Our Director of Training - Mira Binzen
Mira is a registered Yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level (E-RYT, RCYT) and a professional Integrative Yoga Therapist (1,000-hour level certificate). She holds a degree in Child Psychology from The University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, with specialized study in Communication Disorders.
More on Mira….
As a developmental therapist traveling through India in the mid-nineties, Mira was exploring Yoga for her own interest when an ‘aha’ moment changed the course of her professional work.
She discovered the practice to be an exquisite way for both children and adults to integrate their sensory experiences while cultivating awareness, balance and openness in both body and mind. This initial insight sparked a passion that continues to burn brightly as she shares the timeless teachings of Yoga with students of all ages and abilities.
From 1995 to 2000 Mira traveled extensively, stuffing her passport with stamps from India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, New Zealand and many other countries. In Nepal, she practiced shat kriyas (Yogic cleansing techniques) with a young teacher from The Bihar School of Yoga. In India, she studied with Dr. Seetha Ram from the Vivekananda Educational Institute in Mysore. She studied Yoga everywhere she went but her greatest teacher during this time was the white water rivers she paddled in her “Dagger RPM” kayak. On the river she learned how to stay calm in turbulent water (sometimes upside down!) and roll with it, how it feels to get caught in an eddy and to align with the direction and speed of the powerful flowing river to experience effortless awareness. All apt metaphors for life.
Mira found her spiritual home (and spiritual name, "Mira") with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. In January of 1999, she received her 200-hour Yoga teacher certification from this school in Kerela, India. Later that same year, she found YogaKids International and became one of the first ten "Certified YogaKids Faciliators” (CYKF) in October of '99. She went on to mentor and train hundreds of CYKFs for the next four years while working with founder Marsha Wenig to expand the training curriculum. Marsha commented on Mira's time with YogaKids saying,
Her commitment to excellence, her integrity, depth of knowledge in the field of Yoga and passion for its practice contributed to our program in immeasurable ways and I am grateful for her time with us. Her strong connection to the spiritual aspects of Yoga along with its values and traditions were an inspiriation to us all."
Before moving to Chicago in 2005, Mira was a Yoga therapist with the Integrative Medicine Program at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital - the first and largest integrative children's clinic in North America.
(Click here to read a letter of recommendation from the founder/director of this clinic, Dr. Timothy Culbert.)
She continues to pursue the path through a dedicated personal practice and by studying with Yoga luminaries Richard Miller, PhD, Yogarupa Rod Stryker and at the Sivananda centers and ashrams worldwide.
Although the practice and propagation of Yoga fills all corners of her life, she also has a deep love and plenty of time for friends, family and Sita cat, delicious food, live music, hiking, biking and simply being.
Her blend of playfulness and professionalism provides an engaging, safe and joyful experience for all. Her education, experience, and deep commitment to improving the lives of children and families are combined to create a training program of the highest quality.
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy addresses specific health conditions as well as preventative health habits tailored to an individual's unique constitution. It enhances wellness and reveals a state of health inherent to us all. In addition to practices typically found in Yoga (breathing, postures and relaxation) Mira uses a protocol known as "iRest" Yoga Nidra that has been approved by the Army Surgeon General as a complimentary practice for Vets returning home with PTSD. iRest is an evidence-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that releases negative emotions and thought patterns and calms the nervous system. She specializes in working with children who have difficulty processing and integrating their sensory experiences and who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and difficulty learning as well as those who have been exposed to trauma and display oppositional behavior. Individualized Yoga therapy sessions and small group classes are available for children of all ages and their families.
Please contact Mira for more information.