Each week, children gather around at 10:30 a.m. Mondays at the Albany County Public Library to embark on an adventure with the library’s Story Time Yoga class.
For half an hour, parents and preschools bring their children to the library to learn the basics of yoga in a way that is easy for children to understand, Story Time Yoga instructor Sara Pinson said.
“The class is designed to teach the very simple basics of yoga: breathing, stretching, moving your body in a safe way, winding down, loving yourself and kindness,” Pinson said. “We are taking those simple principles and applying them into an adventure for the children.”
Nick Darling, owner of Laramie’s Little Darlings Daycare and Preschool, said the children at his preschool are always excited to attend the yoga session.
“The kids love to come here, and she has something new for them every time,” Darling said. “So the imagination grows, which is nice for the kids.”
During class, the children start off saying a traditional yoga greeting, namaste, then dance to a song to help them stretch. Abundance Creative Arts preschool and daycare student Cambree Cornehlsen said she enjoys dancing to songs such as “Dancing Bear.”
“The class is good,” Cambree said. “The ‘Dancing Bear’ is my favorite part of it.”
After the song and dance, Pinson and the children visit places using their imagination such as the zoo, the moon, the movies and most recently sports island for the super bowl. Abundance Creative Arts student Bailey Jones said she liked touring these places using an imaginary rocket and jumping to blastoff to the location.
“I liked that we got to do blastoff,” Bailey said.
Pinson said the yoga basics help children learn how to better handle their emotions and deal with problems while providing them a chance to be physically active. She said her 3-year-old son, Rylan, has also learned these same principles to help him handle how he is feeling.
“Physical activity is so important for a child, but I have found that breathing is also important for a child to deal with so many different emotions,” Pinson said. “When language is just beginning (children could have difficulty communicating) and teaching them they can use that breathing technique when they are happy, excited, frustrated, angry, nervous or scared is a way to help them.”