Picture this: A yoga instructor is guiding your class through a calming practice. You feel relaxed, peaceful, and focused. The setting is friendly and welcoming. You take a deep breath, open your eyes, and are surprised to find that you are inside Taber Public Library!
Today’s library is more than books and Taber is no exception. Just a few of the unique programs offered at the library include Lego Club, Family Movie Night, kids crafting, Family Fun Dance, and Tag in the Library.
“We aim to provide free programs that will spark an interest in participants,” said Heather Martin-Detka, library manager at Taber Public Library. “Cost is often a barrier when someone wants to partake in an activity. We hope that by offering this option, those who are signed up will find a new activity that they enjoy and continue to practice yoga as a part of their active lifestyle.”
The library is able to offer these classes to women and girls free of charge, thanks to a successful grant application completed in partnership between Chinook Arch Regional Library System and Lethbridge College’s Be Fit for Life Centre.
The Recreation and Physical Activity Micro Grant is part of the Government of Alberta’s focus on creating an active Alberta by encouraging Albertans to become more active every day. This grant’s specific focus was on improving access and reducing barriers to activities for women and girls.
“The current trend is that rural communities often lack opportunities, as well as spaces for active living programs, especially for females.” said Lisa Weekes, public services manager at Chinook Arch. “As safe, inclusive, inviting spaces, our member libraries are perfectly positioned to offer this type of programming.”
In recent years, libraries have shifted their focus to whole-person development, and physical literacy is an important component of this shift. Physical literacy is all about providing people with the tools and experiences to ensure they engage in physical activities for life. By offering yoga classes that are free of charge, the library allows people to try something new with no strings attached. The hope is that some may continue with their practice after attending the class.
“I was so pleased that yoga was being incorporated into the library’s programming,” said Donna Tiefenbach, the yoga instructor for the class. “Yoga is truly for everyone, as it is an individual practice. I enjoy introducing yoga to people who have not tried it before – I hope they like it!”
Yoga in the Library for Women and Girls runs from May 30 – June 14 in the Taber Public Library. Classes take place Thursday evenings from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. For more information or to register a spot, please call 403-223-4343.