Well, I've reached another milestone recently. Storytime Yoga® Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story, has reached the 60,000 copy mark for sales world-wide. This of course with very little marketing I've done as a self-published author who is a full-time widowed mother of 2! That's an understatement too, not counting people who have forwarded (illegally) to friends or posted online (illegally.) But we want kids yoga to flourish, right? That's always been my goal so I'm happy.
I'm delighted that since I wrote the book in 2004 as what started out as a handout at the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children Conference turned into a teachers manual for my first trainings in 2005. It was the first self-published kids yoga books on Amazon in 2006, which stayed on the best-seller list to this day! It kick-started a kids yoga and storytelling revolution, and many other types of kids yoga and story books in the U.S. have followed, none, with folklore, I found. I often wonder why. Lately I've been flooded with requests from Europeans to license my materials for their own videos, or to be translated, or to do a training. I'm very grateful and I realized that in Europe, Latin America, Asia, those are places that get oral storytelling and folklore because they still have a strong oral tradition.I realized that North Americans have a hard time understanding the oral tradition or value of folklore. North Americans have been slower to catch on, or tell a story in its entirely to develop kids' concentration and listening skills rather than act out the story while telling the story. Except for the devoted group of Storytime Yoga Certified teachers in the U.S., we still have work to do, as oral storytelling is finally catching on! So let's get to it! OM SHANTI! We are all one!
It hasn't been easy over the years. My kids always came first, since I don't have a husband or a business partner to help out. I had to take care of my own health through yoga and storytelling over the nearly 12 years I've been doing this too. I haven't put much effort into marketing over the years, as I preferred the independent route and letting it grow by word of mouth. I didn't want the giant corporation idea that a marketing expert I hired had, like getting videos in to Target. I didn't want videos in Target! I always knew that would be obsolete soon! And then I left the U.S. nearly five years ago for healing and adventure with my
kids, and when I returned and resettled in DeLand, Florida, found kids yoga had exploded and a gazillion kids yoga books were now self-published! And my God! The advent of social media! Who can keep up with it all? Makes me nuts too! It's just not worth it! So I am proud of myself to be such an influence on kids yoga and even doing it all myself as a small independent who, as a sort of David, spoke to Gaiam's lawyer, the Goliath, and got him to cease and desist using Storytime Yoga® and Sleepytime Yoga™, my registered trademarks with the United States Trademark office, for their online kids yoga videos using folklore to re-enact with kids yoga! Gaiam is located in Colorado, where I spent 38 years of my life, and is less than a mile where I graduated from High School and my father still lives in my childhood home! Also, The Mythic Yoga Studio LLC is officially located in Boulder, Colorado too! So! Independents, take heart! I'm excited that I will be part of a panel of expert self-published and small presses and agents at the Lighthouse Writers Literature Fest in Denver this June. Come on and get inspired to do it yourself!
So I'm grateful to everyone for their support over the years! And looking forward to another milestone! Thank you, thank you! To all who have contacted me and submitted testimonies or said hello. I"m grateful to Boulder Valley Public Schools where I attended my whole life and taught me the love of story and publishing. Published my first book in the fourth grade! I love teaching kids to make handmade paper and their own books too to write their stories down! That is my greatest joy, to be in the trenches with the kids, getting them to tell the stories, do the yoga!
Check out all the proudly independent self-published books from my company The Mythic Yoga Studio, including the Treasure in Your Heart: Yoga and Stories for Peaceful Children, which teaches kids meditation, creative relaxation and yoga philosophy, and Storytime Yoga® The Peddler's Dream DVD, which was as afar as I know, the first kids yoga program on TV! It aired on PBS in 2007. I had it on Amazon for a long time, and for years it was #3 behind Yoga Kids' videos, but over the years it got too hectic to keep up and Amazon can be a pain, so now you can only get it online streaming or as a collectors item through this site's store! (You get an autographed bookmark too!) And just look on Amazon and see what other kids yoga with storytelling kids yoga dvds are out there since I published! That's terrific! For as they say, when the tide rises, all the boats rise together! (and I am no greedy capitalist or corporation, that's for sure! Just give me the simple life on a little piece of paradise, please for this Householder Yogini!)
OM SHANTI! My heart is grateful, satisfied, overjoyed. I live the life of the artist I have always dreamed of, done everything I've ever wanted to. I am sustained by the grace of Lord Shiva, and I am glad!
Tell stories to kids! Teach them yoga!!