By Risheek Priyadarshi, Pretzel Kids content writer
It’s time to meet Jessica Petrus Aird, our April 2022 featured Pretzel Kids yoga teacher!
It is never too late to start yoga. It doesn’t matter how old (or young) you are, what your skill level is, how flexible you are or whether you consider yourself athletic. You can start practicing yoga as early as today!
Take our Pretzel Kids yoga instructor, Jessica Petrus Aird. She started practicing yoga in high school and college. Now she relies on yoga to give her strength whenever she needs it.
Jessica is originally from Farmington, Michigan but now resides in Natick, Massachusetts. Apart from being a mother to three children, she is also a private music teacher to students of all ages. In fact, she has even won a Latin Grammy for singing! To top off her resume now, however, she is also working to become a postpartum doula.
The yoga journey for Jessica all started about 15 years ago in high school gym class with some hot yoga. This inspired her to sign up for another yoga class in her freshman year of college. This class, Jessica credits, is the reason that she has developed a life-long appreciation for yoga and meditation. Since then, yoga has been part of her life.
Says Jessica: “Through my undergrad (years) as a musician, a hot moment on a farm I helped start, to a brief stint living in Chicago, and eventually coming out East for my masters in music, yoga has been a steady friend for me to come back to when I needed to rediscover my strength.”
We are so excited to share more about Jessica’s yoga journey. So, read on to learn more about this Latin Grammy award-winning mother and yoga teacher!
Tell Us About Your Journey as a Mom, Yogini and Musician
Pretzel Kids: Hi there Jessica! It’s amazing to have you on board with us here at Pretzel Kids. To start off, why don’t you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Jessica: I enjoy being silly, musical, creative, and active with children of all ages. Originally a classical singer, I began practicing yoga to help deepen my body and breath awareness. Now, as also a private music teacher, I love to find ways to bring yoga and music together in my classes. When not teaching yoga or music, I might be cooking up something tasty with my littles in the kitchen, brewing a pot of herbal tea, or working on my certification to become a postpartum doula.
Pretzel Kids: That is quite a lot that you do. Can you tell us a bit more about your day to day life?
Jessica: I am a mom to three children (Will: 4, June: 2, Oscar: 5 months), and I teach voice and piano privately to students of all ages. My newest venture is that I am working on training and certification to become a postpartum doula! I have been a musician all my life (I have a master’s level in voice performance), an undergraduate education degree. And, of course, I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 15 years.
Pretzel Kids: You are clearly a talented and an avid singer, so is there anything more you want to share about your music career?
Jessica: Yes! In fact, I actually have won a Latin Grammy for singing a back-up vocal track to a song by the Mexican rock band, Mana!
Pretzel Kids: That is incredible! With a career as diverse as yours, what do you do in your spare time?
Pretzel Kids: Since we’ve mentioned yoga so much, let’s flesh it out some more. Can you tell us a bit about your personal yoga journey so far?
Jessica: I had my first class in high school as part of my gym class (hot yoga) and I loved it. I then signed up for a yoga semester class in my first year of college, and I credit that class to helping me develop a life-long appreciation for it.
Starting a Side Gig as a Yoga Teacher for Kids
Pretzel Kids: Wow, you have had quite the journey. We love how yoga has kept you strong throughout all the ups and downs of life. Moving on, however, let’s talk about your career as a yoga teacher to kids. What are your favorite aspects of teaching yoga for kids?
Jessica: I love how yoga and meditation can inform everything we do and perceive in our lives, and how even children can understand and appreciate it!
Pretzel Kids: That is something we have first-hand experience of here at Pretzel Kids! Speaking of which, what do you feel are the most beneficial aspects of the Pretzel Kids Teacher Association membership and licensing program?
Jessica: There are quite a lot. Pretzel Kids offers a multitude of opportunities to teach yoga and I especially appreciate the “Dot It For You” aspect. Additionally, the Pretzel Kids team and overall community is very supportive and helpful!
Pretzel Kids: Thank you so much! We truly do appreciate these kind words along with all the work you have done for us. Do you feel that being part of Pretzel Kids gives you more visibility and helps you fill your classes. Let’s put it another way: Do you think it would take you longer to build up your classes and business without the support of Pretzel Kids?
Jessica: Yes! I like that the (Pretzel Kids) brand is something that is easily digestible and clear to the consumer. They know what kind of yoga class and education their child is going to get.
Pretzel Kids: Did your own childhood help inform your decision to teach yoga to children and if so, how?
Jessica: Actually, I would not really say my childhood informed my decision to practice yoga. I picked it up during my teenage years and it has stayed with me since. However, I do know that my career teaching music to children helped me combine my interests. So, I would say my music career has led me down this path more than my childhood has.
Make a Positive Impact as a Kids Yoga Teacher
Pretzel Kids: How do you hope to make a positive impact with Pretzel Kids?
Jessica: I hope to continue to be part of the community, and help raise awareness and offer good strategies to help kids become grounded and build a strong sense of self.
Pretzel Kids: And to wrap up the more serious questions, how did you hear about us? Would you recommend the Pretzel Kids program to friends, moms, childcare providers, and yoga teachers? If so, why?
Jessica: Absolutely! I first heard of it from Renee Bordner of Note-Worthy Experiences (whom I also work with as a music teacher). I would recommend Pretzel Kids as it’s a fun and easy way to engage children in important life skills.
Pretzel Kids: Now for the fun questions. What’s your favorite Pretzel Kids pose?
Jessica: Tree pose! It’s both easy and fun to do with children.
Pretzel Kids: What’s your favorite Pretzel Kids game? What’s your favorite Pretzel Kids theme?
Jessica: ‘Pose Factory’ always elicits some interesting inventions! My favorite theme is either space or forest explorations.
Pretzel Kids: It has been so fun getting to know you! What’s one last fun fact you’d like to share with everyone?
Jessica: My favorite food is ice cream! I can never say no to ice cream.
Pretzel Kids: It truly is one of the best foods out there. Anyway, thank you so much for talking with us and for all that you do! We are truly grateful for your teaching and are excited to see where you go next in your varied career!
Editor’s Note: Jessica’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!
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!