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'A Touch Of Wonder'

By Nikki Costello, August 2009

During a private session with a student, I listened to a story about how her 15-month-old daughter discovered and began to explore her yoga props. For several months her favorite prop was the bright purple bolster. She crawled her small body onto it and lying face down wrapped herself around it. Another time, she leaned back over it, head on the floor, chest open with her legs dangling in relaxation. She also liked the custom-dyed lavender belt and as she learned to crawl and walk, this belt trailed behind her and added its own rhythm, as the buckle danced across the wooden floors. Most recently her mother bought a wood block and added it to the pile of props in the living room. This immediately drew her attention. Her mother watched as she placed the block on the floor, reclined onto it so that the block rested perfectly along the top portion of her spine, for a moment she gazed upwards at the ceiling and then closed her eyes. Following that pose, she sat up, put the block in front of her and bent forward resting her head on it. Her mother looked on in amazement, observing her daughter’s pleasure and joy in each discovery.

As I listened, I was immediately struck by the child’s “correct” use of yoga props, that for her was an act of total intuition and spontaneity. These two qualities are like secret treasures in our adult lives. Qualities we hold in high esteem and long to re-awaken and live by. We were born curious, adventurous, free, joyful, spontaneous, intuitive, playful, happy and authentic. Over time we grow to place importance on intellectual reasoning and the accumulation of knowledge along with stability and structure to ensure our sense of safety and well-being. Once we have cultivated these other qualities in our adult life, there is no need to reject them in the practice of yoga in order to recapture our child-like nature. In truth, the discipline required in practice, the study and contemplation on a path towards greater self- awareness asks that we use all our faculties to experience our wholeness. When we undergo regular practice, we are learning the yoga postures that clear away obstructions in our bodies on all levels; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. We are undoing old habits and impressions and reforming new and positive ones. This process can be demanding and confrontational as well as transforming and liberating.

As these new impressions are forming, you have the opportunity to nurture them while maintaining a sense of discovery. Be kind to yourself and explore your life, your thoughts, actions and practice with wonderment. By joining our two hands in namaste, one of adult wisdom, the other of childlike exploration, we create the wholeness of yoga.

KamaDeva Yoga, 15 Lumber Lane, 2nd Fl, East Hampton, NY 11937 Tel: 917.301.6919 Monthly Inspiration Archives