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Yoga station added to Interactive Neighborhood for Kids
Team wants to help kids relax
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One of the poses is partially panted on a wall at Interactive Neighborhood for Kids in Gainesville as Brenau theater student April Bradley, 22, works on sketching more Friday. A yoga-themed station is underway at the children's museum. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

What: Hands-on learning museum for children

Where: 999 Chestnut St., Gainesville

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $8 per person Monday through Saturday; $6 per person on Sundays

It took three pairs of hands to hopefully encourage kids to relax.

Those hands, belonging to Emilie Cook, April Bradley and Mandy Volpe, were splattered with brightly colored paint after a few hours of painting kid-sized figures Friday afternoon.

The team of three spent the afternoon sketching, outlining and painting a yoga-themed station with five yoga poses and a Healthy Habits mural at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids in Gainesville, a nonprofit museum dedicated to hands-on learning.

“We wanted it to be a more relaxing (station), where kids could relax or focus,” said Volpe, the executive director of INK. “Hopefully it will be a place for them to retreat and really learn about the power of their own bodies.”

Cook, a local yoga studio owner, was contacted by Volpe in late October to help her design a concept for the station.

“We wanted to add yoga to the layout,” Cook said.

She has owned and operated the Find Your Center yoga studio in the downtown Gainesville square for the past five years, so she knew how to help with the project and make sure the poses were correct.

The yoga instructor was also able to donate a child’s book, “I Am Yoga,” to the center. Pages from the book were also laminated and taped to the wall above the figures.

Cook recalled an exhibit at the High Museum of Art that she used to visit as a child. It showed shadows along a wall, and that’s where the idea for the yoga-themed station sprang from.

Bradley was the master painter and artist of the group.

The 22-year-old Brenau student sketched the poses in pencil on the wall and then outlined them with brightly colored paints. She was contacted by her scenic painting professor Larry Cook, husband of Emilie, to help with the project.

“I think Emilie is awesome, and I couldn’t say no to Larry,” Bradley said.

Cook and Volpe filled in the shapes.

The poses were chosen by Cook intentionally as those which could be done by children without much help or need of a partner. The poses are tree, triangle, downward-facing dog, flower or easy seating pose and mountain pose.

By the end of the next week the station should be ready for visitors. Cook plans to donate some money to cover the costs of the yoga mats, cushions and other additions to the space.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids is open daily. Admission Monday through Saturday is $8 and $6 on Sunday.