A mother's advice

A wise man once said that no one comes to yoga without a reason. While each of our reasons may be as different as each of our appearances, I also believe that each of us has a reason why we first graced the door of a yoga studio. And a reason for coming back a second (and third, and fourth) time.

Speaking from my own experience, as well as what I’ve gathered from some of my yoga acquaintances over the past couple of years, I would argue that one of the main (and perhaps only) reasons that people come to yoga relates to pain. Physical aches or emotional suffering. Ranging from immediate pain from physical injuries or illnesses, to emotional anguish from stress or sadness, and even to the seemingly milder sufferings of boredom and unfulfillment in their lives. People bring their pain to the yoga mat because yoga heals. All afflictions. It really seems to be that simple.

Now as a mother, it is my natural instinct to protect my daughters from all sources of pain, hopefully (I’m delusional of course) throughout their entire lives. But I also want them to practice yoga and love it in the way that I do. So assuming that they take all of my ‘good’ advice about keeping themselves physically safe (“don’t put the fork in the electrical outlet, darling”), and emotionally safe (“stay away from boys until you’re 25 years old, sweetie”) their entire lives, is it possible for them to discover yoga without experiencing pain? I suspect not. But rest assured, I also do not believe for a second that they listen to even half of what I say….

Perhaps realistic advice as a mother would be more along these lines…it’s okay not to listen to everything your mother tells you. Work hard, play hard, love hard. And when you get hurt, go to your first yoga class.

Jen – Sep/Oct 2013 weekday am class