You will fall in love like you never have experienced before in your life. This is what I tell friends expecting their first baby. It is an overwhelming kind of love. As a parent of two beautiful boys, I would do anything for the well being of my children. I also try to provide for them a balance of experiences in life including exposure to a variety of cuisine, art and culture. As a single mom I often have to bring my children to my psychotherapy office where I see patients, to the theatre for rehearsals and lately to the hot Bikram room. We are not just doing “kid stuff.”
I typically like to use the space of my yoga practice as a way to recharge, it is a place of quiet and peace. Eleven and seven year old boys are not usually very peaceful or very quiet for that matter. I practiced yoga before, during and after both pregnancies. Both boys took children’s yoga classes throughout their lives. Since Bikram is practiced in a room heated to over 105 degrees, I was a bit concerned that they would not be interested in this more extreme yoga practice. We had a few attempts at the hot room, but they both exclaimed the room was “burning” and did not participate.
Summer break has been upon us, and my boys only participated in 2 weeks of camp the entire season. So “camp Mom” was on the agenda. This included coming to yoga with me on a daily basis. One day my 11 year old decided he wanted to try a class. He was amazingly focused, did not sit out one pose, and remained in the hot room the entire class. This is more than I can say for some adults trying Bikram for the first time. My 7 year old soon joined in, but only participating in the floor series of the class, since at his age one’s sweat glands have not fully developed, and 1 ½ hours in that intense heat may not be safe.
My seven year old is not as focused or quiet during the class as his older brother. I think he does and mutters what most of us adults hold in. “This is too hard” “I can’t do that” “OHHHHHH”… and so on. Savasannah or corpse pose seems to be his most challenging pose, harder than any back bend. This is where you lay flat on your back with legs together, heels touching, arms out straight by your side, eyes opened and focused on one point on the ceiling. The challenge of the pose is to stay still… completely still. Seven year old are not famous for their ability to stay still, they squirm and wiggle and giggle.
My boys typically practice with their mats side by side, and as of late I had to separate them, as my 7 year old son was doing his job as a younger brother and annoying his older brother. I placed his mat next to mine to keep him in check. Here is what I learned: it’s only yoga… lighten up Mom! My son’s pure joy and honesty in every moment was so refreshing. I thought of tickling his little flexible body throughout most of the class. He made me smile over and over, just by being next to me. Yes… as I said LOVE… pure… sweet… beautiful LOVE!
So remember, it is only yoga… find the joy in the moments and smile!