A circle of moms, babies and young children explored the basics of yoga while they listened to music and heard a story together.
They stretched, swayed, balanced on one foot and, for some of the littlest, tumbled a bit. But for the 20 gathered, it was an opportunity for bonding, health improvement, discipline and sharing.
"Yoga helps children have a better body awareness," said Erin Wheeler of Lucky Cat Yoga, who led the first in a series of free classes on a recent Wednesday at the John F. Germany Public Library in Tampa.
"It helps them have better balance, focus, achieve optimum heath and set a good schedule for fitness early," the yoga instructor added.
Most the participants were toddlers - 2 or 3 years old. But at least one wasn't walking and a couple were early elementary school age.
"Breathe like a lion; open your mouth; roar; breathe deep," Wheeler told the children. "This is good if they have a cold; it lets all that gunky stuff come out," she told the mothers.
Amy Lugo of Tampa Heights brought her 2-year-old son, Henry, to the class.
"This is a good way to get him out and get him to move - and a good way for me to get to know others in the community," Lugo said.
Lauren Wimsatt of Westchase said bringing 2-year-old Lucy was a natural thing for her.
"I've always done yoga - and she is getting where she can pay attention," Wimsatt said.
The yoga classes also are offered this summer at branches and will be offered again in the fall. The Friends of the Library has provided funding.