Parent-Child Yoga at GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago

This week we kicked off parent-child yoga here at GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago. Parent-Child yoga is part of an 8-week program that Hannah Hartz, a Rush University occupational therapy doctoral student, is leading as part of her capstone project for school. Each class is an hour long, individual session where families have the opportunity to learn and practice yoga, meditation and being silly! Some highlights from week one include: acting like silly monkeys to learn why we meditate, laughing meditation, learning partner yoga poses that kids can do with their parents, and learning the mantra “Peace Begins With Me!” as part of a 4-finger meditation. Each week offers a different theme and different mindfulness-based activities:  



  • Week 1 – Introduction to Yoga and Meditation
  • Week 2 – My Body – Yoga, Meditation, Body Scanning, and Breathwork
  • Week 3 – Nature – Yoga, Meditation, and Our Senses
  • Week 4 – Food – Yoga, Meditation, and Mindful Eating
  • Week 5 – Zoo Animals – Yoga, Meditation, and Breathwork Practice Part 1
  • Week 6 – Farm Animals – Yoga, Meditation, and Breathwork Practice Part 2
  • Week 7 – Ocean – Yoga, Meditation, and Breathwork Practice Part 3
  • Week 8 – Superheroes – Yoga, Meditation, and Positive Affirmations


Hannah isn’t leading these classes alone; she has 2 fearless interns helping her. Sam and Brenda, both young adults with Down syndrome, are interning with Hannah this summer. As part of their internship, they are learning life and job skills, such as goal setting, time management, and communication skills. They’re also working on becoming certified to teach kids yoga through Kidding Around Yoga’s online program. Each week, they help teach up to 5 yoga classes. Their responsibilities include setting up for class, leading the social-emotional check-in at the beginning and end of each class, helping demonstrate new poses, and leading a 10-minute activity for each kid at the end of class.  


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