Meet Lara Hocheiser, a children’s yoga teacher trainer, an author, and the Founder of Flow and Grow Education, Inc., a company that teaches yoga and mindfulness to young learners.
Working in the education sector, Lara brings yoga and mindfulness programming into homes and schools across the globe. She has trained hundreds of professionals and thousands of children, working in more than 50 schools. She is also a content writer who creates content across genres. In May 2021, Lara is all set to launch her first book with a major publisher on the topic of mindfulness for beginners.
Lara grew up with her siblings, though her father raised her up alone until he met her step-mother. As a child, Lara loved sports. She says, “I had lots of pent-up aggression after the traumatic event when my mom abandoned me. I needed something like yoga and mindfulness, but instead, I used my charm and smarts to make myself appear better off than I was.”
Before founding Flow and Grow Kids Yoga, Lara was a Spanish Immersion educator, working with young children. She was doing loads of yoga trainings and spending time exploring consciousness and movement practices with her friends. She recalls, “I was called to this work and pulled into it from a more stable work environment – being a teacher with a salary. Though it has its challenges, I never look back.”
Lara’s organization, Flow and Grow Kids Yoga, or legally known as Flow and Grow Education, Inc. is on a mission to bring the tools of yoga and mindfulness to children across the globe. Elaborating on her mission, Lara says, “Whether we teach mindfulness practices by training educators, parents, instructors, and clinicians, or by providing lesson plans and content, or by teaching the kids through yoga and mindfulness cards and games, we are here to include everyone. We believe in accessibility, inclusion, representation, and diversity. All of our materials reflect the children that use them.”
Lara has overcome many hurdles in her journey to success. As an educator, she used to feel stifled because she knew that she had a special purpose. But it was only when she left formal teaching, that she felt her calling get louder. She explains, “As a teacher, I was not able to focus on what I think is most important: life skills such as social-emotional development, mindfulness, and yoga for self-awareness, social awareness, empathy building, and compassion. Knowing how much yoga provided these skills to me, I knew I had to pursue it, but I knew it was not going to be easy. Making a living teaching here, there, and everywhere is exhausting.” With over a decade in her work, Lara is now equipped to support the teachers on the front lines of education, the parents looking for a culture shift at home, and the clinicians looking to be holistic and loving. Becoming prepared to achieve this has been an enormous investment of time, money, and energy for her, but she has no regrets. Lara happily comments, “I am living my calling. I am a beacon on this path.”
When the pandemic was wreaking havoc on almost all the industries, Lara was able to build an e-commerce site that has saved her business and everyone she supports through the pandemic. While many others in her field only teach in schools, Lara has content sales, courses based on the curriculum she developed, and a web presence that has helped her grow while others are shrinking. She says, “The loss of school programming is significant, but it won’t end my work.”
Lara believes that content creation put her business on the map. She elaborates, “Although it is expensive to get the professional help to make quality content, I believe it’s why people train with my Registered Children’s Yoga School over all the others.” Today, Lara gets so much positive feedback that it feels like a dream to her. She feels that the cards, texts, emails, and videos she receives are proof of the permanent change she has induced in the lives of the people she has mentored.
Lara has received several awards for her blog and has been invited to speak on more than 15 podcasts, conferences, and summits. Her work has influenced people in five continents and she was the first person ever to be invited to train the Japanese Department of Education in mindfulness. Lara has a message for everyone – “You can do it; incrementally, and with a vision. Pay yourself first. Do not stop because it’s hard. If it’s your calling, follow it to the end. You are capable. You are strong. You have something to share. The world NEEDS to hear from you. Don’t stop and keep on giving. Be receptive. Opportunities come from everything you give. That is why doing service is worth it. It’s a beautiful thing!”