Of backbends and children 

There’s something very exhilarating about backbends, like a bird spreading its wings to fly. I feel it for a pause before I start a run too. A sense of gathering myself from inside and spreading my wings to take off. Imagination plays a funny role, both in asana practice as well as running. I have this image of a graceful running stride or an aligned urdhva dhanurasana but reality is a different picture. 😊 It makes me smile at the huge disconnect between my perception and reality. Just a small instance of how our outsides reflect our insides. It’s the same with our usual mental and emotional posturing. Case in point, children. 

As a parent, I mean well and have the best interests of my kids. However, it is easy to get caught in the, “Mother knows best” syndrome. Do I really know best? Are my actions and words really from a detached perspective and not a reaction to everyday frustrations? Truthfully, not always. It is a different world now from the one I knew as a child. The paradigms that defined an older period no longer exist and the conflict is beacuse of the eternal loss in translation between an older generation and the current one. 

Two children, as different as chalk and cheese. One, a meticulous, highly organised and driven child and the other a free spirited artist. One who learns well with a structured format and the other who teaches herself what she wants to learn. One who doubts and the other who doesn’t. How did they end up choosing me? Perhaps it is as Khalil Gibran says in The Prophet.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. 

They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. 

You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. 

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. 

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. 

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. 

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. 

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

It is a great privilege to be a parent but how often do I see it as such. I just get caught up in the current of the day and getting them to do their stuff. Sometimes I would look at a tiny K and wonder aloud, “Where did you come from?” She’d have an impish smile and say from the sky. Actually, it’s not too far from the truth. After all, didn’t Yashoda see the entire universe in little Krishna?
Hari Om

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