Heidi Woods (formerly Demars) is the Founder and Director of Training of Mindful You - Mindful Me. She is a 2013 Bush Leadership Fellow, TEDx speaker, CNP (Certified Non-Profit Professional), 200 RYT Children’s Yoga Teacher, and Certified Mindfulness Educator.
She was the co-founder and developer of the BisMan Community Food Co-op, a consumer-owned cooperative with over 3,500 member-owners. She has raised over $1.5 million for Sustainable Ag projects over the past 4 years and served on the Organic Advisory Board for the ND Department of Ag. She currently serves as a board member for Prairie Public Broadcasting.
Heidi has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership and a degree in Occupational Therapy. She thrives on working with others to create a greater sense of well-being and community. Her work is rooted in empowering others to be well so they do well. She believes true wellness connects mind, body, and spirit.
She began practicing yoga and meditation in 2009 and found a place of inner resourcefulness and true healing. Heidi is sharing that gift with others by teaching yoga+mindfulness to create more resilient, inclusive, empathetic, and compassionate people and places. When children, educators, and parents have the tools necessary to become more present and conscious of their feelings, choices and actions, they can begin to completely alter their relationships to others and the world around them for the better.
I began my journey working with children when I moved to Anchorage, AK after high school to nanny for a family. I wasn't sure what I wanted "to be" but I knew I wanted to travel, so I packed my bags and booked a one-way ticket. The family I worked for had a beautiful boy named Shawn who had Downs Syndrome. It was love at first site. Shawn's mother was deaf so to say communication was a challenge is an understatement. That is when I learned to communicate using the language of love and to truly see people with my heart, and not just with my ears or eyes.
In my spare time I would immerse myself in the pristine and majestic beauty of Alaska. I realized that being in nature gave me a deep sense of peace and connection to myself and all living things. This proved to be deeply healing. The time spent with Shawn in Alaska inspired me to go to college to work with children with special needs. When I returned to ND I pursued a degree in Occupational Therapy and worked as a school-based OT for a Special Education Cooperative.
Working with kids, teachers, and schools was incredibly rewarding yet very challenging. Many of the kids I would see in OT lacked the social and emotional skills necessary for learning and the teacher were facing growing behaviors in the classroom and experiencing more stress. Stressed kids and stressed teachers? Something had to be done.
As an Occupational Therapist , I began to incorporate my personal love for yoga into my work with kids in the schools. In 2013 I started my own yoga business and began teaching private kids classes while deepening my own practice with mindfulness and meditation. Home life was a perfect training ground for this work as I started teaching my two children calming techniques and tools that could help them navigate through difficult feelings and situations. My children have been my greatest teachers and they are the reason this work is being brought into the world. My training is rooted in the secular practice of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and I am certified with Mindful Schools, Little Flower Yoga, and Flow Yoga. I teach sustainable Hatha Yoga.
The world is changing and I'm excited to be on the transition team. I believe that the healing power of true presence has the ability to transform the world, especially with children. When we connect deeply with ourselves, we can begin to draw from the insight and wisdom within. Mindfulness practices cultivate a culture that is rooted in empathy, kindness, cooperation, and compassion so we raise the next generation of conscious communicators, empathetic leaders, and thoughtful, resilient, problem solvers. The mindfulness training I provide gives us a path to achieving that.
"Heidi is a true "child whisperer." We were so blessed to have her lead our son's superhero yoga birthday party this fall. To watch her captivate and mesmerize each child during their yoga activity was truly a magical experience. She not only taps into their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but teaches them ways to calm their heart, be mindful, and most importantly HAVE FUN! Her talents and skills are matched by no other that I have seen before. When you meet her, you are immediately drawn to her kindness, compassion, and love for all that is beautiful in this world She is AMAZING... a natural healer!" — Tammy Ross, Superhero Evan's mom
"Heidi has an excellentway of expressing the benefits of being mindful and presenting information from an easy to understand perspective. She doesn’t overcomplicate the message and brings in personal examples of success. Whether you are 4 or 94, Heidi can stir your inner awareness and help you take on any challenges the days may present." - Karel Sovak, University of Mary Business Professor
"Bringing Mindfulness into schools is an important aspect of teaching kids about themselves, their emotions and how to be more self- reliant when it comes to coping skills. Our second graders did a session with Heidi that really helped them be more aware of their bodies and how to self-regulate due to that new awareness. Heidi did a great job in relating to our students the need to manage their stressors and feelings along with providing them with the skills to do so. I would highly recommend this skill building piece in any K-12 curriculum that deals with any social/emotional themes." — Mr. Wangen, Liberty Elementary School Counselor
"Thank you Heidi for teaching me how to be more centered. I have learned a lot from the last few weeks. I feel less stressed about what people are thinking and what they are going to say. Thank you! " -Ava, age 10
"Not only did Heidi provided actionable approaches to incorporating conscious communication into the workplace, but her demeanor and presentation embodied the mindfulness she teaches. Many employees left the presentation with new tools for stress management and mindfulness and a greater appreciation and understanding of how to control their work environments and stress through meditation. We wholeheartedly recommend Heidi for any organizational training along these lines." — Lacey Lange, Marketing Manager, Bismarck State College