“We moved to Kitchener from Toronto a couple years ago. One of the motivating factors was that it felt like there was more space here for me to lay some roots down, and we could afford to buy a house. But I also always dreamed of starting a place like Amma Yoga and that felt more possible here. I was intrigued by how Kitchener seemed like a place in the midst of redefining itself. I thought that’s an interesting conversation to be a part of — the idea that we could help contribute to this place. I discovered the library when we were still house hunting, and were only flirting with the idea of moving here. We had some time to kill between appointments and I had heard that the library was really nice. We walked in the front doors and my son (who was three at the time) looked up at the big beautiful art installation hanging from the ceiling and said “What airport is this?” And then we went back to the kid’s section. At the time I felt we had read the entire kids’ section at our own local library in our neighbourhood in Toronto. I remember thinking “I could never read all of this,” and then the library became a contributing factor, a selling point, for Kitchener. We’ve loved it since before we’ve moved here.
“I love working in the library because it’s such a nice, bright, open space. It’s a place where I can focus amidst whatever is happening because no one there needs anything from me. One of my favourite routines is when I drop off my daughter at pre-school and I drop my son off at school . . . and I walk to the library. I buy a coffee at Hacienda and I sit in the window with the light coming in and I can get so much done. One challenge of being an entrepreneur is you spend so much time working in your business that you don’t get that space to work on your business.
“Often that time at the library is when I can focus on the bigger things, because when I’m at the studio, things inevitably come up that need my attention.
“That’s why I love going to library to work, because I can just focus. And it’s such a nice environment to be in and to get your work done. It feels like a date with myself.”
About Amma Yoga
“A lot of animals have equivalent yoga poses. So there is a pose for dog and cat and bear. Often kid’s books have really great pictures of animals that inspire our yoga adventures.”
“I opened Amma Yoga a little over a year ago. I’ve been dreaming up the studio since my son was a baby. I’m a yoga teacher and ended up specializing in pre- and post-natal and I got really passionate about supporting women through that transition. I felt like Kitchener was a city that was so full of parents with young children, but it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot for them in terms of kid-friendly places to go and for programs and services. There seemed to be a gap, especially in the yoga industry. So with Amma I wanted to create a space especially with moms in mind. Everyone is welcome, and we have university students, young professionals, and grandparents coming to our classes, but the people that I really want to take good care of are the busy parents, whose needs often seem to be at odds with the needs of their kids.
“I wanted to create a space where everyone’s needs could be met, where there was a space for the little ones to play, and you could enjoy an actual adult conversation and connect with a community of support — people that help you with the harder parts, and make the good parts sweeter.
“Every week I like to get new books to use in my Tots class that I teach at Amma Yoga. A lot of animals have equivalent yoga poses. So there is a pose for dog and cat and bear. Often kids’ books have really great pictures of animals that inspire our yoga adventures. I always give the library a little shout out in that class and say “Do you guys ever go to the library? I brought this book today!” And they always crowd around and get really excited. It keeps me interested and gives me new ideas.”