This is a big summer for my boy. Summer of 2012 will go down as the one he learned to ride his bike without training wheels and also swim. These two major rites of passage are happening at the same time!
My six year old is not especially athletic or coordinated and his analytical and stubborn demeanor makes him a challenging student. As I remember in my mind, but parents story isn't the same, I taught myself how to ride on my sister's bike. My first born needs much more instruction.
These past weeks as we practiced finding balance up and down our block, I thought a lot about the similarities to my yoga practice.
Fundamentally balance is critical to riding a bike. As my boy wobbled from side to side trying to feel centered, I envisioned myself in tree pose and explained to him howI need to use my core to find that sweet spot between falling from one side or the other.
When he wanted to be done and go inside to the air conditioning, I didn't blame him as I understand how frustrating it can be to try week after week to get up in handstand. Again I described how even though I have not gotten to the full pose, every time I try my legs get a little higher and I see progress.
It was fascinating to watch his progress. Monday he could ride while he was held on to, Tuesday I could let go for a few seconds before he fell and by Wednesday once he got started he could go to the end of the block. Thursday he could start by himself and ride to the end of the block. Friday he didn't need my help anymore.
His perseverance and determination inspires me. This did not come naturally to him. He worked, he sweat, he fell, but he did it.
I can't wait to get on my mat tomorrow and practice those handstands again.