but i think i’ll get over it.
the familyoga has been moving along this summer in fits and starts – a little bit here, a little bit there.
one evening last week, brett and i were preparing for a familyoga session when our neighbor came to the door. she is a friend and the mother of a 7 year old girl who is a good friend to my daughters (i’ll call the little girl – h). h has been a constant in our lives ever since we moved into this house. she loves my children. they love her. they play backyard games together, picnic together, put on plays and performances together….and all the other things that five little girls playing together will do.
so, that evening, her mother said, “if it would be all right, h would love to practice yoga with your family.” i smiled a big smile and thought to myself…..aaaah enthusiasm, a willing participant, just what we need. “yes,” i said. “we are doing a practice beginning in 15 minutes. we would love to have her join us.” and she did.
somehow, we squeezed one extra mat into our already cramped space and began.
as many of you know, the background to this scenario is that isabel (our oldest daughter) is not thrilled about the familyoga practice and rolls her eyes at me enough times during the practice for me to think: well, at least she’s doing eye yoga. the way she moves her body and does the poses reflects her less than enthusiastic attitude about the yoga. for example, we practice baddha konasana (which is also known as butterfly pose or stretch). it is formed by sitting on your bottom with your knees bent, soles of the feet together, knees wide, and knees are releasing down towards the floor. simple enough, right? you see this pose often….in athletics conditioning, dance training, yoga, etc.
well, when we do baddha konasana in familyoga practice, isabel struggles. she sits, puts the soles of her feet together, and her knees are jacked up next to her shoulders and ears. her spine rounds like a hunchback…..and she looks and acts miserable in the pose. i try to help her modify the pose. we stack blankets under her bottom. it helps, a little bit. but still, i have seen a lot of people in this pose and i have never seen a pose that looks quite as uncomfortable as isabel’s.
when the kids are asleep, i talk to brett about this. i am worried about her lack of flexibility. if her baddha konasana looks like this now…..what can we expect as she ages? i picture her, frail/hunched over…..at age 40. oh no! seriously though, i take a deep breath. i’m being ridiculous. i know that isabel is fine. she runs like a gazelle. she walks with a smooth, steady gait. she rides a bike. she climbs trees. she is fine. ok.
now, back to the evening familyoga practice with h. the girls are excited that h is joining us. once we begin, my kids want to show her their favorite poses. so, they do. i look over and all four of my girls, including isabel, are in a pose called: utpluthi (uprooting pose). the girls are smiling, laughing, breathing, holding the pose for a minute, 2 minutes. soon, they all begin to swing in the pose like a pendulum. now, for those of you who don’t know…..this is an extremely difficult pose. some people may practice this pose for years before they get it. the pose is done seated, with the legs folded into lotus pose (like a pretzel). the hands are placed on the mat right next to the hips. then, the abs are engaged to flex the trunk (mainly the rectus abdominus). the shoulder girdle is pressing down. the arms are activated; and you lift your lotus legs off the mat and hold them up in mid-air. wow!
now, i know that they are many and varied reasons why isabel is able to easily move in and out of utpluthi and not baddha konasana. i am not particularly going to explore those reasons in this post. what i am going to say is that i’ve been duped. that child has strength, flexibility and grace…..in abundance…..when she wants to…..selectively.
so, we progressed through the rest of our practice with h and each other. at the end of our session, i smiled to myself – another lesson learned. thank you to my best teachers – my children. xoxoxo