top of page

Hey y'all, I'm 
Yolonda Deon 

Untitled design (13).png

Yep, some of my friends call me YOLO!  If asked,

I like to describe myself as a mindful mermaid. When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a psychologist, but I got caught up in the playful school of life and became known as The PLAYologist instead! 

I am an award-winning entrepreneur and community advocate with over twenty-five years of professional experience in corporate organizations, non-profit organizations, independent business ownership, mentoring, volunteering, and motherhood. I bring real-life experience to any table (or mat) where I am seated. 


My journey into mindfulness and yoga began in the 80s when I found myself stretching alongside Mickey Mouse on Mousercise and Denise Austin on VHS. In the ‘90s, I discovered just how playful yoga could be thanks to Steve Ross and his show ‘Inhale’ on the Oxygen Network. As a runner, I rediscovered yoga in the 2000s as a way to recover after runs.   As my life progressed, yoga became a way for me to heal and learn from my past. Wanting to learn more about yoga, I studied to become a yoga instructor in 2020. Since then, I’ve earned several yoga certifications. I am a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Kids Yoga Teacher, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher, and a CertifiedTrauma Informed Yoga Teacher. 


My passion for mindful PLAY began as a young girl seeking refuge from my own trauma through childhood nostalgia. In college, I studied psychology so I could understand the human mind. Working as a counselor, I discovered my passion for community, and in 2009, I opened an indoor playspace for families called Amaya Papaya Playlounge. In 2013, I created Mindful Play Learning, a play-based mindfulness enrichment program for early learners. Since selling my playspace in 2019, I’ve been on a mission to cultivate safe spaces for kids from 8 months to 108 years young, where they can show up authentically and revolutionize how we deal with mental health stigma and disparities. I believe that PLAY and mindfulness are the foundations for positive mental health and happiness!  


I find joy in going to the house of the mouse, spending time with my plants, searching for murals, learning about history, taking nature walks, and listening to the sound of violins. Pivotal moments in my life were hearing my childhood superhero, Lavar Burton from Reading Rainbow, and the great Maya Angelou speak in person. They, along with Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded my alma mater, are my inspirations for being a speaker and advocate.  Guided by the inner wisdom of my grandmothers, my superpower lies in helping humans heal through play, mindfulness and yoga

Certified Minority Business Enterprise 


Check Out Yolonda Tyler's Story
Orlando Voyager 
Click to view


Celebrate Black History Month with KAY’s Teachers
Kidding Around Yoga 
Click to view

Yoga classes for Black History Month

Channel 6 Interview 
Click to view

Amaya Papaya goes mobile! 

Channel 6 Interview

Click to view

Amaya Papaya 

Visit Florida Spotlight

Click to view

bottom of page