Gail Silver, RCYT, E-RYT, YACEP, JD
Gail Silver is the founder of Philadelphia’s Yoga Child, developer of its curriculum, and award-winning children’s book author. Her published work includes the Anh’s Anger Children’s book trilogy (Parallax Press), Mindful Bea and The Worry Tree (Magination Press), Booma Booma, Boom, Magination Press, and Where Did Poppy Go (Parallax Press). Lauded by Publisher’s weekly as “A Winning Series,” Gail’s work empowers children to navigate their stronger emotions through mindfulness-based narrative, and is an integral part of Yoga Child’s curriculum.
Gail has been teaching yoga to children and adults since 1999, providing students with the knowledge and skills to integrate mindfulness and yoga into their lives, both on and off the mat. A contributing writer to Lion’s Roar Magazine and screenwriter of the animated family film, Planting Seeds of Mindfulness, Gail travels nationally and internationally to facilitate yoga and mindfulness based education. Gail is honored to be a thought leader, and together with Yoga Child, a founding sponsor of K-12 yoga.org, a brand-neutral organization bringing yoga and schools together.
Prior to founding Yoga Child, Gail was an attorney, specializing in children’s advocacy law. Through her dual work as a child advocate and yoga instructor, Gail realized the importance of providing children with a forum in which they could express themselves via body movement, breathing and vocalization. Soon after, Yoga Child was born. It would be the second of her four children.
Since Yoga Child’s inception, Gail and Yoga Child have earned a steady stream of accolades and recognition for their work, including Best of Philadelphia awards, a Parents Choice Recommended award, and a Skipping Stones award for Multicultural Awareness. Gail has been featured on local news shows, appeared on national radio shows, and has contributed to educational magazines. Learn more about Gail at gailsilver.com, on The Yoga Stories Project and discover some of her tips for teaching mindfulness to children by visiting Lion’s Roar, and reading The Family That Meditates Together and How to Teach Metta to Children.
Though Gail is busy overseeing the Yoga Child program in the Philadelphia area, she continues to facilitate select Yoga Child’s Teacher Training programs, professional development modules and author events in nearby schools. When not the primary trainer for a Yoga Child Teacher Training Program, you can still look forward to training with Gail remotely in post training remote sessions.
In 2016, Gail founded The School Mindfulness Project Inc., (SMP) a non-profit organization that brings integrative and sustainable school-wide yoga and mindfulness programming to underserved school communities. Through use of its five-phase curriculum, it enables these important practices to become an integral part of the school day for participating schools. If yoga and mindfulness have had an impact on your life, please visit The School Mindfulness Project and consider making a donation.
Yoga Child Instructors
Yoga Child has a team of skilled instructors that will teach yoga and mindfulness in your school and after school settings. They have completed the 95-hour specialized Yoga Child training, which focuses exclusively on teaching yoga to tots, kids and teens in school settings, enabling them to become Registered Children’s Yoga Instructors (RCYT’s) with the Yoga Alliance. While Yoga Child teachers will teach from our award-winning yoga and mindfulness curriculum, they bring with them, their own inspiring energy along with their sincere dedication for sharing the joy of yoga and mindfulness with children. Most Yoga Child Instructors have dual careers, dividing their time between teaching yoga to children and working with children in various therapeutic and educational settings. Each instructor come with all necessary state and federal clearances.
Yoga Child Trainers and Professional Development Educators
Maureen Heil, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RALC, CRMT, YACEP
Senior Teacher, Assistant Trainer, Mentor
If you’re not lucky enough to snag Maureen Heil to teach to your students, do not fear! You might meet her in her role as lead teacher for Yoga Child’s teacher training programs and professional development modules. In addition to being a registered children’s yoga teacher and educator, this gifted practitioner is a registered Ayurvedic Lifestyle consultant, Certified Reiki Master, and yoga instructor for CHOP’s integrative health program. Maureen is a regular writer for The Ayurvedic experience, and the co-author of a forthcoming title from Redleaf Press which will provide yoga and mindfulness tools and teachings to early education teachers. Maureen holds a position as a member of the Board of Directors of Go Give Yoga, an organization providing yoga to impoverished children in America and in Haiti. Prior to teaching yoga, Maureen was the director of a non-profit preschool. She believes in the deep healing benefits the practice can bring. Her teachings are derived from a blend of what she has acquired from her many wonderful teachers and from her own true teacher—the heart.
Heather Marie Miller, E-RYT
Anatomy Instructor For Yoga Child Teacher Training
If you enroll in The Yoga Child Level I Teacher Training, you’ll have an opportunity to meet the lovely and talented Heather Marie Miller, E-RYT. Heather is a certified vinyasa yoga and yin yoga teacher, a certified Yoga Child Instructor, and a professional bodyworker, with certifications in Yamuna Body Logic and Body Rolling, and Thai massage. The mother of two young sons, Heather Marie keeps a full roster of private sessions with students and clients, and appreciates the opportunity to share and teach yoga and bodywork with a focus on mindfulness and breathing. She continues to learn from her teachers, her sons and husband about breathing, yoga and life, and will provide you with an experiential and improved understanding of developmental anatomy as it relates to children’s yoga.
Elizabeth Zack, MSEd, E-RYT 200, RCYT
Lead Trainer, Yoga Child Teacher Training
Yoga Child is thrilled to welcome Philly’s favorite Kindergarten teacher, Elizabeth Zack to our teacher training team. As soon as this natural-born-teacher joined our Yoga Child Teacher Training program all those years ago, we knew we’d be inviting her to become a part of our staff. Elizabeth has taught students from preschool through college since 1992, including education courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She currently teaches kindergarten at The Philadelphia School. Elizabeth has been practicing yoga and mindfulness since 2004, earning her yoga teaching certification and children’s yoga teaching certification in 2020, mindfulness teaching certification in 2023, and restorative yoga teaching certificate in 2023. Elizabeth founded 100 Women Philadelphia in August, 2015, an organization that uses a collective giving model to benefit local Philadelphia nonprofits. It has given away over $380,000 so far, supporting hundreds of people in Philadelphia. Elizabeth volunteers at the Trinity Shelter for Men, and Broad Street Ministries. She earned a BA from The George Washington University, and an MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania.