After teaching his first kids yoga class during his yoga training five years ago, Ngugi has since found his passion, providing playful mindfulness practices in school settings. Before joining The Primary School, he was a Wellness Teacher in the Ravenswood City School District. As an instructor for a Stanford University research team studying the benefits of these practices to children over a period of three years, he guided mindfulness-based exercises and self-regulation techniques to help students learn how to manage stress and anxiety, toward improving their physical and mental health in and out of school. He has also taught trauma-informed yoga to incarcerated youth, led after-school yoga programs in the Bay Area, and continues to mentor and coach new students in his ongoing Yoga Teacher Training programs.
Ngugi moved to the U.S. in 2007, and changed direction from studying engineering to practicing yoga. He followed his strong calling to bring yoga to a younger community; it was something he wished he had had throughout his own childhood in Kenya. He firmly believes that every child has the right to feel loved and seen regardless of their circumstances, and every child needs learn how to connect with and understand their minds early to be well-equipped to navigate through life in a more confident way. Supported by the Social Emotional Learning approach to his curriculum, he aims to aid students’ foundation from an early age in understanding how to identify and regulate emotions, build a consistent mindful attitude, and to learn the benefits of practices such as gratitude and empathy in connecting with themselves and others.