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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Library adds yoga to its collection

By Melanie Cisse
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Dagmaris Cabezas, Nancy Karg, and Alicia Villafane stand in tree pose during the Riverdale Library’s Gentle Yoga class on Feb. 8.

Most people visit their local libraries to stimulate their minds. But how about their manipura chakras or pingala nadis? 

For the last several weeks, visitors to the Riverdale Library have been able check into their breathing before checking out a book— all without spending a dime. 

Gentle Yoga led by Riverdalian Pedro Perez-Cabezas. who has taught yoga at locations including the Riverdale YM-YWHA and Integral Yoga, begins 10 a.m.

Mr. Perez-Cabezas has been a certified Hatha Yoga instructor for two years. After realizing its many benefits, including better posture and more controlled breathing, he said he decided to share the practice with others and he crafted the library class especially for seniors and people with physical limitations. 

“I designed the class to make sure that I can have the participants feel comfortable with yoga, starting in the more gentle chair-assisted side of yoga, while learning about the other aspects of yoga as well,” he said. 

Dressed in all white with a headband securing his ponytailed hair, Pedro sat barefoot in front of the small group, quietly leading participants in a variety of yoga positions. The attendees, all female, sat in chairs facing each other, their yoga mats placed neatly at their feet. With soft music providing a soothing soundtrack, Mr. Perez-Cabezas instructed his students to sit on the edges of their chairs and asked them to rotate each foot, and then to focus on moving various parts of their bodies. 

Limbs moved in sync, shoulders rotated slowly in circles, arms and legs extended out, up and down. During a breathing practice, students were instructed to place one hand on their chests, and one on their stomachs, feeling the flow of oxygen throughout their bodies. The exercises could either be completed on the chairs or on the yoga mats. 

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