How My 8-Year-Old Son Taught Me to Be Right Where I Am

How My 8-Year-Old Son Taught Me to Be Right Where I Am

Kids are naturals at living in the moment. If we pay attention, they’ll remind us how.

By: Maria Mora

I'm obsessed with yoga, but it turns out I was doing it wrong. When I brought my son to a mother and child class, he taught me some surprising lessons about my own practice and how I can improve it.

I know I'm not supposed to, but I take yoga really seriously. To me, it's all about goals. Can I get into this pose? How about that one? How soon until I can land that crow pose without falling on my face? I want to be better. I want to be as good as the others.

During every class, my instructors say to be gentle and humble. They say to stop if anything feels uncomfortable. But I'm not always the best listener, and I've walked away from more than a few classes with a lingering soreness because I pushed myself too hard.

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Now I have new inspiration: my 8-year-old son, Simon. I've been taking him to a kids' yoga class and I practice alongside him. We move through sequences quickly, with very little time to settle into a pose and get serious. We make crazy animal noises. We smile.

It turns out I'd been forgetting to smile during many of my adult yoga classes. It's amazing how quickly a smile spreads across my entire body. It melts away pressure and pain. When I smile, I find myself having fun.


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Now, as I approach a particularly difficult class or a pose that I haven't quite found, I smile. I remember the simple joy of a child practicing yoga. My son doesn't care if he does yoga the “right” way. He enjoys some poses and he skips others because he doesn't like them. By approaching yoga as a child does, I've rediscovered my joy. I'll admit that my sense of competition and my stubbornness still try to bubble up -- but I'm often able to subdue those unhelpful impulses with a simple smile and the memory of my son howling and grinning in his downward dog pose.

What helpful life lessons have your kids taught you?

Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

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