Photo by CMHmommy
If my daughter Roxie is any indication, the original yogis/yoginis must have been infants.
At five months, she spent all her waking time in happy baby pose (on her back, legs curled up, clutching her feet with her hands). Two months later, she started sleeping in child's pose (kneeling, with chest resting on her thighs) and now at nine months, as she's figuring out how to stand upright, it's all about downward facing dog.
Watching Roxie wiggle around in her crib makes me think about how closely yoga's tied to nature and natural development. With names like tree, pigeon, and locust, these poses certainly take their inspiration from our surroundings. When I then consider the amazing health and wellness benefits of yoga—strength, good posture, focus, and relaxation—I'm tickled to witness her little body naturally gravitating to the poses. These skills help manage stress and anxiety at any age too.
Fortunately for today's little ones, more and more grade schools are incorporating yoga into P.E. and classroom curriculums, and there are even birthday parties with yoga instruction (not to mention the explosion in adorable yoga gear just for kids). I've been practicing yoga for maybe seven years (long enough, I guess, that I've graduated to the term "practice" and have my own mat), but I would've loved the chance to start at an earlier age to cement good habits like proper body alignment and deep, calm breathing.
Roxie's thrilled by her new abilities (she's gonna pose right outta that crib any day now) and as soon as she starts to imitate movement, I look forward to teaching her and finding a toddler class we can take together. For now, I'll keep rolling out my mat in her room so she can roll around on the floor herself while watching Mom and giggle until she's breathless—her newest take on happy baby pose.
Do you hope to share yoga with your child down the line?