Let’s Start in Child’s Pose

childs poseA grown-up client came in recently and said  that it had been a hard week—one in which she had felt “like a bruised peach,” and had wanted to call her mother just to hear that she was loved.  My client added that while she knew that her mom loved her, she couldn’t really call her because it was too destabilizing to her mother to hear about her daughter’s pain or distress.

The back-story on this was that when my client was a teenager, she had watched her mom be taken away, strapped to a gurney, in the grip of a psychotic episode.  Her mother’s tearful and torn face, in and out of lucidity, had implored the med techs to please not let her daughter see her like that.

And then mom was gone.  Dad had been gone since birth.  An interim, and abusive, step-dad was even long gone and there was no one.  She got through it, was taken in by friends’ parents (who raised her through a chunk of high school), and she went on to great success—and compassion for women struggling with disadvantage.  But still, there are those times when we just want our mother, or at least a mother.

This is a time when the very simple “child’s pose” (also known as “balasana,” a yoga “asana” or position of kneeling face down onto the floor) can be highly soothing [see #mce_temp_url#  for illustration].  When we lay on the earth, forehead on the ground, shins on the ground and hands at our feet, we surrender to The Great Mother.  The earth can handle our feelings.  The earth gave birth to us and will receive us again.  The earth never abandons us.  Perhaps in this way we “honor our parents.”

In all manner of things, but especially in parenting, affect regulation (or holding it together) is something that really comes in handy.  From eating issues to tolerating sorrow to not “losing it” with our children, if we do not block our thoughts, but rather allow them and let them go (without “acting them out” by yelling, taking substances, over-spending, etc.), we eliminate much of our need for smoking, drinking, emotional eating, angry outbursts and other self-destructive behaviors.  If we hope to be our best Selves as parents, we need a good relationship with our archetypal mother, the earth.

Also, when parenting, empathy is paramount.  Thus child’s pose helps us find child-mind; it helps us see the world as our children do, regaining simplicity:  I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m angry, I just am… and soon we feel better—the earth itself has set the perfect parenting example, it just stays rock-steady and does not judge, or abandon us, or try to “fix” things.

Let’s dedicate today to a child’s pose sort of day, one where we strive for simplicity, honesty and a playful wonder—seeing trees, smelling fruit, tasting bread, and touching animal fur with new senses.  Let’s take these new child-mind eyes and ears to our children and see and hear and smell and feel them again as if for the first time.  This is presence to the moment, this is happiness.

Namaste, Bruce

One Response to “Let’s Start in Child’s Pose”

  1. Chris Sorgi Says:

    When we can remember to do these things it is truly being centered and one with happiness

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