Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My daughter never learnt yoga from me:)

That is my daughter executing a very difficult, full  wheel. When I see her do it, I wonder if I can do it that way. Her hands are at her feet. That calls for supreme spinal flexibility. She also can hold on long, and so there is the strenght angle to it. Touch wood:)   And actually she drops back into from a standing position. All of this seems feasible, but for a full grown adult, who learn yoga late, practically impossible. U have to have had learnt yoga as a child for that.. :(
I did not teach her yoga personally because I realised however well-meaning and however well bonded we were as mom and child, she may have a negative feedback loop inserted into her learning (must-be-done attitude which can be a real killjoy in fun learning and if you read Tell-tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran he points out how the amygdala -- your primitive brain responding to fear and anger etc -- goes into a high alert mode when a child sees even the image/photo of her parent!!).

So, with great trepidation and as other (including very progressive parents, one a child psychotherapist who used to give me some silly gyan)  parents clucked "Tch, Tch" (they were just jealous that they did not have the will to do that, I always reasoned myself while feeling nervous about the decision:) I would send her to the rather military bootcamp yoga regimen for kids at my Ashram at Kerala. They had all sorts of rules that bothered me about sending her  there: . no talking to kids from the other sex without supervision (! for a Mumbai kid chilled out, that could be silly:), no calls to home unnecessarily, no calls from home, no TV, no parental visits, and they had to walk  in a queue around the sprawling center somewhat resembling hardened  prisoners in a jail, segregation all the time, silence hour, etc. I would be very tearful when I left her (there were too many rules for parents too: leave the ashram immediately, no waffling and wailing there, no eye contact with kids when in the ashram since other kids will begin missing the parents!!!). So there was a lot of pressure -- emotional -- when I left her in Trivandrum and returned, feeling empty and drained and miss her sparkling and demanding presence for the one month she was away. But I always ( I sent her there thrice) told her that her subsequent visits must be her choice: she knew what to expect. And if midway she wanted to return, I will fly back for her. Even now, I am glad to say, she wants to return!! She loves the ashram, and does not see it as a bootcamp, as I do, from my parental specs!! In fact, last time we had laffed how she was now overage for a kids` yoga camp..and yet, wanted to sneak in:)  Then somebody from the ashram suggested she should go as an assistant!!

So, yes, somehow my tough decision worked off:) She loves the ashram. As a dancer (now in a dance college for classical dance forms) she is prone to knee pain (all dancers are high-stress on knees). But after I gave her a yoga chart for knee pain, she has stuck to it. We message each other, early mornings,(she stays now in a hostel, out of town)  to see that we are awake, for our respective practices. I am happy she has no issue with discipline and enjoys it. In fact, even during her  tenth board exams I would send her down to walkabout and did not like her stuck to books. And she was rather chilled out. I never sat with her for studying the way other parents do, who take a month-long holiday, to study with their children. She also did not attend those horrendous Tuition classes. She needed help with maths and chemistry, and she attended two sessions a week, just to gain confidence with these subjects.  Yet, she did better than a lot of her other slogging batchmates with whom their parents studied!!  Today, after her birthday party, she also cleaned up the hall, sweeping it etc. So, yes, I like that she is that way. And I think a lot of it is pure yoga zone:)

 So, yes, I did not teach her yoga in the way a yoga teacher would have done.  But I guess she is lucky to have been introduced to it, and especially to the Sivananda style, bootcamp style notwithstanding:)

And so,  if u do chose to introduce your kids to yoga, do it the right way, so the child is not forever put off it, but chose a style to which they will relate the rest of their lives:)


Anonymous said...

Blessed kid.

Nagarik said...

Hi Shameem

am here in mumbai and we discussed abt my attending one of your sesisons, i cld do a Tue or Wed mornning, pls send me your Bandra address where you conduct the sessions @krishnakavita@gmail.com

thank you

Nagarik said...

Dear Shameem

cld you pls send me your Bandra address to krishnakavita@gmail.com?
i am here in mumbai and want to attend either Tue or Wed morning sessions.

thank you

Anonymous said...

sairam mam,
so heartwarming to read this post, esp. as a mother of a girl child n one who wants to inculcate the right way of living, based on experienced values n not just ensure she learns to earn a living!

warm rgds