The Little Yogi

Today, we had a little visitor in yoga class.

Pete's classes always start with meeting someone you don't know. It is one of the many ways that Pete is building community inside of his classes, plus it is always nice to know the name of the person next to you. In case, for instance, you sweat on them, fall out of handstand on them, accidentally steal their props...or just want to smile at them.

Today, while introducing myself to the woman next to me, she pointed out the door of the yoga room to a little boy, and said - "and that's my son." I had seen this little nugget come in carrying his mom's mat and he even helped her arrange it on the floor. He was sitting quietly on the couches in the back room. His mom told me that he was 6.

About 2/3rds of the way through class, there was a jostle at the door, an adorable head peeking through, and a minute later, his mom had arranged a yoga blanket in the front of the classroom, where he sat quietly, without anything to entertain him - there was no portable dvd player, no video game in sight. He had a water bottle - and he wasn't playing with that, either.

For the next 35 minutes, in a heated, quiet yoga room, this little guy watched us and cheered us on. He never said a word, although he did slap a high five to Pete. When we did figure-4 pose on one foot, and some of the class popped into the arm balance, he raised his hands in excitement for us. Every now and then I would lift my head and just watch his face watching us, his hands sometimes outstretched matching our arms moving into the next asana.

I was mesmerized by his attention and contentment with our quiet movements, and even more impressed by his calmness and patience, all the way straight through savasana. I have trouble sitting still and I'm 31. And here was a six-year-old boy teaching us about paying attention and living in the moment. And being content.

As I walked out of the studio, I caught his little fearless body practicing forward fold and the beginnings of crow with Pete. Without concern for anyone watching, or whether he was doing it right.

We should all be little yogis.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Burrill,