I had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with Leena St. Michael after she was recommended to me by the parent of one of my students. Leena enthusiastically agreed to be a guest speaker for my yoga classes at Monte Vista High School during finals week. As a seasoned yoga practitioner and yoga instructor, I immediately recognized Leena’s deep commitment to the practice of yoga, as well as her abundant knowledge on the subject. During our first meeting, Leena was open to hearing my ideas, and we were able to quickly decide upon the topic, structure, and style of her class, based on my desires and the needs of my students. Leena educated me on the IAM-Meditation technique, a stress-reducing technique that sounded like a perfect way for students to end finals week. We agreed that this meditation technique would be the most valuable and most accessible technique to teach to my two classes of 40 students.
On the day Leena was to present to my classes, she arrived promptly and was well-prepared. Her demeanor was calm and amiable, and the students took to her right away. Teenagers do not make the easiest audience, but Leena was somehow able to adapt to their idiosyncrasies and managed to lead them through an hour and a half long lesson, complete with lecture and direct instruction, all the while keeping them engaged and interested. The timing of her class was perfect, and we all ended feeling refreshed and energized—a perfect way for these students to end finals week.
If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I most certainly would choose Leena as a guest speaker again. Her compassion, wisdom, and sense of ease helped to create an atmosphere of peace for anxiety-ridden students. In addition, these students learned some valuable tools to help them manage their stresses and lead more balanced, fulfilling lives. I am so very grateful to her for this.
Monte Vista High School
San Ramon Valley Unified School District
699 Old Orchard Drive Danville, California 94526 Phone (925) 552-5500