We had the good fortune of connecting with Jan Pratt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I completed my first yoga training in Manitou Springs in 2008 with Joy Williams and as many 20-hour trainings do for folks, I became completely engrossed in all things yoga had to offer. I took this initial training to dive deeper into yoga philosophy and found that this was only a gateway to so much more. We have those moments in our lives where we are changed forever and this was one such moment. From that time on, I became a training junkie. I learned about adaptive yoga in Austria, children’s yoga in Denver, pain care yoga in Canada, yoga therapy with Inner Peace Yoga out of Durango, yoga games for children in Mexico City and so many other opportunities where I learn the power of yoga’s ability to heal and change those that connect with the teachings. As I learned and grew in yoga teachings, my heart said that if yoga was good for me then it had to be good for the populations that I worked with in my “real” job, for you see I was in the educational system and had found myself working with kids for the better part of my working career. This became the spark.
How can I bring yoga to children?
The rumination began. I pondered. I dreamed. I researched. And I decided that a studio that offered yoga for children was just what Colorado Springs needed. Omtastic Yoga was born!
My first partner and long time educator Robin Birringer helped me to bring this dream into a reality. We painted, decorated and planned yoga programs for all ages of kids and their parents and finally opened Omtastic yoga in the fall of 2012.
From this humble beginning, Omtastic yoga has been serving children and families in the Colorado Springs area up to this present time. We have offered yoga in yoga studios, at health fairs, at after school enrichment classes-all in the hope of providing tools to children to help them better cope with the stressors that occur in their lives.
My current partner, Lenora Degen, said once, “….If children knew these tools, maybe, just maybe, they would turn out to be healthier adults”.
It the age of Corona, now more than ever we all need tools to help us cope with isolation, depression and the uncertainties of the world today. Our mission is to help children learn to be the best they can be with a tool box that is full of coping skills. To that end, we now train adults to be children’s yoga teachers so that they can hopefully spread the word that yoga, the breath and a few mindfulness tools can change the world “one yoga pose at a time”!
What should our readers know about your business?
I feel that yoga for children is a real niche in the yoga world and it is often hard to get the skills of yoga into the hands of children. Yoga is often perceive through an adult lense- the 60 or 90 minute yoga class that parents have been too! However, yoga for children is so different than that. In children’s yoga we dance and sing. We play and imagine. We breath when we need to breath and we learn to be still when we need to rest. Kids yoga classes are loud and messy and vibrant. This is a hard concept to get across to people who only have one vision of yoga- the quiet yoga class with the soft music lead by a silky voiced instructor.
More than anything else, children’s yoga instructors spend a lot of time educating adults about just what yoga for kids is all about. If you are still in doubt about this model, I encourage you to try a children’s yoga class or even a yoga class for families and prepare to be amazed!
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.
In the yoga world, I would take them to my favorite yoga studios in the Colorado Springs area- Root Yoga in Old Colorado City and Cambio Yoga in Colorado Springs. And if they had children, we would check out a kids yoga class at Enso PreNatal Yoga or a community class offered by Peaceful Warriors- a local non profit. The Colorado Springs Area has a strong yoga community with many offering all over the city.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank all the mentors that I have had the privilege to train with over the years and two wonderful ladies who saw the dream that I envision with Omtastic Yoga- Robin Birringer and Lenora Degen.