I Need to Teach You Something…Now!

handwrestling, blogging, children at play“I need to teach you something, Madre. Now!”

I notice the twinkle in 5-year-old Neville’s eyes and I figure he’s found a spider, or another grub, and wants to teach me how to hold it without squirming . . . . or screaming.

“After dinner,” I promise my adorable irascible grandson. Eleven of us are seated around my daughter and son-in-law’s deck table, celebrating summer and bbqing and family.lobster, New England, summer supper

Three minutes later: “Madre, please. I want to teach you something.”

“As soon as I help clear the dishes,” I say to hold him off. The other adults around the table shoot me sympathetic glances. Neville is known for his love of Lego lectures, Go Fish card marathons, and arm wrestling matches.

Four minutes later: “Madre! Now!”

lobster, how to hold a lobsterNeville grabs my hand and pulls me into the house, past the kitchen, and on to a darkened hallway. I inhale. Boy things. What’s he going to show me? A new karate kick? A grasshopper stuck in a plastic container? How to hold a lobster?

Instead, the young boy sinks gracefully to the floor in one motion, legs crossed, elbows bent on his knees, thumb and index finger curled in the yogic position of letting go.

“This is called the Lotus,” he whispers with reverence. The twinkle in his eyes has become downright spiritual. “Breathe In. Breathe Out.”

The 5-year-old watches me with one eye open, the other closed in solemn serenity. “Namaste,” he intones.

“Namaste,” I agree. 

namaste, yoga, children's yoga

124 thoughts on “I Need to Teach You Something…Now!

    • What’s fabulous is that Neville’s pre-school teachers start the kids’ day with a down dog and plank and breathing, and end it in the lotus position with namaste. At times when I feel society in general is going backwards, I watch kids like Neville and realize we are moving forward, too! ❤

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    • I didn’t realize this until you mentioned it here, Erik. You’re right, KIDS KNOW STUFF – and he got me away from the hustle and bustle and allowed me to B R E A T H E with him. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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  1. Is this a true story? There are so many picture books on meditation, relaxation, yoga, mindfulness, tai chi etc. for young children. I reviewed three this week and others last year. It is such an important tool that will last a lifetime if children learn at a young age. Great post!

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    • Totally true story, Patricia. I can’t make this stuff up! Who’d a thunk a 5-year-old would go from lobster to lotus in the wink of an eye? But in his preschool class, they begin and end the day with yoga, which is so fantastic. I’m going over to see your review of yoga books. A friend of mine who has a 3-year-old (and she teaches yoga) has just written her own children’s yoga book and is hoping to publish it. I say, the more, the better.

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  2. Pam, I am s touched by your story. Your grandson loves you a lot and shows this in an unexpected way. A special gift which has caught his imagination.
    With a smile like that you would melt anyway. 😊

    miriam

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    • This youngest of grandsons has seen me practice some yoga with his older sibling, so I think he’s decided sharing some yoga with me gives him a special place in my heart. Of course, he’d already stolen my heart, but a little Lotus just seals the deal. ❤

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  3. Oh my goodness how surprising and how adorable. These little ones keep teaching us all the time.
    Pam I have been hoping as the weeks go by you are feeling well. Sending hugs and wishes for your recovery.

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  4. What a sweet soul he is. I think when they say they want to teach you something verses I want to show you something, it’s a good time to tune in. Now who could be teaching him Yoga poses? I’m curious about his name for you. Have a wonderfilled weekend, Pam and thanks for sharing that beautiful little boy smile.

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    • My father’s first name was Neville because his American mother revered the British. My dad fought during WWII and met other Nevilles overseas, but none in the U.S. Our daughter decided to name her youngest son Neville, and how I wish my dad was alive to see another American Neville strutting his stuff. 🙂

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    • Ohhh, I think I am still very teachable, Marian. At least I try to be! And my son-in-law works too many hours during the week, so on the weekend he relaxes by using his creative energies on food grilling/smoking/sautéing/baking/chopping/serving – we all love the benefit.

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  5. Pamela, this post is pure music to my ears. I wish I had done yoga with my little ones ~ it makes so much sense to teach them the skills for staying calm and reducing anxiety when they are really young. Much like learning a language comes easily at a young age. Your grandson sounds prime for a lifetime of inner discovery and curiosity about the world around him.

    Curious as to why he calls you “madre”? Spanish language in the household?

    Namaste indeed!!

    Peta

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    • I was not “into” yoga either when my children were young, but now I’m “enthralled” with the idea of practicing yoga with my young grandkids. Little Neville (and his siblings) call me Madre because my daughter (their mother) lived in Florence, Italy for her junior college year, and from then on, she called me Madre instead of Mom. Her children now think that’s a great name for me. 🙂

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  6. Oh, bless! 🙂 🙂 We don’t have a grandson, as such, but our son has been living with a lovely girl for the past 2 years and she has a 5 year old. He has brought a lot of joy to our lives. We see them infrequently but yesterday was a day of playing dinosaurs in the park, in between bike rides. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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