Yoga instructor taking lessons into classroom to help kids

For the past six years, Emily Hunt has been visiting different schools in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, introducing kids to yoga.
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 2:39 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Cincinnatian is teaching others to find moments of stillness to help improve their mental and physical health in a busy and chaotic world.

Emily Hunt has been a yoga instructor for several years and opened her first studio in Coryville about four years ago.

Now, she is expanding her business into classrooms to teach kids the art of yoga.

When you pop into Hue Yoga in Coryville for a class, you will likely find Hunt helping you bend your body in ways you may not have imagined.

It is a practice she first picked up in college.

“I was a dancer when I was young and through high school at Mount Norte Dame, and I just kind of transitioned into the practice of yoga,” Hunt explained. “I thought it felt similar, and then I started to realize how it helped me mentally and emotionally as well, and I got hooked from there.”

Hunt, who struggled with ADHD, said yoga was more effective than any medication at helping her focus.

“When I started practicing yoga, I said, ‘Wow, this tool truly is just one of many ways to practice focus,’” Hunt said. “So, I decided to study it further and learn how to share it.”

Now, she teaches the method to children across the Tri-State after launching her mobile business, Busy Being Kids Yoga, in 2017.

Hunt says she came up with the idea while she was a senior at Dayton University.

For the past six years, she’s been visiting different schools in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, introducing kids to the practice.

“It might seem surprising that the calm atmosphere is actually what children are craving,” explained Hunt.

This year, Hunt teamed up with Riverview East Academy to launch a pilot program that incorporates yoga in the classroom each day. Meeting social-emotional learning needs is now a requirement in Ohio schools.

Hunt says pre-assessment data shows that practicing stillness helps students become more productive throughout the day.

“You know, a lot of these kids aren’t having many calm moments in their day whether it’s at school or at home,” Hunt says. “Since I’ve been working on this project, I hear all the time from adults, like, ‘I wish I had that a little bit more when I was growing up in school.’ Just more education on how to relax. What to do with our emotions, what they even mean.”

Her business and the success she is having in local schools also recently caught the attention of the Cincinnati City Council.

In October, Hunt and Riverview East Academy Principal Rebecca Wolf met with the Healthy Neighborhood Committee and presented the effectiveness the program is having in classrooms and the possible expansion into other schools.

“This is a true support to teach every student from kindergarten through 12th grade how to be aware of and manage themselves, which is what we need for the future of our city,” says Hunt.

She says it’s been a dream come true to see the growth from where she started to where she is now and that her practice of yoga has been able to help so many others.

“Being an entrepreneur and especially studying graphic design at Dayton University, there were definitely people who supported me, but some who were like kids’ yoga are you sure that’s what you want to do?” recalls Hunt. “Moments where it felt like it wasn’t going to work out or I didn’t have enough connections or clients, I had to readjust and do things differently. And those were definitely the moments where I could have either decided to throw in the towel or do something else. Go the safe route - work at a graphic design firm or something along those lines, but instead, I decided to try harder and keep going, and those were the real moments of growth for me.”

Hunt says her plan now is to create a digital format of the curriculum so that the program can expand to more schools across the Tri-State.

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