Queens librarians are encouraging residents at the Howard Beach branch to put aside their books, for at least one hour starting at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, in favor of a yoga mat.
Irene Failenbogen will be on hand to give library members an introduction to chair yoga. A yoga instructor for 30 years, Failenbogen has spent half of that time helping New Yorkers use the ancient method to relieve stress, improve mental clarity, lower blood pressure and realign tired joints.
She advocates using a chair for novice yogis and people with health problems because, while many of the motions are the same, a chair can provide important assistance when it comes to balance and mastering the proper movement techniques.
A native Argentine, Failenbogen teaches a string of classes at each Queens library before traveling to the next branch. She’s attracted a small following in no small part because of her willingness to help her neighbors.
“I’ve just been part of the melting pot, seeing all these people come into the same class with all these backgrounds and languages,” she said. “We learn so much in life about how to be a spectator, but yoga is about putting yourself out there for the experience. … Many people after class will say, ‘I’m so glad I came.’”