By Harry Rowe | Staff Writer
Wacoans and students alike gather at noon every Monday to participate in a relaxing, yet energizing “yoga lunch break” in a meeting room at the Waco Central Library. The program, available to the Waco community, provides a great opportunity for the adults to get involved with their library.
The hour-long yoga session was thought up by Jessica Emmett, the community services supervisor for the Waco-McLennan County Library system. Although she doesn’t usually direct the events herself, she said she enjoys attending and leading the yoga club, which she feels is a good opportunity to relax and get some exercise.
“I’m lucky that I get to do it as part of my job, which is pretty great,” Emmett said. “I think that it’s something that is popular in our community, so we decided that to bring it here and offer it at no cost would be something that people would appreciate.”
Emmett said she loves doing yoga and that the class was originally started as sort of a new year’s resolution type program for people to attend. It runs all year long, and the classes are not too hard to handle, according to Emmett.
“Our yoga is targeted more toward beginner to beginner intermediate, so pretty basic stuff. [Also we’re] just trying to get people understanding how to move with your breath and kind of sync that up, so that helps a lot,” Emmett said.
Emmett also said because of the diverse age of attendees — people in their 20s and up — they provide more than one way to go through the motions. Alternate poses can be done according to the skill or strength of the individuals participating.
“We offer a lot of alternatives for people that maybe don’t have the physical capability to do all the poses, so we offer some different alternative poses that they can do,” Emmett said. “We have had people with replaced hips and replaced knees, you know, people of all ages, so we try to make sure everybody can be successful.”
Sugako Stone, a Waco resident and yoga class regular, said she loved that the Waco Central Library takes time to organize programs for all ages and not just children.
“Most libraries have a lot of children programs and not adult programs, so I think it’s really enjoyable and nice,” Sugako Stone said, a Waco citizen and yoga break regular. “I’ve been here since January, but I wish I knew [of the classes] a lot earlier than that.”
Stone finds it helps her be more active as she gets older, and she’s enjoyed the full body workout she receives from the classes.
“You don’t really recognize [some of the moves] unless you do it — you are not really using the muscle. So the next day, you kind of feel like, ‘I’m sore, but I feel good,’ because maybe as you get older, you tend to use some familiar muscle but not some other stuff,” Stone said.