Yoga at the library with Karey Tom

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On Saturday, June 17, teens had the opportunity to practice yoga with Karey Tom at the Mint Hill Library.

Tom is the founder and managing director of Charlotte Kids Yoga, which partners with different organizations in and around Charlotte to teach yoga to children of all ages.

Tom has been teaching yoga for eleven years. She calls her journey to becoming a kids’ yoga instructor “an organically evolving process.” She first took up yoga nineteen years ago when she was living in New York City. At the time, yoga was a way for her to combat the stress of city life and practice self-care.

For Tom, this “innercise” aspect of yoga has always been just as important as the “exercise” it provides. “Yoga for me is more than just the poses,” she says. “It’s finding balance in your life through eating healthy, community service, and connecting with nature.”

After Tom moved to Charlotte, she began teaching yoga classes at the YMCA. Tom became certified in prenatal yoga when she was pregnant with her daughter and eventually kids yoga as well. Today, she works with children of all ages from expecting moms to 18-year-olds.

Tom’s Saturday class at the library led tens through a variety of yoga poses such as downward dog, child’s pose, rag doll, chair, plank, warrior and pigeon.

Tom led her students through a series of warrior poses.

On of Tom’s goals as an instructor is to make yoga as accessible as possible to everyone. “Yoga isn’t just for gymnasts or dancers,” she told her audience. “Yoga is for everybody.”

Tom demonstrated some more challenging poses like flying crow.

Tom kept the class casual and lighthearted, encouraging attendees as they struggled. “It doesn’t matter if you do it or not,” she encouraged. “Yoga’s not a competition.” Her class involved a lot of laughter, which Tom encouraged, telling the teens it’s “totally OK to laugh!” Tom created a safe space for her class where mistakes and failures were applauded. As librarian Kaitlyn Mullis fell over attempting the flying crow pose, Tom cheered, “That’s the whole point of yoga right there! You can fail, you can fall.”

Tom also made sure to address her audience’s individual needs, encouraging them as they modified poses. “Don’t feel like your yoga teacher is taking you hostage in a class,” she said. Instead, Tom encouraged the teens to listen to their own bodies and come out of poses or even leave the room if they had to.

One of the more challenging poses Tom led her students in was a side plank.

Tom ended the class with corpse pose followed by a brief, one-minute meditation. Teen attendees Aidan and Brianna as well as librarian Kaitlyn Mullis all enjoyed Tom’s class and said they would definitely try yoga again.

You can learn more about Karey Tom and Charlotte Kids Yoga at

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: