Pose of the week: Dancer's Pose (Nataranjasana) as displayed here by my lovely friend, Meghan. She so beautifully extends herself with grace into finding joy in the middle of winter. I encourage you all to try this pose when feeling blah, and see how fun it is!
A major player in the joy and growth that occurred on my recent trip to Dominica was the various interactions with young kids that I met there. I've felt like a kid at heart and I think that attitude helps me to connect to most kids easily. I'll start with how dancer's pose became the "pose of the week."
One afternoon, Nazarene and I took an adventure to the capital city of Roseau. After walking the botanical garden grounds, we ventured into the town for lunch where we then managed to devour a huge avocado. So then walking about to find interesting shops to pop into out of the heat, we ran into a small group of young schoolgirls in uniforms. They stopped in front of the store we were in front of...sad to see it was closed. So I started talking to them. After some words, they asked if we were on a cruise ship. To their surprise, no we were not. We were on a yoga retreat! It was then that one of the girls kicked her leg back and extended her opposite arm in what she didn't realize was called "dancer's pose" as she exclaimed, "Yoga!" It was so much fun. A few minutes later, 2 other school girls who were slightly older, went out of their way on their lunch break to take us to the ice cream shop when we asked where one was located. The 4 of us ordered the most refreshing soursoup, papaya ice creams that hit the spot! And the few moments with all of those girls instantly made life fresh.
On another afternoon, we chased the sun to a beach town to chill in the sand, drink from coconuts, and play before afternoon yoga. It was there that 2 young boys became curious about us. As the gals went off to find coconuts, I was drying off from the sea and Joelle came over to chat. We ended up praying in the sand together...for more sunshine. To me, it was more than praying for sunshine on that rainy day. I saw an innocence in his closed eyes and rambunctious spirit that I hoped would not leave him too soon. So it was then we started talking about yoga. And his friend came over to play too. Downward dogs (as seen in the picture), warriors, tree pose, and handstands ensued. We then ventured off into cartwheels and round-offs and then raced each other to a palm tree and back. I felt 9 years old again and it was the most fun I'd had on the beach in a long time. And when we had to leave and Joelle asked us if we'd be back tomorrow, my heart sank but I hoped we'd both remember the fun and energy from the afternoon for a long time to follow.
So I guess it's just about all of us remembering our inner child as much as we can. Learning from children all over the world, that there's always something to keep striving for. Even if it's just with them in mind. If we take on a better balance of child-like innocence mixed with our adult responsibilities, then maybe we'd all make better choices for our futures AND theirs.
The song that became our week-long yoga in da rainforest theme:
"Striving" by Anthony B