Subscribe to Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Google Play
Subscribe on Spotify

In this transformative episode, join us as we engage with renowned pediatric occupational therapist and founder of Zensational Kids, Allison Morgan. Learn how yoga and mindfulness integrated into her therapy sessions have improved her clients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral wellness. Discover her motivation for writing curriculums for pre-K through high school students and the unique challenges that come with it. Dive into the importance of balancing the human nervous system and its impact on children’s functionality.

Watch our interview on YouTube here

Uncover our conversation concerning the urgent need for increased mental health and social-emotional learning programs in schools, especially in light of the post-pandemic stress faced by many students. Learn about Allison’s incredible journey as a pediatric occupational therapist and her vision to alleviate the struggles of today’s students, teachers, and parents through innovative solutions.

Delve into the profound significance of social and emotional learning in an educational setting. Gather valuable insights on the teaching and learning dynamics and the vital role educators play in creating their classroom’s atmosphere. Learn how to utilize mindfulness and self-awareness strategies to revolutionize the classroom environment and the importance of educators’ mental and emotional well-being. Discover practical ways you can begin incorporating these strategies into your classroom or homeschooling routine today with our plethora of free resources.

Subscribe to Allison’s free video program for more resources, empowering discussions, and actionable strategies for your personal and professional growth.

On today’s episode #331, we have our final interview before the summer months. Today we will be meeting with Allison Morgan, the Founder of Zensational Kids.[i] She is a pediatric occupational therapist, author, international public speaker, and educational trainer driven to empower youth and the adults that care and serve them. She is passionate about training educators, parents, mental health professionals, and allied health professionals, giving them effective techniques to develop skills such as self-awareness, management skills, compassion, and resilience so they can model and authentically teach these skills to children.

EPISODE #331 with Allison Morgan on “Making the Neuroscience, Mindfulness and SEL Connection” we will cover:

✔ Where Allison made the Mind, Body, Neuroscience Connection with her work as a pediatric occupational therapist.

✔ Allison’s Vision for the Schools of the Future.

✔  Uncover the urgent need for increased mental health and social-emotional learning programs in schools.

✔  Learn how yoga and mindfulness integrated into her therapy sessions have improved her clients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral wellness.

✔ How to Access Allison’s work for a free to implement NEW strategies immediately.

Allison began integrating yoga and mindfulness into her therapy sessions with children in 2007. Discovering the multitude of physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral benefits these practices offered her occupational therapy clients and recognizing the need for more mental health and social-emotional learning programs in schools, Allison began writing curriculum and developing teacher training programs to help others share these practices. For those who have followed our work over the years, you’ll know that when I came across Allison, I was thinking I wish I had known Allison in 2014 when we launched our curriculum into the school market, and got to see first-hand just how difficult that would be.

She is the author of curriculums for pre-K through high school-age students: (which is not easy to be focused on both elementary and secondary students at the same time. They are both vastly different, requiring completely different strategies).

  • Young Explorers: Yoga and Mindfulness in Early Childhood Education
  • EDUCATE 2B: Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning for Educators and students in the K-5th grade Classroom
  • EVERYDAY Mindfulness: Techniques for Teens to Develop Compassion, Calm, Focus and Resilience

I had to be sure to connect with Allison before we take a break from interviews prior to the summer months, because of the importance of addressing the stress our kids are facing in the classrooms, especially post pandemic. I look forward to meeting Allison, and sharing her knowledge and expertise that this podcast was built around. Let’s meet the CEO of Zensational Kids, Allison Morgan!

Welcome Allison, it’s wonderful to meet with you after our email exchanges.  We do have a lot in common, don’t we? Gymnastics, SEL and Neuroscience! That’s quote the combo!

Can you walk us through your career as a pediatric occupational therapist, and orient us to your background?

Q1: I’ll never forget the moment I saw just how impactful these important SEL skills are for students (in school, sports and in life). It was like a brick hit me in the stomach. What was it for you that made you take notice of these important SEL skills, (That back in the day were called soft skills and not given the merit they deserve) for you to create your own curriculum for mental and emotional well-being in the classroom? What made you put your hat in this field?

Q1B: I loved to see Understanding the Brain AND Understanding the Nervous System in the beginning of your Educate 2B book. I can guess that it was your background as an occupational therapist that made you make the mind/brain/body connection, but tell me when this connection began for you?

Q2: Before you had your eye on releasing your own curriculum, especially on Mindfulness, did you look at what other Mindfulness Curriculum was out in our schools? What did you notice was missing perhaps from what you saw? When was it that you decided to put your work out into the world? How did you differentiate yourself? I ask this because I remember looking and seeing Goldie Hawn and Dr. Dan Siegel’s program[ii] that almost deterred me from trying.

Q3: When I was a teacher in the classroom in the late 1990s, we had zero training in working with behavioral students. It was the main reason I left the classroom. Now we look in our classrooms and especially since the Pandemic, we’ve got learning loss now to add to this equation. What should we know about the health and wellness of children today?

Q3B: What’s the difference between the feeling of anxiousness, and the feeling of excitement? How can we differentiate the two?

Q4: I love your worksheets that have PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and RTI (Response to Intervention-that aims to identify and support struggling students early on)! As someone who has worked from the publishing side of education, I always saw a need to integrate SEL skills into our classroom, starting with the day to day work we are doing with our students.

How do you integrate this important information into the day-to-day workings of a classroom?

What is your philosophy/approach around the fact that we cannot support the well-being of students without first addressing the well-being of educators?  I can go off on a tangent here with Dr. Bruce Perry’s work.

Q5: How are you identifying the major pain points that schools are facing right now (mental health, behavior, academic loss, teacher’s leaving at an extraordinary rate) and how shifting from typical top-down programs to  bottom up approaches that will actually address most of their issues?

Q6: What’s the difference between a “curriculum” and the development of daily habits/practices to create internal mind/body change.

Q7: How have we adapted from requiring full-day and 3 day mindfulness trainings for educators to downloadable videos for direct student instruction where we lead all of the practices?

Q8: Where are you based out of, and what Districts are you currently working with? Any success stories to share?

Q9: What is your vision for your programs?

Q10: What have I missed?

Thank you, Allison, for reaching out to me, to share your vision for making a difference with mental health and resilience in our classrooms. This is important and critical work. If people want to learn more about you, is the best way through your website?


Free Video Tools to Try

Best Practices for Yoga in School