Yeah, for real. I was feeling pretty frazzled during December, and I’m sure a lot of my storytime attendees were too. In my effort to dig in and enjoy the winter the best I can, I was doing yoga at home (shoutout to the free videos at Yoga with Adriene) and I was inspired to do a stress relief storytime. I’ve incorporated yoga into storytime before, but I imagined this as more of a mellow, deep breathing, calming experience. Quite different from my usual, very energetic storytimes.
When I told my director that I was doing a relaxation storytime with dim lights and yoga and deep breathing, she laughed and looked at me like I’m a total crunchy hippie. Not too far off.
I wanted to send a signal that I was shifting the tone a bit for this storytime, and get everyone in the mood, so I turned off most of the lights and hung twinkle lights in the front of the room (my approximation of candlelight. If we’d had battery powered tea lights I totally would have used them.)
I read Little Yoga, The Quiet Book, and Breathe. For Breathe, we all practiced taking deep breaths whenever the book said “breathe.” We did the poses to the best of our ability along with Little Yoga. I also like You Are a Lion for a storytime yoga book, but we’d done that recently.
For songs, we got out the scarves and danced to “If I Was a Bird” by Old Town School of Folk Music, from the CD “Wiggleworms Love You.” The movements connected with different animals went nicely with the animal poses in “Little Yoga.” While we still had the scarves out, we did “Very Very Tall” from the same CD. I’d also prepared “Rain is Falling Down” from Jbrary, but we ended up not needing another song. I ended, as always, with “Icky Sticky Bubblegum.”
So how did it go? I was a bit nervous, because I have a very energetic group, and a very energetic style, and I don’t usually choose many soothing songs and stories. I knew I could adapt if needed, but I was hoping that everyone would buy into the calming mood. And they did! They still wandered and interrupted a bit, which I just roll with, but everyone did seem more relaxed and enjoyed the stretching and breathing. I think the lights and the activities helped, but I also think everyone was ready for a break! I felt refreshed after, rather than drained, and I hope that was true for everyone that came as well.