I looked over at Grace in child’s pose on the yoga mat next to me, noticing her closed eyes, her long eyelashes, the peace on her face. My child, in child’s pose isn’t a child anymore. A couple of weeks ago I took Grace to her first yoga class. It felt like a big moment, introducing her to a practice that’s been an important part of my life for almost 20 years now.
I had to check my math. I went to a couple of yoga classes in college, but began practicing regularly in 1998. Which was 18 years ago. It was surreal to be in a yoga class with my teenage daughter next to me. I thought of my mid-20s self, when I was just learning the poses that are so familiar to me now. I thought of the time that she announced herself to me in shavasana when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I thought of my first yoga class after delivering Grace, when I burst into tears with relief at being back on my mat. I thought of the hundreds and thousands of times that I’ve flowed through vinyasa in my life.
All through class I kept looking over at Grace. She could sense my gaze, I think, and each time she’d look over, and glance at me with a grin. I could feel, somehow, the awkwardness of trying to twist my body into the poses for the first time (I thought, suddenly, of kything, the wordless communication that occurs in A Wrinkle in Time and where you can feel what another person feels) as I watched her watching me and the teacher, piking up into downward dog, wrapping her arms in eagle, bending forward to wrap her fingers under her toes in padahastasana.
Mostly, I found myself stunned by being here already. I know, I know, this is a drum I beat ceaselessly. But time’s whipping by so quickly my head is spinning. The baby who turned over in my belly in a prenatal yoga class now stretched next to me on a mat, her limbs nearly as long as mine. In shavasana (the word ease in my mind) I turned my head and saw Grace’s face, eyes closed, at peace, her arms at rest on the mat, her fingers curled slightly upward. She was – she is – welcoming what is to come.
May I keep learning to do the same.
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