Hi, I am Lena, creator of The Mindful Steps. Throughout my teaching career, I have been very passionate about finding how to make teaching more engaging for children. When kids engage, they have fun, and when they have fun, they want to learn more. It substantially improves the quality of teaching and long lasting benefits for children.
While working in UK universities in the area of educational innovation, I saw how learning technology and effective e-Learning strategies help students’ engagement. I completed Masters in E-learning and Multimedia, and continued working in this field with students and staff in York St John University.
After having my daughter, I realised that I was missing direct contact with children. I missed their energy – it just really keeps me alive! I qualified to become a yoga instructor for children with Children Inspired by Yoga, also known as ‘Tatty Bumpkin’.
It was fascinating for me to see how intensely children get engaged when there is a physical element involved in their learning. It was a true joy working with children and seeing how yoga with elements of mindfulness can strengthen their bodies, empower their minds and make them happier. During these years I truly saw the importance of connecting ourselves with our bodies and how much it impacts on our health.
The Beginning of
The Mindful Steps
This experience sparked my interest to further explore how we can nurture healthy minds in ourselves from very early years. I had been embedding mindfulness in my personal life and my classes for some time and I wasn’t the only one seeing the impact and benefits of mindfulness.
Scientific research over the last two decades in the field of contemplative neuroscience and educational psychology has shown how mindfulness can positively impact on emotional well-being, mental health, ability to learn and even physical health of students. So, I decided to dedicate myself to bringing this wonderful tool, called ‘mindfulness’ to children to help them discover themselves and develop their ‘healthy minds’.
Working with Charities
I work with York Inspirational Kids, delivering mindfulness sessions for the children with disabilities and/or additional needs. These sessions are full of mindful heart-felt activities that help children and teens learn to relax, distress and feel centred. I use a ‘multi-sensory’ approach to help children to stay engaged and have fun!
In June 2020, in the early months of the lockdown, I have set up online group mindfulness session ‘Breathing Space’ for the local charity, York CVS. The aim of these sessions was to support local community through uncertain times to feel less anxious and more grounded.
During each session, participants are guided through a simple meditation and have an opportunity to share their feelings and insights. Participants learn simple mindful techniques to manage their thoughts and emotions and bring more calmness and peace into their lives.
I am also a School Governor in Long Marston CE Primary school.
Education and Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts, Teaching English and Russian Languages and World Literature (1st)
Kherson State University － Kherson, Ukraine
Master of Science, Multimedia and e-Learning
The University of Huddersfield － Huddersfield, UK
Teacher of ‘Paws b’ Mindfulness Curriculum (7-11 year olds)
Mindfulness in Schools Project, UK
‘Mindfulness Now’ Teacher (adults and children)
The UK College of Mindfulness Meditation, UK
What They Say
“I loved working with Lena. She’s so so kind and thoughtful, and great with children. Her calm but fun demeanor worked really well to put my 7 year old son at ease. We took part in meditation sessions and some 1:1 sessions too. One of the things I really love about Lena is that she really listens, both to the needs of the child and the parent. An absolute superstar!”
“My eldest son (6) did a block of 6 meditations with Lena and he really enjoyed every singe one! The meditations inspired him so much that he created pictures to represent what he imagined during the meditations. My youngest, who is 4, chose not to join in, but he was curious about why people meditate so it sparkled a great discussion. We also use Lena’s recorded meditations to help settle the boys at bedtime.”
“I have had the privilege to meet with Lena on many occasions to explore her depth of knowledge and understanding of young children and how to reach them. With her gentle demeanour and soothing voice she can quieten the mind and bring joy to their hearts. Highly recommended for busy parents and schools. Mindfulness is a great alternative to any form of exclusion.”