“One of the greatest needs I see in our community, is activities that are free for families with very young children, to do especially since we have such long winters here” stated Ruth Hitchcock of the Albany County Public Library. Finding free and fun activities to do can be difficult. The Albany County Public Library offers numerous free classes for people of all ages. The schedule can be located on the Library website, http://www.albanycountylibrary.org.
More specifically, the Library offers a free “story time yoga” class every Friday at 11:00a.m. The class is 30 minutes long. It is geared toward ages 3 to 6, but “if there is a 7 year old who is a homeschooled child or a 2 year old child who could handle it, they can come too” explained Hitchcock. The library strives to be liberal in allowing as many people as possible to be included in the programs. It is important that the whole community can be involved in the Albany County Public Library programs.
Story time yoga is a unique class that expands the physicality and imaginations of its young participants. It begins with a descriptive explanation of the setting. The stories are set in a forest, outer space, or other location that can be filled with imagination and exploration.
Once the scene is set, physical movements are incorporated into the story. Poses to mimic trees in a forest or the big stars in outer space are used to combine the story and yoga. Throughout the whole story the children are led into different movements and poses. The yoga poses used along with the story are simple and foundational so the children can achieve success in their practice.
The class at the Albany County Public Library is led by volunteer Megan Lucas who has been practicing yoga for 4 years. Lucas is a teacher at one of the local studios in Laramie, where she received her yoga teacher training certification. Lucas has also been involved in numerous interpretive programs.
Lucas brought story time yoga to the Library. She shared a YouTube video showing what the classes would be like, and Ruth Hitchcock from the Albany County Public Library loved the idea. “I was thrilled to have someone who was willing to volunteer to lead this (story time yoga)” stated Hitchcock.
Youtube provides multiple examples of story time yoga. This video sufficiently captures the essence of the program, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9ZF27OyFys.
“The purpose of this program (story time yoga) is to get kids moving, more than anything, and to start thinking about their bodies. It helps with attention, I will do a pose and they (the children) will mimic what I do” explained Lucas.
Cassy Johnson and her daughter Essie Johnson have been attending story time yoga since it began on September 5th. “She can pay a lot more attention to things, she picks up on the details and it helps her remember patterns” Johnson explained about her daughter after participating in story time yoga.
Karen Ommen and her granddaughter Alma Ommen have also been attending story time yoga since it began. “I brought her to get her to do something physical” stated Ommen. Ommen has also seen changes in her grandchild since attending. “She follows directions better. She is learning to use her body to do different things while using imagination” explained Ommen.
Story time yoga is successful in expanding the mental and physical health of children. The Albany County Public Library is happy to have caretakers join their children in the story time yoga class. The Library also offers a yoga class for people of all ages. For more information, visit the Albany County Public Library website at http://www.albanycountylibrary.org.