This morning I was practicing yoga as I often do before my children wake up.
My practice was intense when my 8 year old daughter walked into my bedroom. As I was lowering my hips off the bolster and rolling to my side after having my legs up the wall for quite a while, I was making some grunting and groaning noises. My mid-back and spine were quite uncomfortable and relieving the pressure of the pose was causing even more discomfort than being in it.
I rolled to the side and sat up so I could give her a hug and say good morning. After our early morning greeting she looked at me and asked, “When you get really good at yoga, will you not hurt anymore?” I thought this was an excellent question.
I was still sitting on the floor and I answered while showing her on her body. “When you’re young, your age, many children, not all, have ankles that are lined up with their knees, knees that are lined up with their hips, spines that are still in the same shape they were designed to be in, and heads that rest comfortably on top of their necks. As we get older we learn how to ride a bike and usually fall off in the process and that slightly changes our internal structure,” (yes I can say internal structure to my daughter). “Then we go skiing and fall and that again causes an injury. We hike, we are in car accidents, we give birth, we sit at desks, we do all sorts of things that change that internal structure we were born with. Those changes cause pain and discomfort as we get older. Yes, there are times when my yoga practice is very uncomfortable, but there is a purpose to the discomfort.
I practice to undo some of those injuries and bring my internal structure back in the direction of the way it was designed to be, the way yours is now. Undoing the injuries is sometimes just as uncomfortable as getting them in the first place. So, while it sometimes hurts in the moment, the intention is to hurt less in the future.”
She looked at me and said, “Ok” in the way she does when I’ve over answered a question she’s asked. She walked back into her room but then came back to me a few moments later. She asked, “Do you explain yoga to other people this way?” I said, “No, not really.” And then she said, “You should. I think people would really get it.”
I love that kid!
Laura I, Teacher & Owner, Kaiut Yoga Broomfield