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Meet Our Teachers

Susan Fried

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 Valentine

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.  

Susie Menkes


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 Scaccio

Mel is very passionate about yoga and adores working with children! Mel was an elementary and special education teacher for five years and has been teaching yoga since 2015. Mel received two 200-hour yoga certifications and enrolled in the children’s yoga teacher training course at Karma Kids Yoga in NYC, which helped Mel create and implement a yoga curriculum for her students. When the pandemic hit, Mel transitioned into teaching daily yoga classes online to her students, both children and adolescents, and their parents. Currently, Mel is getting her doctoral degree in clinical psychology, in which she intends to link yogic practices with therapy for children and adolescents. Ultimately, in teaching yoga and mindfulness, Mel finds purpose and joy in passing on tools that reach beyond the mat—including skills within emotional regulation, social-emotional learning, body awareness, stress-reduction techniques, frustration tolerance, and coping skills. 

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