Teaching Tips

Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Feature: Meet Mikie Cooke

By Kim Bassan, Pretzel Kids content writer

Meet Mikie Cooke, our August 2021 Pretzel Kids yoga teacher!

It’s no secret that yoga has endless benefits and Mikie recognized this when she least expected it. In fact, whether you want to say yoga found Mikie or Mikie found yoga, the only thing that matters is this: Yoga has supported Mikie at her darkest hour. 

Mikie was born and raised in California and currently resides in San Leandro, Ca. She’s a full-time mom to two children and a rescue poodle. She has also been vegan for four years, and she’s passionate about the benefits of plant-based eating. 

As far as yoga goes, Mikie started taking yoga classes in college for exercise and to gain flexibility but then stopped for several years. After a sudden loss in 2019, she rediscovered the power of yoga as it helped her heal. 

Yoga added balance and peace to my life and now it is my passion,” she says.

With the power of yoga, healthy living tips, education and community, Mikie was able to overcome the unthinkable. We are so honored to be part of her journey and we can’t wait to share her story with you. 

If you’re ready to be inspired, grab a healthy snack, keep your heart open and read on to learn more about yoga teacher Mikie!

Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Mikie Cooke Inspires Us All

Pretzel Kids: Mikie, it’s good to welcome you as our August featured yoga teacher! Before we jump into your inspiring story, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Mikie: I am a mom, social worker, recruiter, and educator. I received my bachelor’s degree in behavioral science at UC Davis and then went on to Sacramento State and earned my master’s degree in social work. I have been a social worker for more than 25 years and have spent most of my career doing medical social work for patients with chronic kidney disease. I currently work for a non-profit health care company as a university recruiter. I enjoy working with students and helping them find their career paths.

Pretzel Kids: Wow! We’re impressed. Can you tell us more about you? Got any interesting hobbies? 

Mikie: I am also a plant-based food blogger. I started my plant-based journey in 2017 after being diagnosed with melanoma. I want others to learn from my experience and find out how plant-based eating can help with certain health issues and overall well-being. I want to inspire others by sharing my journey.  

Pretzel Kids: You definitely inspire us, so what is your favorite superfood? 

Mikie: I am obsessed with brussels sprouts!

Pretzel Kids: We better stock up on brussels sprouts! And what do you do in your spare time other than making healthy meals?

Mikie: In my spare time I enjoy traveling, running, cooking, spending time with family and friends or binge-watching shows on Hulu or Netflix. I especially love sitting by the beach in the warm sun while listening to the ocean waves. And last but not least, I have been practicing yoga consistently since 2019 and started teaching this past June 2021.

Pretzel Kids: Noted! Can you tell us a bit more about your yoga journey?

Mikie: I was first introduced to yoga in college. I became more serious about my yoga practice in 2019 after the sudden loss of my husband. I could not sleep and felt stressed and sad daily. I had grief counseling but was still searching for something more. I did a yoga class to see if it would help and that is when I officially discovered yoga again. The more I did, the more I loved it. I started to study more about what are the benefits of yoga and it quickly became my new love and passion. I found that doing yoga was helping me in so many ways, beyond the body. I was beginning to find inner peace and more clarity, not just around my grief and loss issues, but with every aspect of my life. Yoga helped me release not only my emotional stress but the physical tightness within my body

Pretzel Kids: Thank you so much for your candor and we are happy that yoga has helped you and your family. We’re also honored to be part of your journey. Can you tell us what drew you to Pretzel Kids? 

Mikie: What initially drew me was my passion for yoga and teaching. But after that, (I appreciate) all the support Pretzel Kids offers to its teachers – that’s what took teaching kids yoga from good to best.

Pretzel Kids: What is your favorite thing about (or two) teaching yoga for kids? 

Mikie: My favorite thing is being able to share my passion with the children. I feel like yoga is such a gift to give to them. They will have this in their toolkit for life.I also love to see the smiles on their faces when they are rolling out their mats, showing me their fun socks and so excited to get started with the class. 

Pretzel Kids: You make us want to take a class with you! What do you feel are the most beneficial aspects of Pretzel Kids?

Mikie: There are so many benefits to being a member of the Pretzel Kids community. The resources that are offered are phenomenal. Robyn is so hands-on, supportive and willing to do everything to help me with starting this amazing career as a Pretzel Kids teacher. I love that I can get ongoing training and expand my knowledge. I know that I’m professionally trained and feel proud to go to school and kids programs with high-end marketing materials to promote myself as a yoga teacher. It makes it easy to get hired as a kids yoga teacher!

Pretzel Kids: You deserve all the perks and beyond! Do you feel that being part of Pretzel Kids gives you more visibility and helps you fill classes that you couldn’t do on your own (or would take you much longer!)? 

Mikie: Having the Pretzel Kids branding is what gets me in the door! Being able to have the Pretzel Kids branding gives my clients the confidence to choose me as their yoga instructor because they see I am part of a known and respected company. I do not have to spend weeks trying to prove anything or go through auditions. My yoga clients go to the website and get the information they need. Parents like to see the Pretzel Kids community and once they do, they want their children to be a part of the class.

Pretzel Kids: Did your own childhood help inform your decision to teach kids yoga and if so, how? 

Mikie: As a child, I was a classical ballet dancer. I made it to pointe. I also ran track and was a cheerleader. I was busy and overscheduled like most (kids). I did not know about yoga. As a child, we did not talk about stress and did not practice mindfulness or meditation. But, I wish that I would have been introduced to yoga as a child. I am sure it would have helped with ballet and my overall well-being. But this is why I am here today, I want to give as many children as I can the opportunity to learn about yoga. This is also why I decided to teach kids yoga.

Pretzel Kids: Where do you currently teach?

Mikie: I reside in San Leandro, CA. and am currently teaching at a local preschool and plan to expand into the inner cities and local community centers.

Pretzel Kids: We are so happy to have you as a Pretzel Kids yoga teacher. How do you hope to make a positive impact with Pretzel Kids, especially in the wake of COVID-19? 

Mikie: The pandemic has made many children feel isolated, anxious, fearful and needing more clarity about what is happening in the world. Children are overscheduled and stressed. I am confident that yoga can bring children the same clarity that it brings to me. Yoga can help boost their self-esteem and give them a space to relax. I had not heard of many children’s yoga teachers or programs in my community and knew that it would be extremely beneficial (for the kids and the parents!) I am excited to be able to introduce yoga to children and help them develop a healthy toolkit for life. My goal with Pretzel Kids is to provide kids with stress management skills and calmer minds. When you start planting healthy habits at a young age you give your kids a happier, calmer, healthier life.

Pretzel Kids: Again, we’re honored to have you in our community of teachers. How did you hear about Pretzel Kids?

Mikie: I heard about Pretzel Kids through a blogger that I follow. She was giving information about side hustles and Pretzel Kids was on her list. I was drawn to the name and looked it up. Within hours I was in contact with Robyn and signed up for the training a few days later. I would recommend Pretzel Kids to anyone looking for a way to expand their yoga practice and want to start teaching yoga for kids or just want to start a side hustle. The best part is you get paid to do what you love. I have a full-time job and love being able to teach kids yoga on the side.

Pretzel Kids: We bet you’re the best kids yoga teacher! Just for fun: What’s your favorite Pretzel Kids pose

Mikie: I LOVE Rainbow pose.

Pretzel Kids: You are definitely shining! And what’s your favorite Pretzel Kids game?  

Mikie: Clean up game/Ocean theme

Pretzel Kids: We really don’t want to wrap this up so tell us one more fun fact about you.

Mikie: I love camping (in warm weather only)! I do not go often but love it when I do.

Pretzel Kids: If you’re a rainbow lover then we can’t expect you to camp in the winter! We love the outdoors and would love to go camping with you in warm weather and play the ocean game by the beach! Thank you so much for giving us a taste of your world and yoga journey. You are a true Pretzel Kids hero!

Editor’s Note: Mikie’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 Kim: Kim Bassan is the content intern at Pretzel Kids. She’s also a yoga teacher and a communication and publishing student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Kim is originally from Israel but moved to Canada with her family and little puppy Moana. In her free time she’s busy hiking or doing downward facing dog with Moana!

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