Lee Sowles, MPH

Founder, Executive Director, and Educator

In 2007, Lee’s life was profoundly changed when she found yoga and mindfulness. Struggling with healthy sleep patterns since high school, she noticed a dramatic shift when she started practicing yoga several times a week. Better sleep improved her focus as well as a feeling of overall less anxiety and more ease.  Her self-awareness deepened from there, as she recognized how pervasive self-doubt, worry, and fear were in her life and the need for more balance in order to feel happy and well. 

At the same time this transformative practice entered her life, Lee was working with the most vulnerable communities in Maine. She quickly recognized the disparity in who is able to access the practices. 

With the goal to one day make yoga and mindfulness accessible to more people, Lee took a leap and moved to Los Angeles to attend a Yoga Teacher Training in 2011. After her training, she moved to Boston where she taught part time under a mentor who supported her growth as a teacher working with a diverse group of people living with long-term injuries, disabilities, and other ailments. During this time, Lee also received her Masters of Public Health which she focused on social determinants of health, program development, and public health research.

Lee was drawn to work with children as she sees the innate wisdom in each of them and wanted to stay connected to that. Societal expectations and old patterns can be disruptive when it comes to being with children, deeply listening to them, and learning from what they have to say.  Lee learns from children every day and works to remind them (and adults!) of their inherent ability to be present and mindful. Through practice and guided discussion, classrooms uncover how looking inward can support health, happiness, and wellbeing. 

Lee’s mindfulness work with children is underscored by the belief that understanding and processing emotions in a healthy way, feeling empowered and focused, and reconnecting with innate qualities of compassion for ourselves and one another, can transform lives and halt adverse outcomes. Through these teachings, we can re-wire our brains to promote resilience in times of stress, build a stronger sense of compassion and kindness, and find comfort being with ourselves.

A mother of two young children herself, Lee hopes to touch children, teachers, and caregivers in Maine and contribute to building resilience within communities. Lee fully embodies her yoga, mindfulness, and compassion based practices, all of which support her need for a well balanced life.  

 

Compassion Cultivation Training  [CCT], Stanford (2019); Yin and Meditation Certified Teacher (2017); Children’s Mindfulness and Yoga Workshop, Little Flower Yoga (2017); Mindful Schools Fundamentals Course (2017); Mindful Schools Educator Course (2017); MPH, Northeastern University (2013); Bikram Yoga Certified Teacher (2011).

Haley Pittenger

Mindfulness Educator

Haley comes to OmKids with over 10 years of experience teaching children. She is a Montessori certified teacher with a BS in Human Biology and a minor in Elementary Education. Haley believes there is a great need for compassion and mindfulness education in schools and everyday life.

As a teacher of young children, she sees a great benefit in connecting children to the consistent practice of mindfulness and the benefits that proceed. When Haley began practicing mindfulness she noticed more productivity and a sense of calmness, an improved ability to manage anxiety, and most importantly a reconnection to herself. Haley is excited to join the OmKids community and bring mindfulness and compassion-based practices to her community. She loves cooking, eating, and exploring Maine with her husband and baby girl!

Nichole Crandall

Mindfulness Educator

Nichole teaches many styles of yoga and mindfulness to children and adults. Nichole has practiced yoga since 2009, helping her through the many ebbs and flows of life. After the birth of her daughter in 2013, witnessing first hand how yoga and meditation helped her balance life as a new mom, she committed to teaching others. Practicing at home, having her daughter join in, inspired her to teach children as well.

“I love seeing my students connect with their bodies, their breath and the benefit that connection brings. These positive effects from the postures, breath and mindfulness translate into life. It is a gift to teach a room full of people from different walks of life, different abilities, all taking time for themselves.”

Nichole’s Training

  • BS Psychology University of New Hampshire (2005)
  • MS in Educational Psychology, University of Southern Maine (2012)
  • 200 Hr YTT, Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher Training, instructed by Alice Riccardi (2012)
  • Child Light Yoga Program, instructed by Sharon Trull (2104)
  • Myofacial Release Ball Rolling (Vendetti 2017) (Myers &Miller Aug 2019)
  • Trauma Informed Yoga (SeaChange 2018)
  • Yin Yoga and Meditation Teacher; Training (Sagel Urlacher 2014) (Bernie Clark 2018)
  • Restorative Yoga Teacher Training (Robin Payton Ivy 2018)
  • Reiki I Certification (Kris Keegan 2018)
  • 200 Hr YTT, Boston School of Yoga, instructed by Ame Wren & Bethany McCorkle (Oct 2019-Jan 2020)

Julia Campilio

Video Curriculum Founder and Educator

Julie Campilio founded Radiant Beginnings in 2010. She is a yoga and mindfulness educator, consultant, author, curriculum developer and partner in research studies on emotional health. She has been bringing yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations for over a decade and focuses her program on teaching youth how to develop tools to self-soothe.

She has worked in private/public education, substance abuse centers, with underserved and high-risk youth, special needs populations and has partnered with social workers, occupational therapists, and teachers to create content that supports the social and emotional needs of ages 3-18.

Her drive to bring yoga and mindfulness to youth stems from her healing journey with chronic anxiety, specifically panic attacks. She is deeply committed to helping people develop lifelong tools for stress and anxiety and to increase resilience as part of a preventative intervention. Happily living in Maine, she thrives in nature, loves spending time with her family and friends, hiking, biking, surfing, and cooking.

Erica Marcus

Mindfulness Educator

Erica Marcus, founder of Wise Minds. Big Hearts., is thrilled to be collaborating with Om Kids to bring mindfulness to educators throughout Maine. Her current work is the culmination of nearly fifteen years of experience in classroom teaching, wilderness youth therapy, and outdoor education combined with Mindful Schools and Kripalu Yoga certifications.

Erica believes that educators benefit immensely from cultivating a mindfulness practice, and those benefits have the power to transform classrooms. She learned this first hand during her tenure as a middle school language arts teacher in Washington, D.C., where she experienced how growing her own practice profoundly shifted her ability to be present with her students and colleagues. She invites teachers to both consider not only how they can teach mindfulness to their students, but teach mindfully, from a place of compassionate awareness.

She currently is enjoying the balance of being an adjunct wellness faculty member at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, working with educators on building their own capacity, and raising her toddler. She also enjoys hiking, running, surfing, painting, and eating ice cream.