Somehow, Nora and I have fallen into the awfully good habit of doing a bit of yoga before bed. It may have started as a stalling tactic on her part, but it’s backfiring on her, because she’s been falling asleep much faster lately.
Lest you imagine the two of us locked in a synchronous Vinyasa flow, let me give you a glimpse of what our practice actually looks like.
“Mommy, we need to do our yoga.”
“Well, we’re running out of time, do you want to do yoga and skip story time?”
She nods vigorously. We head to the living room and I light a candle and place it in the middle of the room then switch off the lamp. I try to get her started with some breathing exercises and she cuts me off.
“Mommy, you showed me a lot of poses, so now I’m going to show you some, alright?”
She is seated cross legged and she places her hands on her ankles with her elbows pointing out and grimaces. Like a yogic body builder showing off her biceps.
“This is called ‘muscle pose.'”
Now she lets herself fall on her side and places an arm under her head and the other hand is curled on the floor in front of her. I follow along.
“Mommy, see how your hand is flat? You need to curl your fingers so your bones strengthen. If you don’t curl your fingers your bones won’t strengthen.”
Still on her side, she stretches her arms and legs out at a 90-degree angle from her body.
“This is called ‘crinkled dog’ pose,” she calmly explains. “And you know what else doggies do? When they wake up, they do this –” she smacks her lips repeatedly, “–they do that because they’re trying to clean their lips. They got dirty from the carpet.”
I nod as I smack my lips, thinking that an imperfect yoga practice is the most beautiful thing that’s happened to me today.