Stretch Breaks/ Yoga Classes

3 women in yoga pose
Dance Artists-in-Residence, (left to right) Alison Waldman, Keira Hart-Mendoza and Katie Harris Banks

Currently, the Arts and Humanities boasts hospital stretch breaks and lunchtime yoga sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  The “Ready to Move” program serves more over a 150 staff members per week.  The noontime yoga courses have expanded so much we often run out of yoga mats and have begun asking participants to bring their own.  Whereas three years ago it was unusual to get more than 6 people in a class, now it is unusual to get less than 8!  

Katie Harris Banks couldn’t believe the shift in culture she saw after being away from the program for four years.  “When I was here before,” she said, “People would just wave me away”.  “Now, if I miss a day, they ask, ‘where were you’? They really love the stretch breaks.” The Arts and Humanities Dance program continues to grow and thrive.

Our yoga classes have grown in size significantly this year – we have some dedicated staff members who attend almost every yoga session offered. Keira Hart-Mendoza provides yoga on Mondays and Pilates on Wednesdays. Katie Harris Banks teaches yoga on Thursdays. Program Coordinator and Certified Yoga Teacher, Morgan Kulesza, teaches yoga on Fridays.

“Thank you for your gentle yoga class. I needed it after this weekend. I was feeling pretty down, but seeing you and your positive attitude brightened my day! Thanks for being such a light!” – medical staff member

For medical staff members under constant pressure, the release of half an hour of yoga appears to do a world of good.

For more information on our dance program, movement artists-in-residence or information on yoga classes and stretch break possibilities, please contact, Program Coordinator, Morgan Kulesza at (202) 444-1171 or

Stretch-break tutorial courtesy of former artist-in-residence, Ilana Silverstein, before she moved to Kansas with her husband.