Teaching Tips

Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Feature: Meet Courtney Fine

By Risheek Priyadarshi, Pretzel Kids content writer

It’s September, which means it’s finally time to welcome this month’s teacher of the month, Courtney Fine!

Courtney is a bit of an all-star. She is a yoga instructor, mom, and an avid runner. She is very passionate about yoga and its universal benefits. And, of course, Courtney loves teaching yoga to kids.

She has been practicing yoga for many years and started teaching about three years ago. Yoga found a place in Courtney’s life after she had been dealing with anxiety and trying to recover from breaking her hip. Since then, she has expanded her yoga and meditation abilities and is excited to teach both adults and children.

“My practice of yoga saved me and led me to complete my certification in meditation at the Chopra Center during 2020 when the world shut down,” Courtney explains. 

“Recently, I became a Reiki master to further enhance my healing abilities. I am passionate about helping others find what they need to feel peace of mind and be strong in their bodies.”

We certainly agree that yoga should have a healing place in our lives, regardless of your age or past injuries. Keep on reading to find out just how yoga has affected Courtney and how she has in turn given back to her community!

Teach yoga to kids; meet yoga teacher Courtney Fine

Pretzel Kids: Hello, Courtney! It is fantastic to sit down and get a chance to interview you. To start off, tell us about yourself. 

Courtney: I am a mom of three daughters: ages 18, 15, and 11. I have a background in special education and enjoy working with both children and adults. I am a RYT-200 yoga instructor, Reiki master, and Chopra meditation instructor. I have a passion for wellness. In my free time I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with my family—which includes a golden doodle named Lul! 

Running Her Way to Healing

Pretzel Kids: It is incredible how much you’ve accomplished! Would you like to touch upon anything else before moving on?

Courtney: I am a marathon runner, and you could say running is my favorite hobby! I also have been teaching yoga for three years, have been a teacher for over 20 years in different capacities, and love helping people of all ages feel better about themselves both mentally and physically. 

Pretzel Kids: Marathons are no joke and we absolutely love that you’re an avid runner! What is one more fun fact that you would like to share?

Courtney: Funnily enough, this also has to do with running. I have run six Boston Marathons for Mass General’s pediatric oncology team!

Pretzel Kids: That is impressive! When you’re not teaching yoga or running marathons, is there anything else you’d like to share about what you do in your spare time?

Courtney: In those moments, I love to meditate, pause, and invite in quiet. 

Pretzel Kids: Setting aside time to appreciate the quiet by practicing yoga and meditation can make a huge difference in a hectic lifestyle with many responsibilities, such as yours. This leads to our next question, how did you begin your yoga journey?

Courtney: I began practicing yoga several years ago when I was experiencing anxiety in my life. I instantly became hooked on pairing movement with breath. It not only helped with my anxiety, but with my running as well. I became stronger mentally and physically. About three years ago after becoming certified to teach – because I wanted to help others find a path to wellness – I broke my hip, which was debilitating to me as I am constantly on the go. My practice of yoga saved me and led me to complete my certification in mediation at the Chopra Center during 2020, when the world shut down. Recently, I became a Reiki master to further enhance my healing abilities. I am passionate about helping others find what they need to feel peace of mind and be strong in their bodies.

Courtney doing a yoga pose on the beach

Pretzel Kids: We are so glad that you could turn to yoga after your hip injury. It truly goes to show how powerful yoga can be in terms of healing not just your mind but your body. You touched upon helping others, so what is your favorite thing (or two) about teaching kids yoga?

What’s Most Rewarding About Teaching Yoga to Kids?

kids yoga

Courtney: One of the rewarding parts of teaching kids yoga is when you see children actively involved in calming breathing exercises that help them slow down and ease their bodies and minds. Oftentimes, they come to the mat feeling overwhelmed, stimulated, and restless. It is amazing when you see the children begin to take what you are offering and begin to settle down and use these tools not only on themselves but in everyday life. And of course, I love the smiles and laughter during yoga game time. 

Pretzel Kids: We feel the same way! Changing tune a bit, can you tell us what you feel are the most beneficial aspects of the Pretzel Kids licensing and membership program (Pretzel Kids Teacher Association)? 

Courtney: I think the most beneficial part of being part of Pretzel Kids is being a part of a supportive team. Robyn is always responsive and helpful and makes you feel part of the community. 

Pretzel Kids: Your words truly mean a lot! How do you hope to make an impact with Pretzel Kids?

Courtney: There is certainly a mental health crisis going on around us, especially in our schools. I want to help children through these difficult times—equipping them with tools for present moment awareness and mindfulness. When I studied meditation, we talked a lot about the critical mass: the more people that meditate, do yoga…we can change the world! I have seen the benefits in my own children and know that yoga makes an impact on our youth.

Courtney doing a yoga pose balanced on a post

Pretzel Kids: Yoga can certainly change the world, one child at a time. Since you also hope to reach more children, do you feel that being part of Pretzel Kids will help you do this? How so?

Courtney: Absolutely. I need to begin to add in more classes using my yard this fall when school starts because of the increase of students.

Pretzel Kids: Using your yard is especially ingenious, which leads to our next questions. Where do you live and where would you like to teach Pretzel Kids yoga in your community? Where are you from originally and how did that inform your decision to teach kids yoga?

Courtney: I live in Burlington, Massachusetts and I would love to bring more Pretzel Kids classes to my community! That goes hand in hand with reaching the critical mass I talked about earlier.

Pretzel Kids: How did you hear about Pretzel Kids? Would you recommend the program to friends, moms, childcare providers and yoga teachers? Why?

Courtney: I actually found you on Facebook! I have not looked back since.

Fun Questions about Kids Yoga

Pretzel Kids: Now, onto some less serious questions. What is your favorite Pretzel Kids pose?

Courtney: Ironically, it is actually Pretzel Pose!

Pretzel Kids: What’s your favorite Pretzel Kids game

Courtney: My favorite game to play with the kids is definitely “Salty Says.” 

Pretzel Kids: We have one more question to ask you, and it’s the most important. So, last but not least, what is your favorite food?

Courtney: Sushi!

Pretzel Kids: That wraps up our interview. Thank you for taking the time out to speak with us, we really enjoyed your company and love your mission, Courtney!

Courtney: Thank you, I can’t wait to teach more classes at Pretzel Kids!

Editor’s Note: Courtney’s story is the reason why we do what we do! If you want to enjoy sharing your passion for healthy living and children’s well-being then this is your sign. We can’t wait for you to join the Pretzel Kids yoga family! 

About Risheek

Risheek Priyadarshi is a contributing writer for Pretzel Kids. He recently graduated from Santa Clara University after studying economics, math, and computer science. His hobbies include a rekindled passion for yoga, running, boxing, and reading!

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