Library Yoga Has Toddlers Reaching for the Stars

The ten little sets of hands stretch out to the ceiling in an effort to “stand tall.” It’s part of the class greeting and first activity of the morning for the toddler yoga class at the San Diego County Library’s Encinitas branch.

Twice a month Kat Gregory, an instructor from Yoga Vista Studio, visits the library to lead groups of toddlers and preschoolers in 30-minute sessions yoga sessions that weave in nursery rhymes, books and music.

It’s a very warm, friendly environment that’s comfortable for the youngsters and the parents who attend with them. The classes sort of follow an arc of activity that begins with stretching, involves a fun, sometimes silly activity that gets the children moving around and ends with a quiet, relaxing massage that calms them before it’s time to leave.

The children do traditional yoga positions like the downward facing dog, but Gregory also makes sure the participants are having a good time and also learning in the process.

“The Vista library invited us to do yoga as part of a reading program and we’ve been doing it for four years now,” she said. “I always have a book or story that we act out.”

Today’s book was “Head to Toe” which had the children waving their arms like monkeys, kicking their legs like donkeys and stomping around like elephants.

“My daughter thinks yoga is really fun,” said Gabriela Caceres of Encinitas. “She really likes the stories and music.

“It’s very inter-active and Kat takes the time to explain the steps and teach us the positions.”

The final few minutes of the class are reserved for relaxation and a massage that’s a favorite with the children.

The children lie on their tummies and their parent pretends she is rolling out pizza dough on their backs. Then they add different “ingredients” such as cheese and pepperoni using different finger techniques to gently massage.

When the children are relaxed and the lights are dimmed, Gregory walks around the room giving each child a mini-head massage that ends each session.

Most of the children run up after class to give Gregory a hug before leaving.

 “The classes have been very popular,” said Patricia Williams, Encinitas youth services librarian. “There’s a lot of interest in yoga in the community.”

The Encinitas Library offers several yoga sessions for patrons:

Toddler Yoga (18 mo – 2 yrs). 30-minute class devoted to toddlers and their parent or any adult who loves them!  Yoga poses, songs, nursery rhymes and stories woven magically together.  Mondays, February 11 & 25, 12:30-12:55 PM     (2nd and 4th Mondays)

Preschool Yoga (3 – 4 yrs). 30-minute class devoted to preschoolers and their parent or any adult who loves them!  Yoga poses, songs, nursery rhymes and stories woven magically together. Mondays, February 11 & 25, 1-1:30 PM (2nd and 4th Mondays)

Gentle Yoga.  Hatha Yoga teacher Danielle Osicki will guide the class through a one hour session of relaxing and gentle poses for beginners and more experienced yoga students. No matter your age or physical condition, everyone can reap the benefits of yoga through this gentle approach. Thursdays, Feb 14 & 28; 2PM – 3PM

Silver Age Yoga.  Seniors have unique health challenges. Therefore, a new style of Hatha Yoga based on geriatric science and research was created to meet these challenges and needs. Silver Age Yoga is designed so that seniors can safely participate at their level of comfort. As a result seniors become more involved and engaged because they are feeling better.  Tuesdays at 1PM & Wednesdays,1:30PM.

Bilingual Gentle Vinyasa Flow Yoga. This is a level one class.  Back to basics with focus on asanas posture alignment, breathing and developing awareness sensation of your body through breath.  The class will be in English and Spanish and will be designed for the beginner. Las clase de yoga son nivel uno estilo Vinyasa. Aprenda a conectar secuencias fluidas de posturas (asana) coordinadas con una respiracion energética.  1st & 3rd Thursdays 1:30- 2:30pm

Gentle Yoga

This simple yet powerful yoga can help eliminate stress with breathing techniques & meditation. 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.


Please call 760-753-7376 for more information.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact