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Photo credit: Beth Hawley Johnson
Media Kit Bios
Yolonda Deon Tyler is an accomplished entrepreneur with over twenty-five years of professional experience across corporate organizations, non-profits, independent business ownership, mentoring, volunteering, and motherhood. Seated at any table or mat, Yolonda brings a wealth of real-life experience. Describing herself as a mindful mermaid, she became known as The PLAYoligist after years of combining her knowledge of mental health and mindfulness with yoga and play.
Her journey into mindfulness and yoga began in the '80s, stretching alongside Mickey Mouse on Mousercise and Denise Austin on VHS. The '90s brought the playful side of yoga through Steve Ross's show 'Inhale' on the Oxygen Network. Rediscovering yoga as a runner in the 2000s, Yolonda turned it into a transformative practice for healing and self-discovery. In 2020, she became a certified yoga instructor, earning multiple certifications, including becoming a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Kids Yoga Teacher, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher, and Certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher.
Yolonda's passion for mindful PLAY stems from her childhood, seeking refuge through nostalgia. With a background in psychology and counseling, she opened Amaya Papaya Playlounge in 2009, an indoor playspace for families, and founded Mindful Play Learning in 2013, a play-based mindfulness enrichment program for early learners. Since selling her playspace in 2019, Yolonda has been on a mission to cultivate safe spaces for kids from 8 months to 108 years young, promoting authenticity and challenging mental health stigma and disparities. She firmly believes that PLAY and mindfulness are foundational to positive mental health and happiness.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Yolonda finds joy in visiting the house of the mouse, nurturing plants, exploring murals, delving into history, taking nature walks, and enjoying the sound of violins. Pivotal moments in her life include hearing her childhood superhero, Lavar Burton from Reading Rainbow, and the esteemed Maya Angelou speak in person. Inspired by Mary McLeod Bethune, the founder of her alma mater, Yolonda is driven to be a speaker and advocate, guided by the inner wisdom of her grandmothers. Her superpower lies in helping humans heal through play, mindfulness and yoga.
Yolonda Deon Tyler, an accomplished entrepreneur with 25+ years in corporate, non-profit, and independent business, is The PLAYologist and founder of Mindful Play Learning. Certified in multiple yoga disciplines, she is a cultivator of safe spaces, helping humans heal through play, mindfulness and yoga.
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Most times I forget the importance of work/life (play) balance. Thank you for reminding me of this important application. Great presentation!