Yoga Baby

I watched him do it.  He took himself through his own vinyasa this afternoon.  From all fours he pushed his way into downward dog- his typical response whenever I say “Let’s do some yoga.”  He lowered into plank pose, then came onto his tummy and looked upward (cobra).  He pushed himself back into downward dog and lifted one leg high, enjoying the feeling of being slightly off balance.  Then he walked his feet up to meet his hands, coming into a forward fold.  He stood up and grinned at me and then promptly sat down and let his knees fall out to the sides where he sat, in Baddah Konasana, studying his feet.

It was that simple.  It took less then two minutes for him to plant his hands and feet into the ground, for him to connect with his body and relish in its ability to move.

Was this intentional?  Has he seen me do this same simple sequence of poses so much that he was intentionally copying me?  Or are these movements innate to him?

It’s so circular.  When you watch babies and small children, they seem to do some yoga poses without thinking about it.  Watch Yogis and they seem to be imitating the natural movements of small children, working towards the openness and flexibility that we are all born with.  Yet Yoga is not about being flexible or even about being good.  Yoga is about being present to the moment and accepting yourself wherever you are.  It’s about understanding and accepting that each day is different, that our yoga practice will be different each time we take to the mat and being ok with that.  Simply noticing our breath and enjoying the movement of our bodies.

We are all born with this enjoyment, this amazement, of what our bodies can do.  Children take so much pleasure in finding new ways to move their bodies and discovering the things their bodies can do.  They twirl and skip and jump and climb without a second thought.  Yet at some point, many of us lose that.  We begin to separate our minds and our bodies.  We  begin to doubt our bodies, scrutinize and find fault with them.  We go to war, sometimes, trying to change the very body that once brought us so much joy.

Watching Casey carry himself through this simple vinyasa today only deepened my commitment to taking to my mat every day.  Whether it’s a full yoga class, a 15 minute video on my computer or simply 5 minutes of quiet meditation, I continue to commit myself to a daily practice.  Because it is through this practice that I have found peace and joy, acceptance and an ability to stay present in the moment.  These are all qualities that I hope to foster in myself so that I may pass them onto my son.

Whether he was copying me or simply moving on his own, watching my yoga baby today brought me so much joy and lightness.  His simple movements worked within me and deepened this passion that has already taken root in my soul, because each time I step away from my mat I come away with so much more then I brought onto it to begin with.

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