One way I love to connect to my inner child is on the yoga mat. It is precisely this reason that I love to practice and teach arm balances. When you first get an arm balance, there is a rush of that familiar, perhaps long since dormant energy of — Look at me! Look at me! Look at what I can do! It is the energy of a child. It is packed with frivolity and joy and pride, yes, pride!
We are taught at an early age, especially those of us living in The Bible Belt, that pride is a bad thing. That we are not deserving of pride.
I am here to say — Bah!
Yes, you are.
The mere fact that you are celebrating your mobility, not taking it for granted but rather indulging in it, savoring it, playing with your edges and boundaries, thereby increasing your strength and your flexibility, is something to be proud of! You are not a couch potato! This is a big deal. Yea you!
Not to mention, entering a yoga studio for the first time can be intimidating, to say the very least. Many studios morph into clubs and cliques. It takes courage to walk in the doors and let yourself be seen trying something new. Often times we go our entire lives never trying something new for fear of looking silly. This is not your inner child. This is your institutionalized child who is worried about how they look more so than how they feel. Your inner child knows not of caring about appearance. Your deepest inner child craves wanton abandon and fearless living. Getting your butt on the mat, trying something new, sweating and making new friends is exactly what your inner child is craving. Add in an arm balance or the building blocks thereof and your inner child is in heaven.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve introduced to arm balances. It’s a large number. Subsequently, I can’t begin to estimate how many eyes I’ve seen light up and fist pumps I’ve seen in the air.
It’s good stuff.
And I myself enjoy it too. When I accomplish something new on the mat, it is exhilarating and I enjoy the endorphin high for days. I invite you to give it a go. Let your inner child free in a yoga studio. Listen to your instructor. Flirt with your edge. Be playful and mindful and see what happens. You just might end up sublimely happy. And you’re worth that, aren’t you?