As I drove to my AM yoga class I saw teens waiting for the bus dressed up in their back-to-school bests. The freedom, fun, adventure, and exploration of summer is over and the trapper keepers (do those still exist?) and organizers are back!
When the business, competition, and worry begin to overwhelm you- STOP! Become the child and do as your mother suggested, “Slow down… take a deep breath!” This trick instantly gets you out of your head and into your body. It brings you into the NOW. It’s the secret ingredient that creates that easy-going, light, connected, post-yoga feeling. It is the gateway back to your inner-child.
As we grow up we shift from carefree, in the moment, playful, reliant children, to becoming careful, responsible, independent adults. Adults often consider the past in decision making while worrying about the future. In comes stress, out goes the present moment. Those child-like urges remain in us and continue to affect us even as we turn our cheek to them. The inner-child still wants to play, acts in the NOW, and needs to be acknowledged, loved, and supported (sound familiar?). Think of a time when you played the role of the adult trying to create stability, security, and tried to be
everything for everyone (maybe every day? ha). How do you feel when no one stops to notice (unappreciated, unsatisfied, tired, overwhelmed, unmotivated)? Do you complain or throw pity parties? Do little words from beloved ones ever send you into a temper tantrum (like the ones your 2 year old has)? This is your inner-child saying, “Look at me! Look at all I’ve done! Listen!! Let’s play!” So look, listen, and then act! EVERY DAY take time to appreciate your inner-child’s actions and needs. It’s so powerful! Just 5 minutes if that’s all you have or if you can create more time, do it… you won’t be sorry!
The adult and child are meant to weave together in each of us- to create a whole person (healthy comes from the word whole). Every asana and breath gives us an opportunity to experience this union.
Here are a few simple steps for integrating your inner-child:
- Conscious Breathing: Pay attention to your breath. It is the simplest way to drop into the NOW, (the child’s time) and notice how you feel (instead of what you think).
- Reflective Feeling: When you have a temper tantrum, witness yourself: How do you feel (pissed off, hurt, sad, mad)? How old do you feel (2,3,7)? Is there a part of you that needs to be heard, loved, expressed, or wants time to play?
- Unstructured Play: Turn up the music up for 5 minutes and dance like a fool, sing in the car, doodle with crayons, play with your pets, play with your kids, do a cartwheel, go outside and simply wander around.
“Play is the highest form of research.”-Albert Einstein (In case your adult needs rational for playing!)
- Exploration: Learn something new! Take a class. Learn to dance, cook, do yoga (plug), take photography, or learn another language.