by Jennifer Wende
Have you ever watched how a child moves around? As a mom of a two-year-old, I am constantly doing this, and I find it fascinating for a number of reasons:
- A child doesn’t have as many deep-set patterns ingrained in their movement, so they are always exploring moving around a room and interacting in different ways.
- When they move, they use their whole body.
- They are just so cute to watch!
Taking these observations on how a child moves isn’t just a motherly pastime, but a key ingredient to understanding your own body. Let’s apply this information to help with fundamental physical exploration on your mat and find your inner child.
If there’s something my training with Yoga Tune Up has taught me, it’s to look outside of the “box-asana.” Kids come at problems from different angles. I’ve seen my daughter try to pick something up off the floor in so many ways I’ve been flabbergasted. How can you flip a pose on its head or move into a position starting with a different body part? This not only gets your mind moving, it can start to challenge the physical patterns your body has been doing the same way for years.
Kids have got a tubular (braced) core! Not only does it look tubular, but it is strong! They truly use their center for the base of all movement. As adults we tend to forget about whole body integration, connecting to our center and try to use our shoulder, foot, or some other part of our body to initiate movement. To find our inner child we need to connect to our core. There is no better way to do that then by exploring and experiencing tubular core for yourself. Try it out with this video.
Happy baby, butterfly, frog pose, etc. are just stunning when you see a child do it. They are the definition of flexible. We can spend hours trying to hold ourselves into these poses (which I do not recommend doing, by the way). As an adult, our hips need “opening” because of our excessive sedentary lifestyles, plus the limitations furniture and clothing puts on our bodies. A playful twist on a classic pose, however, is a really fun way to find your inner child, warm up and explore your hip mobility. Try it out through a half happy baby mini-vini.
My daughter has been doing down dog for as long as she has had the strength. She loves looking at the world upside down. Although this position is a staple in yoga classes around the globe, the shoulder flexion needed for this pose is lacking in most adults. I love using the playful Pranic Bath movement to nurture mobility in the shoulders and release tension in the wrists and forearms as well. As another dynamic movement, it really brings in the playful side of yoga and encompasses ways to explore that I don’t do on a regular basis.
So there you have it, a deeper understanding of why you want to find your inner child movement, and four ways to start right now. Happy playing!
Jennifer Wende is passionate about exploration. She loves to use her discoveries to help transform and grow; creating her own extraordinary life and sharing her values to help others empower and nourish lives that are limitless. She is known for her versatility and gentle playful nature, which encourages the beauty of her work to blossom. To Jen, the most important part of thriving in life, is how to apply knowledge gained beyond the ‘classroom’ and into daily life.
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