Every yogi knows that growth happens in unexpected ways. They know because they experience, in a long-term practice, many born again moments when potential breaks through. These moments help them shed layers of old identity. It’s a slow but steady process of mind, body and spirit renewal.
There’s a story in the Christian scriptures about a man named Nicodemus. This man asked Jesus how to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus said that in order to do so, he must be “born again.” Nicodemus’ rational and literal way of thinking couldn’t imagine it. He asked how a man could be born again. But yogis can imagine it because it’s their experience.
The Nicodemus story is symbolic, but the important lesson for adults is to ask themselves if they can recover the experience of being child-like in curiosity and enthusiasm, and if so they may learn yoga with fresh enjoyment and with the born again perspective of a child.
Some people, like the founders of Asana Journal, were introduced to yoga as toddlers or infants. Most of us didn’t have that experience, and some of us came to yoga many years into adulthood. But over the last six months, I’ve learned what it may have been like to do yoga from a very young age because I’ve had the good fortune of living under the same roof as a toddler and interacting with her every day.
A couple months ago, I was doing yoga on the living room floor, simply trying to loosen my back and hamstrings. Evey was nearby when my partner said, “Look Evey, Duck (her nickname for me) is doing yoga.” Seeing this was new to Evey and I noticed she sat still and watched.
Later that week in the evening, I was watching TV and decided to stretch my back. I got up and said, It’s time for a little yoga. When I began stretching my back in child’s pose, I was surprised when Evey, completely unprompted, came over next to me and took up a position on the carpeted living-room floor. Nobody had ever coached her, but suddenly she struck the dolphin pose and looked at me with a big smile on her face.
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