How early is too early to introduce your child to yoga? It’s never too early. I’ve done yoga for fifteen years now. When I got pregnant, there wasn’t any good reason to stop. I just had to modify some of the positions to accommodate my belly. Postpartum, it was still a great way to relax and relieve tension and that was when I discovered Mommy and Me yoga classes. It’s a great way for moms to connect with other moms in a similar stage of life, to exercise gently, and to bond with our new babies. I took the concept home and interacted with my baby as I did yoga in the comfort of my own space at my convenience. This was especially advantageous when the little one became mobile. Instead of trying to get my toddler son to participate in what I was doing, I let him wander around a baby proof room while I concentrated on getting a good deep stretch. He was still absorbing what was happening even if it didn’t seem obvious. One day when I least expected it, he did a spinal twist for fun making me wonder what else he had picked up without me knowing. He didn’t even know how to talk yet.
Darshen was also around when Reid and I did yoga. We don’t force him to do it with us, but he saw what we did and knew names of all the poses. Up until age four, he showed little interest in yoga. Then one day he wanted to see if he could do it too. His four year old conclusion was that it was fun for a while, but not worth doing every day.
Around this time, we were in Guyana, South America working on the boat. On a day off, we decided to go exploring and walked a couple of miles. We came upon an unexpected little beach on the edge of beautiful jungle growth. I wanted to take in the vibe of the place. So in spite of my jeans and sneakers, I started to stretch while breathing in ocean breeze and looking at the tall palm trees whose roots were exposed due to the water levels rising. Darshen thought it was a great idea and he joined me in the sand for our impromptu yoga session. We had a great time.
Two years later, it’s more like Daddy and me yoga, though I’m not sure yoga would be the right term to use. While Reid does his stretches, Darshen tries to get him out of the pose, a scene that resembles a wrestling match more than a yoga session. Then again, they seem to look forward to it every day. Mommy and me might be a finished phase for Darshen as he grows and friends become the central focus of his attention. He will come to understand that not everybody knows or does yoga. It will be his choice to pick it up as a tool for his personal practice or not. Either way, yoga won’t be a mystery to this little boy.