I have loved doing yoga for most of my life and have kept a very regular schedule. My partner Soanya and I often do yoga together, whether it is on our schooner or, because we are now taking care of my old dad, at his house. Our son Darshen, who is now six has always been around us as we do yoga in our big bed while we are sailing or on the floor in front of the fire on the schooner or at dad’s house.
Doing yoga with my six year old son happened naturally because I do yoga at home and he is around usually wanting attention from me, so I try to do my yoga and take care of and bond with my son at the same time. It is a part of his life as much as all the other activities that we do. He is slowly learning Pranayama and practicing some of the many different breathing exercises. Both Soanya and I have taken him on many different guided visualization meditations that we have gleaned from different forms of yoga. We practice Bhakti Yoga throughout the day by expressing our love for the many manifestations of God, nature and the love of life. Another form of yoga that Darshen also practices without thinking too much about is what I call Shamanistic Yoga. I want to express that the ‘Daddy and Me Yoga’ that we do is much more than just doing hatha yoga exercises together.
I was introduced to yoga as a teenager, on a small boat while ocean voyaging with other sailors. So my yoga began, developed, and matured on the rainbow sparkling crystal clear wave tops in the wide open ocean of the world’s furthest seas. And Darshen’s yoga practice began out there too. When we do yoga on the boat it is extremely magical on the open ocean far from the busy vibrations of Man and is an aid to transforming ourselves and becoming ‘one’ with all of creation. The dangerous aspect of being on the sea spurs us to do yoga to survive.
Just as a shaman calls on greater powers to manifest something in the seen world, the shamanistic form of yoga enables us to channel larger than life powers to make spiritually influenced voyages. An example of that would be; I make a figurehead for my boat to help take care of us and as I make the figurehead I call on higher powers to come into the figurehead to give the figurehead the power to do the job. Shamanistic yoga uses all the forms of yoga.
I introduce this topic here in relation to ‘Daddy and Me Yoga’ because my son Darshen learns these things from me like a sponge. He soaks this knowledge in and then practices it in his fantasy games knowing that he has the power to talk to creatures and fly. I want to teach my son what I know, but he is just a little kid and if I formally try to teach him, he rebels. Our ‘Daddy and Me Yoga’ happens spontaneously as we live our lives. If I say, “Come do yoga with me”, he won’t necessarily come and stretch. I usually just do my exercises and give him the opportunity to join in and then we have a lot fun enjoying the benefits of yoga.