As a work-from-home mom, I've witnessed my son's many firsts: first word, first steps, first time he dressed himself, you name it. On Saturday, I was a part of another of Vincent's firsts: his first asana practice.
Vincent is familiar with yoga. He knows some poses by name, has watched me practice some poses at home, and even had a kids' practice last year at summer camp. All of that was very kid-friendly and playful. He had never experienced a more serious practice, and considering he just turned 9 in May, you wouldn't expect that of him. But Saturday was Underground Yoga Studio's grand opening and I had Vin in tow. We had a talk on the ride from his grandparents' house in Jersey to manage expectations: no talking, stay on your mat, if you become tired or there's something you can't do sit quietly or take a child's pose.
For the practice I set us up in the back corner, rolling out my older (and non-pink!) mat for my son next to mine, a little concerned about how this might go down. But as we sat down on our mats and he flashed me an excited smile my concerns dissipated. It was an amazing experience, sharing my practice with my son! Prior to Saturday, to him, yoga was this abstract thing, a place I went to a few nights a week and one weekend a month during teacher training. This time I was able to share the energy and joy I experience on the mat in real time with him. There were times during the practice when we held hands or had our hands on each other's shoulders -- sometimes because we were instructed to and other times because it was a way to express our joy and excitement to each other.
He did the whole practice.
He did the whole practice.
It doesn't matter how many times I write it or say it, I'm still amazed by it. This tall, lanky, 9-year-old boy who trips over his own limbs did the entire practice with a room full of adults. And as I held his hand in mine during Savasana, tears welled in my eyes and I thought my heart might explode from all the love and admiration I have for this not-so-little boy who took a chance on something new and spent an afternoon with his mother. We shared something so special and I hope I never ever forget it, even in my oldest of age.
The next day I showed him the picture above taken during the practice and posted on social media. He said, "yeah, I wasn't really sure how to move through those poses. Can you show me?" We moved through Warrior II and Peaceful Warrior, then we moved into Warrior I. Vincent looked at his father and said, "this may look easy, but it's actually hard work." Spoken like a seasoned yogi.
Thank you Underground Yoga Studio, for allowing my son and I to be a part of your special day. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. You'll forever be the space where Vincent and I shared our first practice together, where he saw the light in me that yoga allows to shine and I experienced an amazing first with my son.