Combined yoga and reading sessions are being offered at the Colin Eglin Sea Point Public Library in Sea Point.Local yoga instructor Jill Balcomb volunteered her services for the free sessions which take place every Thursday from 14:00.Children from various schools in the neighbourhood can attend. The aim is to calm children and encourage them to focus. At the end of the 45-minute yoga session, Balbomb briefly reads from a library book.Senior librarian Katherine Moon says the reading sessions held by Balcomb is a bonus as it helps encourage reading among the children and plays a crucial role in reducing illiteracy, “which we all know is still a problem in South Africa”.Moon says the sessions began three weeks ago and are attended by more than 20 learners per session from primary schools and high schools.She says learners now find it exciting to go to the library after school. Moon said that the programme filled an open slot during the week. “We did not have anything on the day; children would come and hang around while waiting for their parents to fetch them.”She says they are glad to have something that can keep them occupied and thanked Balcomb for offering her expertise.“Jill is good at what she does and, as a former teacher, she is experienced in working with children,” says Moon.She says the library works closely with residents to create a friendly and safe space for learners. Balcomb, who has taught yoga for the past 30 years, wanted to give back to her community. She says yoga has many benefits, especially for children. She added that although the space is small, the yoga sessions challenge her to be more creative; to fit in all the children in the small space. The sessions run smoothly and she is glad that authorities at the library allowed her to use the space. On the subject of incorporating yoga and reading, she says a language skill is important and that it has to be nurtured from an early age. “I read from different books. Reading helps to improve vocabulary and language skill,” says Balcomb.