A couple of months ago a yoga instructor stopped by the children’s desk and asked if she could put up some flyers for a free bilingual family yoga class she was teaching at a health center in our library’s neighborhood. We got to talking and I asked her if she was looking for more places to teach her classes and if she would be interested in teaching a class in the library. She enthusiastically said “Yes!” and so began our spring family yoga series.
We only spoke for about 5 minutes, but right off the bat I could tell that this was a partnership programmming dream! Our library has tons of young families looking for things to do together on the weekends. This instructor deeply values her connection to her community and providing free yoga for families. It was one of those mutually beneficial partnerships where the library got to offer something new and exciting, and our partner got to share her talents with the community and and reach a new audience.
Not only have a learned a lot about yoga in the development of this program, but it was 100% reaffirmed my attitudes toward customer service. No matter what is going on with me, I really try to always have a smile and be kind and helpful to whoever walks into the library. You never know who it is, what they need, or what might come of it. Seriously, in 5 minutes a positive interaction laid the foundation for a super cool family yoga series!
Over the next few weeks I met and emailed with the instructor to figure out the details, went through the administrative processes of getting things in order, and started advertising the program. Here is a brief overview of how it all came together.
We had a three week series of family yoga classes, each focused on a different theme. My partner, a certified yoga instructor, developed all of the class activities. I helped to pick books to go with each theme and created book displays.
Week 1 : Animals
This week our instructor shared animal themed yoga poses and activities. This was a great way to introduce yoga to children. She asked them to name their favorite animals and they would then move or pose like that animal. I chose the book You are a Lion and Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo for her to use to guide the class.
During this class our instructor taught the families partnership and pair poses. These types of poses bring closeness to the family and help to build teamwork and cooperation. This week our instructor shared Forever Friends by Carin Berger during the class.
Week 3: Peace
Our final week concluded with a class focused on the themes of peace, love, and kindness. A lot of yoga involves finding the joy in peace and quiet as well as learning to love yourself and love your body. Our instructor wove these themes into each week’s practice, and it was so wonderful to see her use her yoga expertise to share these concepts with children. We selected The Peace Book by Todd Parr as this week’s book.
I also created a big book display based on the class.
This program series was the highlight of my spring! I hope I’m able to do something like this again!