As parents we always worry about how are kids are behaving when they're with other people. I was worried last night when I left my son at the mother's house to spend the night. Sensing my mother's hesitation I tell my son that he can't spend the night but grandmoms are suckers for tears so she reluctantly agrees. She makes Jake promise not to be bad. "No fighting" she says (my nephew lives with my mother and Jake and Michael fight like brothers). Jake promises to be good. I leave praying to God that he behaves.
This morning I call my mother to see how the night went. She tells me that when she woke up she found Jake sitting cross legged with his eyes closed. She asked him what he was doing. "Actually grandmom, I'm meditating" he replied. Do I even need to tell you how proud of my boy I was to hear that? As it turns out, he was very good. My mother told him that she likes it when he meditates and he should do it whenever he gets mad. "Instead of getting mad just go in your room and meditate" grandmom told him. LOL! huh.... I wonder where I heard that before???
It just goes to show that our children learn what they live. They are little sponges soaking everything in. The moral of the story? Live your life the way you want your children to live. Don't preach to them but show them. Lead by your example. Even if you think they aren't listening or paying attention.
This same advise holds true for us as yoga teachers. If you're going to teach, you must live what you teach.
For example, you can't talk about ahima (non-harming) during class and then when you leave the class you talk badly about someone. Once again, lead by your example. I admire my teachers and strive to be like them not because they teach yoga but because they LIVE yoga.
Once while cleaning up after an event at the studio I heard someone saying something to my teacher and I got angry at what the man was saying. I wondered why my teacher didn't smack that guy. I noticed that my teacher was very kind and loving towards the man. I was fascinated. Maybe him was smacking him mentally but the example he presented was that of compassion and loving kindness towards everyone. I was so impressed. By the way, I later asked my teacher how he kept his composure and he jokingly said "that guy was bigger than me." What I saw and continue to see in my teachers are spiritual seekers doing their best to live yoga. I learn the most from their example.
As for my Jake, I have no doubts that one day he's going to be a great yogi. After all he's been chanting
Om Namah Shiva since he was 4. Don't tell my girls but I'm still holding out hope that they too will join me on this yoga journey. Until then I'll continue to try to teach them by my example. Om Namah Shiva!!