Meet the Lead Trainers
We originally met in 2014 in Upstate NY during Little Flower Yoga Training. We discovered within the first few minutes of the first night of training that we were both in Charlotte. She was teaching in South Charlotte and me in North Charlotte. Such a small world and a beautiful force that brought us together.
As a team, we bring over 300 hrs of kids yoga training to the table with a unique blend of skills. We are super excited to share this work with future teachers and leaders.
Mary Beth is the lead trainer and founder of Twist Kids Yoga. She has always had a love for children. Ever since she was a small child, she knew that she wanted to be a teacher. She began babysitting at the age of 10 and her senior year in high school, she did her senior project in a 3rd/4th grade classroom. It was her intention to study Elementary Education in college, but life had other plans for her and she studied Creative Writing & Fine Arts. In 1995 her father passed away suddenly and through her process of deep grief and sadness, she discovered yoga. It was when she discovered yoga that she was reminded of her childhood and the contemplative moments that she often experienced outside under trees or through laying on the grass and looking up at the sky. She was able to rediscover her sense of ahh and wonder, which then reminded her of how much she loved and adored children. Mary Beth also grew up with ADD/ ADHD. She took Ritalin as an elementary aged child, which eventually lead her to struggle with her body and the emotions that she felt around being diagnosed as learning disabled. She found that yoga helped her to focus, which eventually lead her to stop Ritalin.
In 2005, Mary Beth was working at Kripalu Yoga Center when one day she overheard 2 of her co-workers talking about a kids yoga class that they were leading that day. She became very curious and started asking a lot of questions, which then lead her to researching a program where she could become a certified kids yoga teacher. At that same time, Mary Beth was already teaching yoga to adults, but knew that she really wanted to be teaching yoga to children. In that same year, she flew to Los Angelos for a training/certification with Yoga Kids International. She then began teaching yoga to children at a day care and a small yoga studio in New Hampshire. In 2006 Mary Beth moved to Charlotte, NC where she eventually began teaching yoga to children all over the city. She has taught hundreds of classes in various environments such as community centers, a church, studios, schools, a gym, a toy store and even a grocery store!
Mary Beth is a double 95 hour Children’s Yoga Teacher, which means she has 190 hours of children’s yoga training registered with Yoga Alliance. In addition to those hours, she has also completed other yoga trainings, which has her on track with nearly 1000 hours of yoga training.Her kids yoga training background is with Yoga Kids International, Asheville Yoga Center, Little Flower Yoga and Grounded KidsYoga and continues to see inspiration in the work of others.
Mary Beth is a child at heart and has an infectious love and warmth for children. Children love her boundless energy and her willingness to indulge in the silliness of being a kid.
In her previous life as a menswear account executive and product developer in New York, NY for almost 10 years, Shona Baldoni (RYT-200) had no connection to yoga. She had graduated Magna Cum Laude with an A.S. in Textile Development and Marketing, and Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Marketing: International Trade from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Set in her career path, she felt her life wish had been fulfilled. However after the birth of her first child she realized that she would not be able to maintain her heavy travel schedule, with her husband also often on the road. She decided to resign from her position to become a stay-at-home mom until the time came when she could begin to work again. Shona began to dabble in yoga with videos, and then taking classes with a friend. However it wasn’t until her 2008 move to Charlotte, NC when she truly fell in love with yoga. It happened the moment she stepped into her first class with Mara I. Healy that same year. She felt inexplicably drawn to the practice and began dedicating herself more seriously to yoga. She deepened her practice by taking Mara’s 230 hour teacher training in early 2010 at Yoga Flex, in Charlotte, NC. That incredible experience made her realize that she had just begun an amazing journey, which will continue for the rest of her life. Much to her surprise, Shona began teaching adult yoga classes and despite her nervousness at being in front of a room, she fell in love with guiding people through her carefully constructed sequences. She continued her studies and completed her 500 hour training in 2013, at Enlighten Yoga in Charlotte, NC. During that training she had the opportunity to become certified in Universal Yoga and to study with many different and amazing teachers, including Cora Wen and David Keil.
In 2011 Shona began teaching children’s yoga classes at the urging of a studio owner who was looking to add kids yoga to the schedule. Shona decided to make it fun and engaging and the kids loved it! She continued teaching kids yoga for several years, and as the classes grew, she felt the need to become a registered children’s yoga teacher. So after 3 years of working with children, she completed the 95 hours required, through Little Flower Yoga. That training validated all that she had been doing in her children’s classes, and gave her more ideas to create even better classes. Shona loves teaching yoga, whether it be power, flow, yin, deep stretch, children, prenatal, basics, or gentle. Ever a student, she continues to study and attend workshops growing her knowledge, and bringing even more to her classes.