Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Watch Me Do Yoga

For me, yoga has always been about monkeying around! I just get on my mat, and I play. I think: Can I make this shape? Yes, but not without falling over. Can I stand up if I do this? Nice try! Not today.  I approach my asana practice as an experiment--a game even--and I usually can delight in the outcome. Yes, I know that mindfulness, meditation, philosophy, history, therapeutics, tradition, and so much more is important, too.. but if I'm really being honest with myself, I like to practice the physical yoga because I think it's fun.

It's a childlike approach, and that's what I love about it! (And if you don't like it, just remember: I'm rubber and you're glue. And also, Na-na-na-booboo! So there!)

Children are amazing teachers. They look at the world with awe, and see limitless possibilities everywhere. Personally, that's the attitude I strive for when I get on my mat. I'm working toward finding that attitude in the rest of my life, too.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a children's book that reminded me of all of these things. Watch Me Do Yoga (2010, Rodmell Press) is a darling book illustrated and written by Iyengar teacher Bobby Clennell that beautifully captures the child-like spirit of exploration and joy that practicing yoga can elicit. Children will love it because of the cute illustrations and the many invitations to mimic animals and nature. Parents will love it because it provides a fun and creative way to spend quality time with their children. I loved it because it reminded me to appreciate the little, simple things--something that kids do so naturally.

What's your favorite children's book?