We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne-Marie Desmond and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne-Marie, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
About 8 years ago, a local elementary school reached out and asked if I’d help out with their Wondrous Wednesday program and bring yoga to young K-5 students. After a year of programming we were blown away! Data showed kids as young as 6 and 7 were struggling with stress and anxiety of school, friends, home and begging for more time to relax and simply do nothing. In this culture of go-go-go that is so pervasive with adults, it turns out kids were feeling these pressures as well. We set out to design a K-12 curriculum that not only taught students about their nervous system and stress response system, but also provided life long tools for settling the mind, calming the body and opening the heart. UB.U was born and students, teachers and parents at home began to learn how to explore the mind and educate the heart.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe when we strengthen our ability to focus and pay attention, we create numerous possibilities for ourselves. This is a form of art. When we live in conscious awareness, we have the ability to bring our attention to the present moment and choose to respond versus react. Pausing, taking a few breaths and grounding in the here and now can change our direction or situation. We can develop new skills, new attitudes and new ways of thinking. Responding purposefully versus automatically reacting when challenging or stressful situations arise is a skill that takes practice and reflection. We listen, we learn, we respond. We create our next move. This artistic approach helps strengthen optimal brain function & neuroplasticity – the ability for the brain to adapt and change. Through this skill, the pause becomes the possibility.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a Colorado native, you can’t go wrong with anything outside and in nature. Kickstart your day early at Endorphin gym for an intense workout followed by a delicious latte and overnight oats at Color Cafe and cap it off with a pint at Bonfire Brewery or a Grand Ave Chill dessert. But as any local will tell you, to be a successful tour guide it depends on what month your guests will be visiting. Skiing, sledding or skating on frozen ponds in the winter; paddle boarding or rafting on the upper “C” in the summer; capturing the beautiful fall colors on a mountain bike in autumn; or gathering with friends in the spring to celebrate a long winter. The best part about living in Eagle is you are within minutes of any of these incredible activities.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mindful Schools provided the necessary training to kickstart our business. Their mission to empower educators to cultivate equitable, joyful learning environments really resonated with us. These mindfulness tools are at the heart of every UB.U lesson. We would also not be impacting the large number of students if it weren’t for the open mind and forward thinking of our community, school district and surrounding private and charter schools.