Menlo Park resident Robin Soran launched her business, YogiBirds, in 2012 with the purpose of bringing the benefits of yoga to children, which she does through classes held at Encinal School and Geokids Preschool. We talked with her recently about what led her to Menlo Park as well as the decision to leave the corporate world to teach yoga.
InMenlo: What brought you to Menlo Park?
Robin: We moved here in 2000. My husband was in a residency program at Stanford, and he stayed on staff there. We fell in love with the area and started our family here. The people are so welcoming, even when they’re driven!
InMenlo: Why do you think Menlo Park is such a good place to raise a family?
Robin: There are so many reasons. The schools are phenomenal. Outdoor experiences are close by, and kids have access to so many recreational activities, plus San Francisco.
InMenlo: What prompted you to start taking yoga?
Robin: I started taking yoga in 2000. I’m very active, and it was an opportunity to try something new. The whole mind/body connection appealed to me, as did the fitness component.
I haven’t worked so hard or sweated so much doing anything else! I can go into a yoga class with my mind racing with everything I have to do, and when I leave, my mind is quiet – I’m calm and relaxed.
InMenlo: What led to teaching, and in particular, teaching children.
Robin: I’m combining two passions. I was in the corporate world until 2011, but somehow my life kept returning to yoga and children. I love the energy and passion that kids have — I love what yoga can do for children.
InMenlo: You write on your website that you were diagnosed with a rare congenital heart condition two years ago. How has that condition informed what you do and how you live your life?
Robin: It hasn’t really impacted my yoga that significantly. I just need to modify some of the poses to keep my body safe.
But, it probably was one of the reasons I stepped back, took a look at my life, and decided to make a career change. That led me to the path of bringing yoga to kids and families.
I’m also using yoga as an opportunity to educate other people who are living with an inherited heart condition.
InMenlo: What is different about kids’ yoga?
Robin: Adult yoga is about pushing yourself to the edge. In children’s yoga, it’s more fun. It’s about building confidence and self esteem by learning the poses.
I participate in the class the entire time, doing the poses with the kids. We integrate storytelling, games and music. It’s an opportunity for kids to be playful.
More information about Robin’s yoga classes for children is available on her website.
Photos courtesy of Robin Soran