Welcome to Chicago North Shore Moms weekly Meet a Mom spotlight where we feature one local mama, what they’re up to both personally and professionally. But first we’d like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm. Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities!
This week’s Meet a Mom feature is the lovely Highland Park mom of four kids, and creator and owner of Movement Junkies Kid’s Yoga, Robin Taxman! Learn how Robin’s schooling, personal yoga practice and career path in teaching led her to a zero in on kid’s yoga with a focus driven to enrich lives long-term, and, of course, how you can get your children involved and enrolled in her fall programs. Robin is a bright beam of light, whose positive energy jumps right into your heart center. We are so thrilled to welcome, Robin Taxman!
Hi Robin! We are so pleased to get to know you. Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
Hello! My name is Robin Taxman and I am the founder of Movement Junkies Kid’s Yoga. I was born in Chicago and raised in Skokie. I attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison – Go Badgers! – and have Masters Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and School Leadership. I was a Special Education teacher at Northside Learning Center, a CPS high school serving 250 teens with disabilities on the Northside of Chicago, for 12 years before moving to Highland Park to raise my family. I met my husband at the House of Blues in Chicago and followed him and his sons to the North Shore. We have been living in Highland Park for 11 years.
I have 2 beautiful daughters, Nola is 11 and is a soccer fanatic and Talia is 9 and loves to dance and act. I am stepmom to Connor, 21 who is a Senior at Tulane University and will be studying abroad the entire year next year (but let’s not make me cry), and Logan who is a Junior at Lake Forest HS and is my sous chef.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I love seeing my children, whose ages range widely, love one another unconditionally. My teenagers can play with my girls for hours. I can’t imagine my stepsons without their little sisters and I can’t imagine my daughters without their big brothers.
I love learning from my children. Raising my stepsons has allowed me to realize that our children are growing and changing, and who they are as small children is just a glimpse into what they will become.
That’s beautiful! So, what is your least favorite mom job?
SCHEDULES!!! With my family’s hectic days, I am always checking to make sure that my kids are where they need to be and on time – and I am where I need to be, on time!
What’s something that we’d be surprised to know about you?
I was very overweight throughout childhood and in college, but I was never too hard on myself for it. In college I started exercising and paying more attention to what I ate and how I felt. The pounds began to shed over time. I am grateful every day for my health and want to share this feeling with the world!
Thank you for sharing that very relatable aspect of your life with our audience.
We’re always looking for new ideas – what are your favorite local restaurants?
My family loves to walk to Highwood for lively dinners! We love The Mean Weiner and La Casa De Isaac. For a great night eating outdoors Longitued 315 is devine! And to meet a friend, I like Bright Bowls in Highland Park.
You are the owner of one of the coolest kid’s yoga programs on the North Shore! Please tell us more about Movement Junkies!
Yes! I am the creator and owner of Movement Junkies, which offers yoga and other movement practices for kids! Never in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be a business owner! I am famous for giving everything away. I am a TEACHER and my mission is to share yoga with as many children as possible and lift them up so they feel AMAZING! That being said, when I discovered my passion for teaching yoga to children, I realized that there was no venue to deliver my skill. At this same time, our family suffered a huge financial loss and I was forced to do anything I could to help keep our family running.
I founded Movement Junkies when I partnered with 2 amazing women to provide yoga, tumbling, dance classes and birthday parties for children on the North Shore. We wanted to share our energy and passions with our community and bring mindfulness and movement to the spotlight. My partners have since moved on and Movement Junkies Kid’s YOGA is thriving! I have no business background and I am learning on the fly. I grew my business with the help of social media and the amazing mamas in this community. I currently teach yoga to children ages 2 – 18 in schools, preschools, dance studios, camps, therapy centers, backyards, garages, basements and restaurants.
It must be so scary to start up your own business! What was the inspiration and training involved behind starting Movement Junkies?
I have been practicing yoga for 20+ years. If you know me, I am a bit loud and full of energy. I move at about a mile a minute. Yoga slows me down and grounds me. It opens up a window into selflessness and self-care.
When my first child was born, I decided to leave teaching Special Education and become a stay at home mom. That lasted for a hot minute and I decided to teach at Moriah Early Childhood Center where my babies were attending. When the director of the preschool suggested that I try to teach yoga to the children and offered to support me in my training, I instantly fell in love with the idea and dove in head-first! I participated in yoga trainings through Mini Yogis and Rainbow Kids Yoga. I practiced my art with the children in the preschool and began to hear from the parents that their children were LOVING yoga and applying breathing techniques in their tiny everyday lives.
As a veteran teacher I am able to capture the attention of any group of children and share age-appropriate lessons incorporating themes, literacy, and sensory exploration in an energetic and accessible way so that children are drawn to my classes.
What are some of your proudest moments with your business where you said “wow, I did that”?
As a preschool teacher, I was able to begin sharing yoga with the youngest toddlers in the building. Many of them are still with me today and I cannot wait to see the impact on these children of growing up with yoga in their lives. I have been teaching one special young man, who is now 10, since he was 4. I just love building relationships with children over time and watching them grow. I am inspired when families share stories and videos with me of their children doing yoga poses or using calming techniques and meditations to soothe their small bodies and minds. Every time a child walks through a door to practice yoga with me, I am truly grateful.
What is the importance of yoga and movement for our young children?
People are always asking me why they should sign up their toddler or child for yoga. Yoga provides children with benefits beyond our reach. Yoga is a wonderful tool for improving listening skills and body awareness, supporting social and emotional learning and building confidence. Yoga allows children to explore balance, flexibility and self-expression in a safe and loving environment.
Children learn breathing techniques and yoga poses through creative storytelling, playful exercises and child-centered meditations. My style of teaching is playful and child-led. Children come up with the most beautiful poses and requests.
During quarantine my daughters and I created yoga videos for children of all ages. Check them out on our Youtube page Movement Junkies Kids. We also have an inspiring presence on Instagram @rbtaxman.
How important is it for you to have a career outside of being a mother?
VERY!!!!!!! Aside from yoga, my passion is LIVE MUSIC!!! I will travel the country to see my favorite bands and the hundreds of friends I’ve met along the way. I love to be outdoors with thousands of other fans jamming in the crowd. I love to be in a hot club pressed against the speaker listening to my favorite musicians. I just love the energy live music delivers. I also love being in nature. I try to get outside every day. No matter how my day is going, when I take a walk or go for a run all of the stress melts away and I am able to refocus. I am loving that many local yoga studios and teachers have moved their practices outdoors due to the pandemic.
What’s next for Movement Junkies?
In the near future I am looking to expand, hire and create a teacher training to share my magic with others. I am also looking into a line of yoga mats and accessories to add to my website! Fall classes are filling now! Look for the evolving Fall schedule on our website MJkidsyoga.com! If you have a group of campers who miss one another, or your son’s soccer team needs to bond, or you want to surprise your grandma with a family yoga party or it’s your child’s birthday…Movement Junkies can make your event magical! Please connect with comments or questions: [email protected]. I am so excited to hear from you! – Namaste, Robin