"All a Flower knows how to do is bloom." ~unknown -
"A seed represents the possibility of growth. It contains within it a miraculous blueprint of an astonishing life that has yet to emerge and the mystery of its particular way of becoming and being. When nourished and nurtured through its innate relationship to the cycles of the earth, the seed will root itself and unfold. Its shoot will find a particular pathway that will lead it to the warmth and brightness of the sun’s light. What it becomes will reveal itself over time. As it blossoms, into its fullest potential, its radiance will capture an awe of wonder and inspire creativity. As we root the seeds of awareness into our being and grow the shoot through our mindful life practices, we allow our inner light to illuminate. This illumination buds our intuitive sense and the petals of our deepest consciousness have room to blossom with the infinite beauty of our true nature.”
~Tara Rachel Jones (Flower Yoga Founder)
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."
-Gerard de Nerval-
Tara Rachel is a philosopher of a multifaceted approach to working with and just BEING with children. She has a strong foundation in child psychology and teaching public school education as she obtained her B.A. in Early Childhood Education (nursery-grade 3) from Simmons College in 1991. While in college, Tara studied the educational philosophies of Plato, Rousseau, Dewey and varied approaches to educating the human spirit. She became a certified Montessori Teacher (pre-primary-kindergarten) in 1992 and was a dedicated classroom teacher of the method not only to children, but classroom assistants and parents for over 7 years. Montessori education, like yoga is about a way of being, which she carries into the fabric of her everyday experience both with adults and children.
“The first essential is that the teacher should go through an inner, spiritual preparation-cultivate certain aptitudes in moral order. This is the most difficult part of her training, without which all the rest is of no avail…she must study how to purify her heart and render it burning with charity towards the child. She must ‘put on humility’ and, above all, learn how to serve. She must learn to appreciate and gather in all those tiny and delicate manifestations of opening to the child’s soul. Ability to do this can only be obtained through genuine effort towards self-perfection.”
- Maria Montessori-
Tara Rachel was introduced to Waldorf Education in 1997 while implementing her first children’s yoga program at a Waldorf inspired school, where she was also a classroom teacher from 1999-2001. Since then, she has been an active student of the Waldorf method. She completed the two- year Foundations Study Course in Waldorf Education in 2005 and as of 2009, holds a MA.Ed. in Waldorf Early Childhood (n-K) and Elementary Education (grades 1-8). She continues to explore the ways that Waldorf education informs the breadth and depth of discovering yoga as a way of life and learning for children.
In ancient times, in India, students would go to live with their teacher and the teacher’s family to work, study and practice selfless service. Family life and education were interrelated in the daily life of growing up. Children studied various aspects of yogic life, philosophy and knowledge. This epoch began on the child’s eighth birthday and lasted for the following 12 years. The teacher and the student had a very significant relationship. These systems today are very rare, however, both Montessori and Waldorf philosophy place high value around the unique bond that takes place between educator, student and parents when a child has the same teacher for any where between 3-8 years at a time. Henceforth, the positive impact it has on the sense of stability it gives the developmental progression of each individual child.
Tara Rachel has been blessed with the good fortune of spending period of time living in the same area, working and studying not only with her own Instructors, but also being in relationship to her students and their families for extended periods of time.
Below is a poem that was written to Tara Rachel by her Friday afternoon neighborhood yoga class that met for consecutively for 8 years. The original spelling in its script: Written, May 2006
Tara is a yogi
A very good yogi is she
Yoga has been fun this year
And when it’s done our eyes will tear
We learned some new poses
And how to touch our towses!
We had some good foods for prasat
They helped us be healthy and smat
So thank you Tara for your wonderful gift Through your teaching our lives will shift
Yes, thank you Tara for Fridays of fun
Yoga class with everyone!
Tara’s curiosity stems far beyond any one way of education. Movement and experiential learning are the basis for holistic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual evolution. This investigation is what led her to the School for Body Mind Centering, the founder Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and Marcia Monroe, BMC practitioner and children’s yoga educator, in the year 2000. There, she came into an experiential approach to rediscovering the evolution of human movement patterns and examining the question: “What is an informed meaningful Hatha Yoga practice for children?”
Tara has worked professionally with children since 1989. Her love of yoga is expressed through the above philosophies, her continuous study of the budding human being and her deep reverence for the child. She has developed her own approach to children’s yoga; which is simply, yet uniquely a synthesis of education, developmental and authentic movement and yogic teachings; and has been teaching yoga to young people from ages nursery through high school since 1997.
She has been Coordinator, Director and Instructor of a Family Yoga Program at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch since 1997. Since 2003, Tara Rachel (Omkari) has Coordinated, Directed and Taught a Teen Yoga Camp Program at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch. She has been Directing and teaching the Family Yoga Vacation at The Sivananda Yoga Ashram Retreat on Paradise Island, Bahamas for since 2007.
Tara Rachel instructs classes in public schools, private schools, after school programs, yoga centers, family neighborhoods and privately. She has been teaching yoga to adults, toddlers, children, teens and families in the Boston area since 1997.
Join a Training and Bring this magical philosophy to the children, youth, teens and families in your life! The course is designed for parents, caregivers, yoga teachers, educators and therapists!
"Tara Rachel Jones' Flower Yoga Teacher Training Course, is one of the best trainings I have participated in, ever. I say that, because the content, presentation, participation, and background materials are so thorough and pleasant, that not only does the course improve your Yoga teaching abilities, but also your entire life.
Tara Rachel has a beautiful way of being that is both refreshing and enlightening. She embodies the compassion and brightness that yoga has to offer and at the same time her extensive background in Yoga theory, Child development, Montessori, Storytelling, and Play offers the student teacher a wealth of information and material to guide and inspire.
The physical materials: the Asana manual, the 'bible' of hand outs and specific age appropriate content and class management suggestions are priceless; the class observations and participations-show- in action how to manage and direct a class both creatively and inclusively.
I would encourage any educator, of any ability, with any goal in mind, to participate in the generous Flower Yoga training offered by this great lady Tara Rachel Jones."
FYT95, Mother, Educator
Blue Flower Children's Yoga
"I loved Flower Yoga Teacher Training. My lasting impression of the course reminds me of entering and deeply observing a beautifully cultivated garden (children's yoga class) providing space, direction and nourishment for each child to grow. Such a privilege to experience Tara Rachel’s rich teaching, for she extends to her trainees the same holistic quality of immersion that she offers children in her regular Flower Yoga classes.She worked tirelessly to ensure that we understood both intellectually and by embodiment, distinct stages of child development. Thus we left training equipped to structure a class that invites the student to participate by incorporating movement and behaviors important to the age appropriate stage in life. All this, while capturing the imagination with clear direction in the context of a story supported creatively by visual and tactile elements, for Tara Rachel brought us into the world of the child.A Flower Yoga class is a quietly shared journey of joint attention. While her instruction – even extending to tutelage -- gave me confidence and skills necessary to lead a children’s yoga class, Tara Rachel’s example of integrity and respect for the child continues to inspire me to offer the best that I have."
RYT 200, FYT95, Mother