Saturday, May 03, 2008

Firsts and Re-firsts

The baby had his first swim class this morning. He is a Shrimp. Jim and I bounced him in the rather chilly pool at the YMCA and sang the old favorites from Eamonn's swim class: The Wheels on the Bus, the Goodmorning Song, etc etc. He was a good sport, altho he was a bit startled when he got splashed during some unfamiliar raindrop song. His chunky feet and hands were clenched tight, but he seemed to be enjoying himself.

One of the best things about having kids is getting to do everything for the first time, over again. I certainly don't remember my first time in a swimming pool, but I love to swim so it was probably a good experience. Nor do I remember my first bite of apple sauce or crawl across the dewy grass or feeling of sandy toes...but I get to see what it might have been like. Having been through all of this already with the three-year-old, I kind of have a head's up with Alec and can really watch how he responds. Most of the time he is delighted, altho the sand was not a big hit...which I suppose is understandable if you have soft, uncalloused little feet.

So I got thinking about my first yoga class. I still can't remember why I decided to sign up for a class at the University of Pennsylvania, during my first semester of grad school in Art History. This would have been fall, 1989 and yoga was not on my radar screen at all, aside from watching the "Lilias, Yoga and You" show that was on PBS in the 70s a few times. The teacher was Joan White, a long time Iyengar practitioner. I really liked the solemnity and rigor of her teaching; I was also pretty flexible, so a lot of it came easily--at least the asana part. Aside from the Oms at the beginning, there wasn't any chanting or heavy breathing or anything scary for this recent arrival from the Midwest.

I didn't have time--or money--after that first semester, but much of that early session stuck with me, and I incorporated what I could remember into my own practice until I started attending regular classes in Washington DC. I would love to go back to those first days and watch the young me practice and try and figure out what was going on. I just remember everything resonating and being really excited about each meeting. So funny to imagine what I would have thought if you would have told me how much a part of my life this exercise would become...

So pay attention to the new stuff in your life, because you never know where it will lead...(first rinse the sand off, please).

1 comment:

Ann said...

I always love to hear how people started something that eventually was the same something just on a bigger scale...and yes children are a wonderful reminder for how exciting life can be--even the sandy, rough parts!