This past week, my preschooler's schooled me.
This is not a rare occurrence, just think of how simply they can still see the world! We have started a unit entitled, “The Rainbow in Me” as we work through the kid friendly version of the chakras. Since this was the first week of this new unit, we were talking all about red (which represents the Root Chakra). We started with our mantra for red, which is “I am safe”. We moved our bodies and then it was time to sit down and talk (exactly when things always get interesting).
I posed the prompt, “Think of something, that makes you feel happy, that is the color red” to start us off and to hook them in. As they all sat and waited their turns to share, I heard about everything from strawberries, to their favorite bathing suit and even their dogs collar. The one that ended up tying my entire class together, and removing the need for me to say much of anything at all however, was The Flash and Marshall from Paw Patrol. Immediately I envisioned a whole new chakra superhero unit…(more on that later!), but this kid, could not be more correct! He continued that they were his favorite red things and that they ALSO keep everyone safe just like the red in yoga does...and that being safe makes him feel happy and loved.
Yes, this three-year-old just about summed it all up. Why do we feel good when we practice yoga? There are many reasons, but the biggest one, is that we feel rooted to the earth, connected to ourselves and therefore SAFE. It is really, really hard to feel safe in a world that requires such forethought, a slew of rapid-fire actions to always be taking, categorizing, prioritizing and the constant holding of space for those around us, even if it’s mostly through our phones. We feel a need to respond, to be productive, to make money, spend money, and to do all the thousands of tasks each day (that were never required of our ancestors by the way); yet we lament over the origin of our exhaustion or why there seems to be more anxiety in the world than ever before.
For those who are willing, yoga can be part of the answer to a problem which seemingly calls for a Superhero Intervention. Through our practice of yoga (not JUST the physical asana/poses) we learn that our sense of security and ability to feel safe and like we belong, is already within us, but it needs to be unearthed; it requires a dusting off, a polishing and everyday maintenance. Yoga allows the space, inspiration and sense of community that it can take to ‘work-in’.
This simplified explanation of yoga brings us back to our study of the Root Chakra. This base energy system is activated when we SIT and breathe. No fancy poses, bat-mobiles or even yoga mats required. When we stop and take regular pauses, we are able to be stronger than fear and life seems simpler and more manageable than it did when we were moving.
In closing, I leave you with this advice:
Allow yoga to be the Batman to your Robin in a world full of potential kryptonite...and for goodness sake, think more like a preschooler.
See you on the mat,