My wife has been asking me to take yoga classes with her for years and more often than not, I've declined.
In any event, I joined her for a class yesterday and made an interesting observation.
For each pose we'd get into, we were always invited to go deeper into it or to explore some complex variation of it.
My mind got to wandering about the type of person it takes to push their body to new limits and redefine the boundaries of what's possible.
They must have been curious, courageous, ambitious, inventive and clearly, not a conformist.
I have an eleven year old son who is, like every kid at his age, pushing boundaries to re-establish norms and find his place in this world.
I thought about how he behaves in ways that push the boundaries of my world views and how defensive I can become when he challenges our family's culture.
At an instinctual, unconscious level, I try keeping him in a box so as to not disrupt the world as I know it.
Of course there is a balance between being overly rigid and flexible when it comes to raising him and I want him to be the type of kid that has space to explore and push his MindBodySpirit to new limits and redefine the boundaries of what's possible...just like the yogi.
I don't want to breed a conformist who needs to ask permission to take a risk or looks for reassurance every step of the way or is scared of going deeper into a pose or is hesitant to endure the discomfort of exploring new territory.
I somehow managed to think about all this while I was taking a yoga class!
This realization requires me to be an ever more present parent, to sit in my own discomfort when he's behaving in a way that's different than the way I would do it...not because it's wrong, but because it's different, because it's a "pose" I've never gotten into.
"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." Arthur C. Clarke