Today, when I got to the dance studio to pick her up, I peeked in to see 9 little girls sitting in a perfect circle, hands in prayer position, sweetly singing to one another: "My little light bows to your little light, to your little light and to your little light; My little light bows to your little light...Namaste." I felt a rush of joy for her young introduction to the union of body, mind & spirit.
Selby and all these children have the unique advantage of practicing yoga from the place adult yogis strive so hard to cultivate - "beginner's mind." They explore asanas the same way they explore their world - free from preconceived notions and expectations, through a veil of wonder. And they have a lot of fun while doing it. During downward dog pose they sing "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?" They play a game with tree pose where they pretend to be in a forest. And during savasana, the relaxation time at the end of class, they close their eyes and imagine they are crystal blue ponds while Miss Colleen sets yellow rubber duckies on their tummies to ride the waves of their precious breaths. So while I may not be actively practicing yoga right now, at least I have my little yogi to remind me to try and bring beginner's mind to the mundane tasks and rote activities of my daily life - a new way, perhaps, to "freshen up" the laundry!
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the
expert's mind there are few." - Zen Master Suzuki Roshi