It’s always an adventure and inspiration, when my 9 year old son Aidan practices next to me in the Bikram Yoga room. Sometimes he takes the full 1 1/2 hour sweaty class, and sometimes he takes half of the class. When he comes with me he will bring a book or artwork, if he decides not to practice. I never make him join me in the 105 degree yoga studio, it’s his choice. Here’s what happened this weekend.
Aidan decided he would practice the second half of the class, during the floor series. For the first part of the class he worked on creating origami figures. When the teacher called my little yogi into the room while the class enjoyed the 2 minute savasana, I realized not only did he bring his water bottle, but also a red origami rabbit that he just made. My first instinct was to tell him to get that rabbit out of the room, thinking it would be such a distraction. But I had to refocus, remind myself that it’s my practice, and allow the teacher to deal with anything she felt was not appropriate. During most of the poses, Aidan would place the origami figure on his body, challenging himself not only with the asana, but to balance the paper rabbit in the process. When the teacher announced that Camel pose was next, Aidan whispered to me, that he doesn’t like that pose. It’s the deepest backbend of the series, and he’s not alone, for I hear many adults moan about this heart opener. But what I found to be so wonderful, was that during Camel pose, Aidan reached for his red origami rabbit, and placed it on his chest, got back in the pose, and smiled. He was able to find joy in a pose he just said he does not like. He used creativity and art, to change his perception of what he told himself was difficult at first, and transformed this into joy.
Think about this, as adults, how many things in life are difficult, challenging and how you deal with this. Distractions of the unhealthy kind can be a way of not dealing with things that are hard. Addictions are often distractions, alcohol, sex, shopping, drugs, etc. These things give us instant gratification, but then we are still left with our lives and things that are unfinished, things that need our attention. What are your healthy distractions? What motivates you when you have to face reality and do things that are difficult? Do you run away and chose to avoid life when it gets challenging? Or can you find a way to create your own version of the red origami rabbit. Find something or someone that makes you smile. Find yourself dealing with difficult things as the person who embraces life not shuts down and hides. Be the 9 year old that remembers how to laugh and play. Find your red origami rabbit and use it to remind yourself you can do anything. And if you practice yoga, you truly can do anything.