Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yoga part 2

Sorry for the high emotion yesterday. I got carried away answering an email and it turned into that blog post.

But really, I had something ELSE that I was planning to blog about, and I'm going to try to reconstruct it today.

Big breath.

Yoga, part 2: Seven-year-old boys look funny doing yoga.

Clearly, we all know now that I've had an off-again, on-again relationship with yoga (actually it began in college, but it completely didn't "stick" until much later). What I haven't said yet is that, occasionally, I've done yoga with kids. When I taught preschool and we had a ten-minute "gap", I'd sometimes teach the kids a yoga pose or two. Mainly because it was freaking hiLARious to watch their little bodies try to assume the poses. Because most kids? Are totally clumsy. They'd fall down, they'd giggle, it was great.

And at church, when I was on the religious education committee, we were trying to decide what to do with the kids during the summer (usually they do a summer-long, multi-age study that's very "lite" and fun and doesn't require knowledge of previous lessons). Someone (maybe it was me) suggested yoga. Since there are several people in the church who practice yoga, it was a good fit. And I somehow wound up teaching for a Sunday or two. And it was fun. Some of the kids, including Susie, took the practice very seriously. Susie even has a yoga book,
Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children, that she took with her to church to share with the teacher.

Susie is the athlete in our family. She's got amazing body awareness and coordination. She learned to ride a bike in, um, ten minutes or so. She mastered her Heelys in a couple of hours. So yoga? Comes naturally to her. (And it doesn't hurt that when she was little, like three, she LOVED to watch yoga videos. I had one that was filmed in the Bahamas and she used to watch it before naps.)

Alex, however, is a little more inside his head and less in his body. He's floppy and fidgety and ohmygosh it took forEVER for him to learn to ride his bike and he's finally got his Heelys figured out a month after he got them. But I think his saving grace is that he's not a bit self-conscious when he's learning these skills. He'll try and try and try and fall down and look silly and just not care. And watching him do yoga? Is funny. He earnestly tries. But doesn't have enough body awareness to put himself into a pose correctly. And meditation? Comes as naturally to him as it does to me, which is to say not at all. He and I totally busted each other looking around when our eyes were supposed to be closed. But he also arranged his arms so that we would be holding hands during the meditation and how cute is that?

The part that is so cool is that both of them want to go back. I knew Susie would. Because she's good at it and loves yoga with a deep love. Alex, however, surprises me with his willingness to try anything, even if it doesn't come naturally.

More on that later.

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