Kids can be our best teachers. We should remember to be more like them. They haven't developed bad habits, defenses, and fears that we build up our whole lives. Yoga can help us get back to that child-like state, but as conscious adults.
Why are we so serious? You may be thinking that acting like a child is for irresponsible burnouts that live with their parents. We have responsibilities, jobs, lives, and families to take care of. If we let ourselves loose the house might crumble under us! This is where the yoga comes in. That whole duality and balance thing comes in handy for not turning into serious robot people who live, breed, pay our taxes and die. We can keep our responsibilities, drop the worries, and have fun too.
We all know adults with successful careers who are very stiff in their bodies and minds. They hold on so tight physically, mentally, and psychologically to their stuff that there is no room to enjoy life. Day to day existence becomes about worrying that all their stuff will go away. The first step for us is bringing awareness to our tendencies. If you are someone who worries, you have to bring awareness to that. You have to sit with yourself and deal with that. From there you'll be able to start losing the worries and enjoying life a little more.
On the other end of the spectrum, we probably also know some adults who live like children, afraid of responsibilities, career and family. These people are too open, too flexible and have problems holding onto money, building a career or a family. They have a lot of entertainment in their lives, but are lacking something fundamental and can feel it. When you are too open and flexible, self-worth starts to dwindle. You may act and feel occasionally like you're having the time of your life, but ultimately there is something missing. There are good things about growing an adult life! From that realization you can see the need to build strength and boundaries. Building strength in your body and life takes time but from the moment of awareness it can start.
We probably all have one or the other of these types in us to some degree. Maybe we even flip flop back and forth during different stages of our lives. We have to remember to have compassion with ourselves, just as we do with children, to deal with our struggles in finding balance. Balance is never a final point. There is always adjustment and refreshment that takes constant attention over your whole life. So we might as well start now.
10 Ways to Be a Kid Again
1. Make a silly face at a stranger. Everyone likes a silly face. I bet you'll crack someone up.
2. Eat ice cream for dinner. The fun part about being an adult is you can do what you want when you want. We are already aware of our immense responsibilities so for one night let it go.
3. Go to bed early. Some kids hate bedtime, but once they're down they sleep like rocks. Give yourself a ridiculously early bedtime one night this week. You can TiVo your shows and watch them another day.
4. Hang out with your friends. Kids have play dates. We stay in touch on Facebook. Call a pal and actually get together and do something fun like go to the park and play Frisbee.
5. Color or draw something. Coloring brings back memories for most of us. Dig up some of your old coloring books if you can. They're better than the new ones, although the Care Bears are back!
6. Try to say the alphabet backwards. Kids are great at crazy tasks. They try with all their might. I learned to say the alphabet backwards fast as a kid. It was my favorite party trick. See how fast you can say it.
7. Have a race. The next time you are walking with a friend race them to the corner. It's fun to see other adults reacting to spontaneous racing.
8. Skip down the hallways at work. Mid-day sluggish getting to you? Skip to your meeting and you'll probably brighten up the whole office.
9. Wear what you want. Kids come up with interesting outfits when they're allowed by their parents to dress themselves. Come up with your own interesting outfit one day this week.
10. Try a handstand. Kids do yoga poses naturally, just for fun. Try a handstand and don't worry about falling over. See video below for my childish handstand experiment inspired by my pal Verena Von Pfetten.