I saw a book the other day entitled Yoga for Children (actually there are several on Amazon.com right now) and I had to laugh. Seriously? A book teaching kids how to do yoga? Don’t they realize that children pretty much invented yoga? I have a strong suspicion ancient yogis came up with this stuff by watching their kids. “Huh, so my son is standing on his head while doing the splits and eating Twinkies. Maybe I should try that and teach it to others to promote spiritual enlightenment.”
But here we have people thinking we have to teach our kids this stuff. Have kids changed that much with all the electronics? I don’t know. My kids certainly loved tumbling around and standing on their heads, or lying upside down on the couch with their heads touching the floor. Another favorite was jumping, crawling, and lying on me, their very favorite prop. I did the same thing, only upped it about a dozen notches. I enjoyed tumbling toward the television (this was when TVs came in big cabinets that sat on the floor and if you wanted to change the channel you had to get off your butt and pull a KNOB it was the dark ages truly!) Anyway, I gave my mother quite a few heart attacks with that, but never did fly into the T.V.
I also didn’t fall off the roof, but not from lack of trying. Once, a friend and I climbed up on the roof. Brilliant children that we were, we didn’t think about how my parents might hear us clambering around out there and realize we weren’t giant mutant squirrels. I remember them yelling and being in BIG TROUBLE but not the specific punishment. I didn’t do it again, though. Well, not on my own house anyway.
I did like being upside down. I performed headstands up against the wall. I hung off of jungle gyms and monkey bars. I watched T.V. in “plow pose”, “pigeon pose”, “downward dog”, various forward bends, backward bends, and combinations of these ancient yoga postures. Who knew I was doing yoga? Also, to all those who think T.V. makes one sedentary. Pfft.
But these days we have to teach it to kids? I can’t find the image now, but somewhere I saw a child doing, ironically, child’s pose. It cracked me up. The poor kid looked bushed. Like, what, had he been at the Lego Star Wars too long? If so, shouldn’t he be doing some sort of carpal tunnel treatment? Even weirder are pictures of children meditating. On what? “Oh, wow, like that last Dora the Explorer really gave me a paradigm shift there. I must think on this.”
I only wish I could have the limberness of my childhood without the total lack of fear or sanity. Back when I was a kid, I was immortal, therefore I did not worry about breaking bones like my arm or my leg or my neck. I was mostly made of rubber. Not so much now. And now is when I need it. Perhaps I can go to my local preschool and find a child guru. I already know they have nice mats for naptime.
What about your kids? Are they yoga gurus too, or do we really need these books?