My name is Niki Bergstrom. As a mother of three very busy and rambunctious boys finding balance in life is crucial to survival.
These little people are my life. Literally. So when my oldest son began struggling with tantrums, aggression and violent outbursts that we knew as his parents we needed to look into getting him some help.
After many visits with a child psychologist, he began making small improvements in his behavior, but he still just seemed so emotionally raw. There is no “pill” for my boy. We knew that this was not going to be an easy fix. But after many heart to heart conversations with my husband, he suggested something so simple…so obvious that it seemed silly not to try.
You see, I have bipolar disorder. After 13 years of therapy, medications, and doctors, I’ve learned one very important lesson about myself, there is no magic pill that is going to make me “better”. So a few years ago I began searching for better alternatives of treatment for the mood swings and depression. My psychologist led me down the hall to a yoga studio where I met Christa Heibel, Owner and RT500 Instructor at Replenish in International Falls, MN. Through the years of “practice” I have learned to use yoga mat work to ground myself in reality and take away much of the “flighty” symptoms I experienced, while I began my self-study through meditation and breath work to ease anxiety and control mood swings. The results have been amazing. After nearly 8 years on very high doses of medications, I am med-free!
So why had I not thought to teach these principles to my little boys at home? It was hard work for me, don’t get me wrong, but to teach my kids about yoga and meditation…I can’t even tell you the difference it has made.
After our first night of a simple guided meditation from youtube and the legs-up-the-wall pose, my son woke the next morning with a smile on his face and a sigh of relief on his lips. That day after school he ran from the building and grabbed my hand to drag me back into the gym so that I could teach all his friends the cool meditation that I taught him! It makes my heart swell knowing my vulnerable little boy wanted to share this gift with all of his classmates.
It was that day that I decided that teaching our youth these basic principles of yoga for use in everyday life was my life’s purpose. That is my dharma.
With a hunger to learn more in order to provide a better experience for my students, I didn't stop after completing my 200 hour certification with Replenish. As children's yoga is my lifeblood, I decided to seek another teacher that shared my same values in offering traditional yoga to children. I found this in with the amazing teachers at Next Generation Yoga.
I am proud to offer such a complete and well rounded practice to students as this isn’t proprietary information. This is thousands of years of history in the making. And it is incredibly rewarding thinking that I get to play a part in bringing yoga to little people in our community, county, state and nation wide!