Personal health and wellness sometimes get overlooked in our hectic, day-to-day lives. We don’t always have the time to learn new meditation techniques, or to learn new ways to improve our moods. Add to that the cost of a traditional wellness class, and it becomes easy to see the benefits of having Wellness Wednesdays — for free — at the Hoboken Public Library.
Wellness Wednesdays are new for 2017, and will offer monthly classes designed to introduce people to a spectrum of wellness topics. Some of these topics will include meditation, led by Devotion Yoga-founder Liza Bertini; how to prepare your body for pregnancy, led by Dr. Dina Sgambati; and how to improve your nutrition, led by Kayla Kirschner, RD.
All Wellness Wednesdays classes will be held at the Hoboken Public Library at 500 Park Ave., and will run from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The new program is organized by Hoboken resident Lauren Zucker, who is a member of the Hoboken City Council-created Green Team. The Green Team is an environmental task force of sorts, given to helping Hoboken stay Sustainable Jersey-certified. To meet the requirements of the certification, Hoboken must stay current in several categories listed by the nonprofit organization Sustainable Jersey, and to this end Zucker decided to organize Wellness Wednesdays.
“I browsed through Sustainable Jersey’s website and they have a whole category that’s health and wellness, one that our local Hoboken Green Team had never addressed,” explained Zucker. “When you think about sustainability you think about recycling and plastic bags, so I had no idea that health and wellness could be under that umbrella. So this became my immediate initiative, my project from scratch.”
To lead Wellness Wednesdays, Zucker sought out local professionals she knew to have high standards of patient empowerment. Most of the doctors and practitioners she has tapped for Wellness Wednesdays are people she has had personal experience with, who were integral to her own recovery from injuries sustained in a car accident.
The professionals are given liberty to craft their own classes. “I let them decide what they thought would be most relevant to our local community, given their expertise,” said Zucker.
“All of these classes are geared towards beginners,” said Zucker.
The first Wellness Wednesday, scheduled for January 11th, at 6:30 p.m., is titled Meditation & Mindfulness for the New Year, and will be led by Liza Bertini, founder of Devotion Yoga.
“I think some people might be intimidated to go to a yoga studio for their first meditation class,” explained Zucker. “So this is presented in the non-threatening atmosphere of the library with participants across all ages, and you don’t need a yoga mat or a special meditation outfit or equipment.”
Hoboken City Council passed a resolution in 2010 to pursue a certificate from Sustainable Jersey, and established the Hoboken Green Team shortly after. Since then, the Hoboken Green Team has spearheaded sustainability efforts, creating the annual Hoboken Green Fair, partnering with farmers markets, and renovating community gardens.
Randall Solomon, Co-director of Sustainable Jersey, praised Hoboken’s Green Team for taking the initiative to start Wellness Wednesdays. Explained Solomon via email:
“Sustainable Jersey commends the City of Hoboken Green Team for hosting Wellness Wednesdays. In the context of sustainability, health is important. We want a future where all the people of New Jersey enjoy good health and a quality of life, with minimal loss of life and function due to preventable disease, and where these standards are supported by access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Good health depends on good outcomes across all dimensions of sustainability such as clean air and water, strong communities, economic security, access to healthcare, and access to adequate, nutritious food.”
The Green Team always welcomes new members and supports anyone with passion and a project in mind. To apply, please visit HobokenNJ.gov/GreenTeam.