Most of you know that I don’t have children and, chances are, I never will. So, what could I possibly have to say about parenting?
Well, I work with some fine folks who are parents; namely, the Delaneys, the Whites and the Noonans. I see, in so many ways, how they incorporate their yoga practice into raising a family. These kids are being brought up in uniquely supportive, encouraging and loving environments. I see mothers being patient and fathers making a sincere effort to be a true part of their children’s lives. These things are to be commended because I’ve seen many homes in which this is not the case. I, myself, didn’t have a good relationship with my father until about the last 4 years of his life. So, to see these fathers so clearly loving and adoring their children is very heartwarming. To witness mothers encouraging and supporting their children in the growth and evolution towards adulthood is a true joy. I can only speculate how great these kids are going to turn out and all the many ways in which they will enrich the world. Of course, any of the above-mentioned folks will be quick to point out that their children are not without moments of temper-tantrums, uncooperativeness and difficulty. That’s just part of being a kid. However, by and large, these kids seem to possess problem-solving and communication skills that I don’t see in others whose parents yell, ignore and don’t encourage.
I see how these “yogi-parents” incorporate their yoga practice into their parenting skills and it really does seem to make a big difference. Yoga’s ability to calm the mind, bring us into more presence and cultivate more compassion in our Hearts seems to filter into these families and its transforming effects are astounding to me. My guess is that children who are raised in such supportive environments – where parents solve family issues with patience, understanding, and the ability to listen to their children – will find less difficulty in life and will meet with greater success, materially and spiritually. This is because they will be armed with compassion and wisdom; creative, problem-solving skills and the knowledge that yelling, angry fits and ignoring issues doesn’t solve anything. Above all, these kids will know, without a doubt, that they have the support and unwavering love of their parents. With such family-force and life-skills behind them, they will excel and continue this cycle of peace with their own children. This is not only how we raise a child. This is how we raise an entire society.
To all the parent-yogis out there I say “Congratulations and thank you!” You’re helping to create better families and a better society by practicing yoga.