Posted in Interview

INTERVIEW: Amanda Given

Author Bio…

Amanda Given, of Marblehead, is the founder of Govinda Yoga Play. She lives in the northeast of the US. She works with young children and tweens to assist them with easing their uncomfortable, big emotions. She helps children with emotional regulation, breath and body awareness, and often is drawn to helping them foster loving compassion, gratitude, and kindness  to themselves and others through yoga and age appropriate, playful meditation. Yes, it’s possible to be playful in meditation 🧘‍♀️ 🥳. She holds a masters in speech language pathology. After practicing in schools and hospitals for close to 18 years, she dove into a yoga teacher training 4 years ago. Always a writer by hobby, Lonnie and Scarlett and Balloon Breath came about after working with youth at a Girls Inc. locally. I hope you enjoy their story. #bigwmotions #emotionalregulation 
#exhalethesad #inhalethehappy

Thumbnail That: What inspired you to write Balloon Breath?

Amanda Given: While I was teaching yoga to tweens I thought of how useful an activity for young children and their caregivers would be to incorporate into their daily lives. I used a little lamb to demonstrate belly breaths and Lonnie was born.

Thumbnail That: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

Amanda Given: My creative mind blossomed after a misdiagnosed medical event. My fear let go, my ability to love fiercely opened. I transcended after a yoga teacher training 200 hour course in 2015 and after this I dove into loving awareness and nonjudgmental living with Vipassana like meditation. It just evolved. I began writing to heal and then these children’s stories came in, it was quite lovely.

Thumbnail That: What influences do you attribute to your writing style?

Amanda Given: There isn’t any author in particular. I do my own thing. I don’t wait for accolades. I pretend I’m a child, I am at 49 years old. It’s more fun for me and my girls. Let all the messiness shine through, it’s ok.

Thumbnail That: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book and why?

Amanda Given: The initial work of trying to write as a child would experience my story was difficult. I kept explaining my story. My writing coach would laugh. Finally, I was that child reading it. Then it flowed.

Thumbnail That: Where is your favorite place to write?

Amanda Given: Airplanes, while I fly. In my car , I’ll sit in my parking spot. Or, up at our mountain home.

Thumbnail That: What advice would you have for new children’s book authors?

Amanda Given: Be a child that you are writing for. You have to act it out and either stop and write, or run audio or video. But pretend you are in with children that are listening and watching you at an authors visit. Also, find a mentor. Pay a person that knows the ropes. Get into a group and have accountability.

Thanks Amanda for taking the time to share your Balloon Breath journey with us.

Connect with Amanda on social media: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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I hope you are enjoying these interviews as much as I am. We will be wrapping up our interview series with children’s book author, Lori Holmes, next Thursday. So stay tuned!

Happy reading,