ELISHA SIMPSON
RCYT, E-RYT-200, M.A.  CROTON ON HUDSON, NY

laughing heart yoga
​                                                                       empowering kids and teens through yoga & creativity

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Elisha is the founder of laughing heart yoga, yogi, wife, mother of two children with a mission to guide kids to empower themselves from within. Elisha’s innate ability to connect with students of all ages and backgrounds stems from her creative, exhilarating and sensitive style of yoga – she makes yoga approachable and accessible. She focuses on building confidence in a loving & safe environment that accepts their challenges and encourages exploration of inner wisdom and strength. 

 

Working at summer camp with at-risk youth in Texas at Promises for Families, compelled her to continue to do more with this population. Moving to New York, she sought additional opportunities to continue working with at-risk youth and began volunteering at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She worked in a Rapid Intervention Center (RIC), a 21-day residential mental health crisis intervention program for boys and girls aged 5 to 17 years who experience acute behavioral or emotional problems that place them or others at risk.


From this work, laughing heart yoga created a sister organization, The Crossover Yoga Project (CYP), with the mission to empower at-risk teenage girls through yoga and creative art therapy, and provide tools to help make positive choices in the future. CYP participants gain self-regulation, self-control and self-awareness by practicing our trauma sensitive yoga and art therapy program. Girls are led to be more accountable for themselves, for others, and for their community by gaining insight, skills, and practical tools that help them change their negative behavior to positive.

 

Elisha’s personal yoga practice of over 20 years has provided her the strength, knowledge and drive to commit to this work, as it has grounded her throughout her life.  Attending college, living in Paris, working as a grant writer and fundraiser in the Florida art scene in the late 1990s, obtaining her Master’s from the University of Arizona in African Art History, and raising a family.

 

Elisha is a RCYT, (Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher) and E-RYT, (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, 200hour) with Yoga Alliance.  She began teaching in 2000, after her yoga training with Darren Rhodes, John Friend, and Noah Maze of the former Anusara Yoga tradition. Inspired by the heart opening focus of this training, she developed a healing and receptive teaching style.  Her original teaching style developed from her variety of certification programs including Hatha & Prenatal yoga, and training with top teachers in children’s yoga: Mary Lynn Fitton/Art of Yoga Project, Marsha Wenig/YogaKids, Jennifer Cohen Harper /Little Flower Yoga, Street Yoga. Additionally, she is a Master Level Certified Storytime Yoga Instructor with Sydney Solis of Storytime Yoga and continues her studies with Erin O’Malley of Circus Yogaand Cheryl Crawford of Grounded. Her teaching experience also includes working with Hope’s Door’s youth programs, and she initiated the yoga/health program at Open Door Medical Center for the prenatal, HIV and diabetes populations.

 

Her ambition is to always be a student and a teacher.  Her inner child is always present, ready to play, laugh, connect, breath and empower her students.  She has a beautiful daughter, adorable yet ironic son and loving husband that provide her with inspiration, laughter, and love she brings naturally to her teaching.