Latest Memory Café At Booth Library Incorporates Chair Yoga – The Newtown Bee

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The smallest things can make a difference.
That was among the lessons shared during Memory Café on Monday, when Beth Bierko led a chair yoga class at C.H. Booth Library.
Tapping gently on your head, tugging on your ear lobe, even raising and lowering your arms can all help a body relax, wake up joints, and undo stress that builds up every day.
Bierko was joined by a dozen guests, including a few caregivers, for the August 1 program.
Introduced at the library earlier this year, Memory Café is designed for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Guests gather on the first Monday of the month for refreshments, a simple activity, and socializing.
The next program will meet the second week of the month, however, due to Labor Day on September 5. The ongoing program is another one made possible for the town library through the support of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library.
The series is also provided in partnership with Friends of Newtown Seniors, Kristina Lubofsky of Busy Minds Box, and The Lutheran Home of Southbury.
So Why Yoga?
This month, Bierko spent nearly an hour explaining the physical benefits associated with traditional yoga — strength, flexibility, and balance — while gently leading a class that allowed her guests to follow from their seats.
The original aspect of yoga, Bierko said Monday afternoon, “is the union of eight different elements. It is not just the physical aspect many people associate with the practice.”
An instructor for all ages, Bierko told those joining her this week that when she works with children she tells them to think of yoga as a garden hose, a free flowing one.
“If it gets kinked in too many places,” she said, “it can slow and even back up. Yoga is about undoing things.”
Bierko invited her guests to join her “for whatever you’re comfortable with.” She even said if they wanted to, removing their shoes would heighten the textile experience of the class.
From sitting up straight and listening to the sounds within the room to conscious breathing and gentle movements, those joining Memory Café this week spent time learning how to unkink their inner garden hoses. Through exercises where they touched different parts of their faces, tugged on their ears, patted themselves on their shoulders, and other light movements, the group learned that simple movements can have big results.
“Even if you’re just waking and warming up your joints,” Bierko said, “this is going to make you feel good any time you practice.”
Memory Café dates through the end of the year have been scheduled as follows: September 12, with special guest Jeff The Plant Guy; October 3, pumpkin painting and carving; November 7 (details TBA); and December 5, with local nurse practitioner Nancy Rhodes leading craft time.
Programs begin at 2 and registration is requested. Call 203-426-4533 or visit for additional information or registration.
Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at
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