The first full day of ALSC Institute is underway, and I started my morning off with yoga!
Leigh Ramey, Youth Services Consultant for the South Carolina State Library presented a wonderfully interactive session on Yoga Programs for Youth. Participants were invited to try yoga poses, games and mindfulness practices, all adaptable to differing skill levels from preschoolers and caregivers up to tween and teens.
We started off with a sun salutation to the song “Dance for the Sun” by Kira Willey, followed by some cat and cow poses complete with meows and moos.
Ramey spoke about ways to adapt and explain poses to children, and had us try out different poses and movement-based games that required the group to work together to achieve different goals using balls, parachutes, scarves and other props that many libraries already have and use in their programming.
Ramey also had the group repeat a mantra at the beginning of the session as a way to focus the group and had us end with shavasana (corpse pose) for mediation. These practices help to regulate emotions and offer a different way to redirect the focus of sometimes high energy groups. She mentioned many of her sessions for preschoolers look very similar to story time using similar crowd management and books that incorporate movement and poses such as Eric Carle’s Head to Toe and more recent yoga-focused picture books.
I’m always looking for new ideas to keep my story times and other early literacy programming continually evolving. Incorporating yoga-based movement and mindfulness practices into my programs is something I hope to accomplish in the coming months.
Guest contributor Anne Price (she/her/hers) is the Children’s Librarian for the North Platte Public Library in Nebraska and a member of the ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee. For the last 7 years, she’s worked in youth services in public libraries in Wyoming and New Mexico. She is looking forward to connecting with other Children’s Librarians and learning more about making children’s services more inclusive.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.