My Son is My Yoga Guru
by Dina Tibbs, CMT
Prior to having my son I practiced yoga for seven years, for two of those I taught yoga to other people, and there were always some concepts of yoga that I had a hard time with.
Living in the present moment, unconditional love, non-judgment, quieting my mind; these were all challenges for me. Then I had my son and the term ‘living your yoga” took on a whole new meaning. Yoga is a philosophy that consists of 8 limbs of practice, the ultimate goal being to achieve enlightment and release all internal suffering. My son has helped me in each of these areas; read on:
Limb 1- Yamas or Observances
Non-Violence- I think twice now before I flip someone the bird and scream obscenities when they cut me off; for fear that my son will mimic me on the playground when a kid cuts in line for the slide.
Non-Lying- My son has helped me realize that people lie from birth, so to just let this one go. I always assumed lying was a learned trait, but whenever I ask him if he has poop he tells me very emphatically “NO”…he is such a BS artist.
Non-Stealing- My son has taught me some stealing is good..like stealing kisses and hugs.
Non-Sensuality- Before child: a slight breeze up my skirt and glass of wine; I was ready. After child: A gale force wind, a bottle of wine, a bottle of lube and I am still too tired!
Non-greed- After hearing nothing but mine,mine,mine for the last three months, I vow to never be greedy again.
Limb 2- Niyamas or Restraints
Purity- Well I need some work here, my son actually drives me to drink several glasses of wine..so sue me!
Contentment- No matter what life brings me I can now be content coloring, running through sprinklers, cleaning poop , and picking cheerios out of every nook and cranny in my house.
Austerity-The willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve a goal.
I have never been as focused on any goal as much as getting a full night’s sleep, and for my son to take a decent nap everyday. Next up: potty training!
Self-Study- I have to say there is nothing like self study when you see your personality, good and bad, mirrored in your child. All his little temper tantrums, stubbornness, acting spoiled, but laughing all the time..wow its like looking in the mirror.
Living with Awareness and Dedication to the Divine- I believe children are born pure and divine beings with a direct link to the spirit. I do not believe in Original Sin..I mean what a ridiculous concept. So it was easy for me to see the Divine as real when I looked at my newborn child, and then how quickly they begin to form there own realities and move away from that divine nature. So now I work to make sure we both make that connection on a daily basis.
Limb 3-Asanas or Postures
Yoga is all about getting back to the flexibility of being a child. Have you ever watched your children move and flex, it is amazing. So I mimic him, and he does a perfect downward dog. There is also nothing like doing child’s pose, and having a child climb on your back and do it with you!
Limb 4- Pranayama- Breathing Techniques
I have now learned better than ever before how to take long, deep breathes. See Limb 1-Non-Violence. How do you think I achieve that?
Limb 5- Pratyhara-Withdrawal of the Senses
Raising a toddler makes everything seem non-sensical doesn’t it?
Limb 6- Dharana- Effortful and then effortless concentration of the mind
Since having a child, concentrating picking my nose takes effort; on the other hand my mind is becoming mushy so zoning into effortless mind numbing nothingness is not so difficult anymore.
Limb 7-Dhyana- Uninterrupted Meditation
Oh yeah right, I can take an uninterrupted crap anymore much less uninterrupted meditation. So I have learned to make the most of the few minutes of meditation I have and commune with the Divine quickly!
Limb 8- Samadhi- Enlightment
I am enlightened every day by my son’s actions, humor, and playfulness. He has allowed me to become a child again and I believe that is what enlightenment is!!