About the Team

Jodi Epstein - Founder and Creator

Teacher, musician and creator of the children’s program, Jodi the Yogi, Jodi Epstein has been working with children as an educator for over 12 years.

Graduating from the University of the Arts, where in addition to theater and music she studied the Linklater and Alexander techniques, Jodi believes that this formal education continues to inform her style of teaching and the Jodi the Yogi Program. She credits her acting background with the ability to engage and be fully in the moment

After practicing yoga for years, Jodi first became interested in teaching children while assisting speech and language therapist Stephanie Sigal as a play-aid for early intervention cases. Through the special needs community, she was introduced to yoga for children. Jodi soon completed trainings at Karma Kids Yoga and Every Kids Yoga. But it wasn’t until a weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center that she decided to immerse herself in a 200 hour Vinyasa flow program at Sonic Yoga, where she emerged with a deeper personal understanding of the body, mind and breath connection. 

The initial inspiration for the Jodi the Yogi program came from the children in Jodi’s classes as they began to request the songs she’d create during imaginative yoga adventures. Children continue to be her greatest influence for every aspect of the program, but it is Stanley Greenspan’s DIR Floortime Approach that Jodi credits with her interest and belief in introducing the positive lifestyle habits that stem from yoga to the preschool population. While the complex DIR Floortime Approach is not used in the Jodi the Yogi program, appealing to a child’s sense of wonder, engaging them through the use of humor and educating through the repetition of song are the Jodi the Yogi program’s primary teaching tools that were inspired by the DIR Early Intervention method.

Jodi continues to study with and is influenced by many teachers and styles. Through Jodi the Yogi, she aspires to share the joy, self-empowerment, and compassion that yoga teaches with children everywhere.

Ellen Elisabeth Brown - Director of Educational Programming 

 

Ellen Brown is an arts educator, theatre director, and dedicated yogi who is thrilled to be serving as the Director of Educational Programming for Jodi the Yogi.

 

Ellen first began practicing yoga as a freshman at NYU and has been continually amazed by the power of yoga to positively transform her body, mind, and spirit.  She is passionate about making the practice of yoga available and accessible to children everywhere and tirelessly works to ensure that Jodi the Yogi continues to provide quality educational programming to all of their students.

llen currently serves as the elementary Performing Arts Teacher at Democracy Prep Public Schools.  Prior to this role, she worked as a freelance director who produced over 100 pieces of original theatre written in collaboration with young people from a variety of communities in NYC (ages 5-19).  Ellen's educational background (M.A. in Teaching, M.A. in Applied Theatre, and a B.F.A. in Theatre) continue to inform the work she does on a daily basis.