy. Melissa is excited to bring yoga into children’s lives, and have it work the magic she knows it can!
Penelope Sheely, M.D.
Penelope Sheely, M.D. has been working with children and practicing yoga for over 20 years. She is a retired pediatrician and mom of four. Penelope started practicing yoga after her first son was born and has seen the healing power of yoga make a difference in her life and her family. Penelope loves sharing yoga with children and watching this practice make their bodies stronger while deepening their connection to the world and to each other. After retiring from pediatrics in 2016, she completed her 200 hour yoga training at Sonic Yoga and her kids yoga training at Karma Kids Yoga, both in New York City. Penelope is an endurance runner and triathlete. She has run the NYC marathon 7 times and finished her first Ironman race in 2019.