little om BIG OM brings fun yoga and mindfulness classes to kids & families around the Madison-area! We bring our mobile program to studios, schools, libraries, camps and other locations around the community.
Our team of talented instructors use playful and creative activities to teach the many asanas (poses) of yoga and principles of mindfulness to kids of all ages. We feel strongly that exploring yoga should be a positive experience for kids, and it is our goal to introduce our students to skills and strategies that can help them on and off the mat!
A yoga practice can increase awareness and focus, improve physical fitness and posture, improve breathing techniques, reduce stress and increase confidence, and we love offering kids opportunities to benefit in these ways at a young age. Kids love our classes because learning new ways to use their bodies and minds is exciting and rewarding, and we love seeing our students building confidence in themselves!
We use songs, games, props/toys and stories to explore these class components:
Standing Active Asanas (Poses)
Yoga Games and Partner Activities
Sitting/Lying Asanas (Poses)
Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)
Relaxation and Mindfulness (Yes! Relaxation. Kids learn to calm themselves and hold still!)
Founder & CEO
Jamie Gale is the Founder & CEO of little om BIG OM and just loves seeing proud kids in tree pose who also know how to take deep breaths like pros. She loves working with small yogis, moving, learning, and having fun on the yoga mat while exploring the power of the mind and the breath. She holds her BA in Spanish and a Certificate in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is certified to teach yoga to children through Karma Kids Yoga, Rainbow Kids Yoga, Yoga Education Institute, and YogAutism. Jamie is also certified to teach yoga to adults through Yoga Education Institute. Jamie is also the Co-Director of Creative Soul Camp and Founder of BOSS MAMA, a professional and professional development network for mamapreneurs. When she's not connecting kids and families to yoga through little om BIG OM, Jamie can be found chasing around town with her three energetic kids.
Director of Inclusion and Outreach & Yoga Instructor
Mia Hicks is the Director of Inclusion and Outreach at little om BIG OM as well as one of our most experienced kids’ yoga instructors. She is passionate about the benefits and importance of yoga and movement for children and uses her own practice to help her stay centered, focused and happy. She believes that yoga and mindfulness are incredible tools that all children (and adults) deserve access to. Mia has over 15 years of experience working with kids of all ages, including seven years as a dual language instruction classroom teacher for Madison Metropolitan School District. She has her Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from UW-Madison and completed her 200-Hour RYT. Mia is an educator and lifelong learner who is passionate about education as a tool to empower all students, especially those from historically marginalized groups. She is excited to continue working to improve access, diversity and inclusion in the local kids yoga community and to help more kids become self-aware and comfortable with their bodies. She also enjoys running, playing with her dog, trying new restaurants and reading. Her favorite part of yoga is savasana - of course!
Mary is ecstatic for this opportunity to combine two passions of engaging with children and practicing mindfulness and yoga to teach children’s yoga! She has been a nanny, babysitter, and care provider for over a decade and loves to be active and imaginative with children. She began her exploration of yoga in college and expanded it while spending six years in Sedona Arizona, hiking and exploring the wilderness and beauty there. She loves to listen to and share music that promotes good feelings, positivity, and hopefulness. She also loves to bake and cook from scratch using healthy ingredients and share her recipes and dishes with friends and family. You can check out her recipes at Well Rounded Guru, a health and wellness website she has created with her partner Jourdan. She lives in East Madison with Jourdan and their dog Jaya. You will often find all three of them riding bike on the bike path, working on outdoor projects in the backyard, or playing and singing music together. Mary is a 200 hour RYT Certified Yoga Instructor with a certificate from Yoga Education Institute for Kids Yoga Instruction.
Colleen Condon loves connecting with kids and families through the magic of yoga. Colleen has seen, as a kids' yoga teacher and as a school social worker, yoga empower children to live from their inner strength and in greater harmony with others. With a Masters in Social Work from UW-Madison and 12 years of studying yoga and mindfulness, Colleen's students have been some of her greatest teachers, inspiring her to truly show up for life with an open heart, understanding, healthy boundaries, and a playful spirit. Her two-year-old son is constantly adding to those teachings and helps Colleen practice a full-spectrum yoga every day! Learning from all that is around us, honoring the light that lives within, and sharing it together--this is the yoga that Colleen embraces. Colleen completed her 200 hour RYT through Ritam Healing Arts Yoga with Saul David Raye and is certified to teach Trauma-Informed Yoga.
Weslie Cymerman loves her time with children every day. She has been a teacher for 12 years, and currently teaches Health and Wellness at Wingra School in Madison. Weslie began her yoga practice 15 years ago and has been exploring it with curiosity, joy, and compassion ever since. Play and exploration of yoga with children is entirely natural and exciting to her, and she feels honored to have the opportunity to spend her time with little om BIG OM. At home, Weslie has a toddler who loves making animal growls and a baby on the way. Weslie has her BS in Elementary Education from UW-Madison, is a Certified Children's Yoga Instructor through Rainbow Kids Yoga and has completed her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification.
Evan Moss is a former 7th grade science teacher and current graduate student at UW-Madison in the School of Education. She feels fortunate to have found yoga as a college student and then again as a tool for her own well-being as a beginning middle school teacher seven years ago. She completed her 200 hour RYT through Cloud Nine Yoga/Breathe for Change. Since moving to Madison with her husband in 2013, Evan has been involved in the areas of education and mindfulness at UW-Madison, including teaching a 4K mindfulness-based kindness curriculum and conducting mindfulness research in area schools. She has taken and assisted a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course and has participated in Mindful Schools' K-12 curriculum course. Evan dearly misses the classroom and the energy of kids, so her heart is very happy to be able to reconnect with children on the mat through yoga exploration and play! Around Madison, Evan loves cross-country skiing, Lake Monona, biking, and Thai food.
Melinda Miles is a lover of all things active and all activities with young people - what could be better than teaching kids and family yoga?! She is a graduate of Purdue University where she majored in Biochemistry and was a member of the rowing team. It was with her teammates that Melinda first started practicing yoga, and she found so many physical and mental benefits that she continued at studios in Madison, at home on the living room floor (where her black lab helps demonstrate the *perfect* downward dog), with the high school rowing team she coaches, and the preschool class of 4 and 5 year olds she teaches daily at a school in Madison!
Toni Caleb began practicing yoga in 2006. The moment she stepped on the mat she fell in love with yoga and knew that yoga would always be an essential part of her life. She recently began a journey to discover her authentic self. Through much soul searching she realized that her true passion was in yoga, being with children and helping the those with disabilities. She discovered that she wanted her purpose to be about service and helping others find acceptance, compassion, peace, joy and love of self through yoga. She came across a quote “Children love yoga because it speaks their language – Adults love yoga because they can feel the way a child does. The universe was speaking to her. Toni has an Associate Degree in Liberal Studies from Madison College and recently completed her training through YogAutism. Toni will be completing her Children't Yoga Teacher Certification this year through Yoga Ed. She is so excited and grateful to have found opportunities through little om BIG OM.
Toni loves to travel and has a special place in her heart for the island of Maui. Her other hobbies include photography, walking and hiking, kayaking and snowshoeing.
Courtney Schmidt is very excited to have the opportunity to introduce yoga techniques to young people—allowing children a chance to express themselves freely while developing self-regulation skills. She recently graduated from UW-Madison earning her B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology and is currently working toward earning her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Throughout her college career she has been able to work with children of varying ages and abilities in a wide variety of settings incorporating fun movement activities in classrooms and on the yoga mat! Her yoga journey began in 2014 when she started using yoga techniques as a supplement to other workout routines. She really enjoys the combination of mindfulness with the physicality poses offer. She has found yoga practice to be a great way to relieve stress from school, as well as be an opportunity to develop deeper self-awareness by facilitating the mind-body connection. Courtney is currently working on completing her Children’s Yoga Teacher Certification through the Yoga Education Institute. She is looking forward to being part of the little om BIG OM team and sharing the many benefits of yoga practice with new yogis!
Jamisen Paustian grew up playing outside, swimming in lakes, and making snow forts in Madison, Wisconsin, after graduating from UW-Madison with a Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Studio Art, Jamisen got her RYT-200 Hour Yoga Certification with an emphasis in Children's Instruction during the summer of 2015 through Cloud Nine Yoga School and Breathe for Change. During the spring of 2020, she received an additional Group Fitness certification through CorePower Yoga. Professionally, she has worked in a variety of roles directly with children and the education sector, in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Madison. For the past four years, she has taught preschool in Chicago, Illinois. Jamisen just relocated to Madison and is working with the Schools of Hope Project at Mendota Elementary School on the northeast side of Madison for the 2020-2021 school year. In her free time, she is a watercolor painter, an amateur pianist, a tree-hugging vegetarian, and an aficionado of children’s literature. Most importantly, she has a strong passion for working with children, to help them grow as individuals, discover themselves and others, and explore the world we live in.