Cultivating the Child in Me

Some of my favourite yoga teachers start class with a common theme: Breathe like you are a child again, belly out at inhalation, belly in at exhalation, the kind of breath you had when you were two. They tell us to practice every pose like you’re still a kid – the time when you were fearless, didn’t think twice before trying something new, fell over, brushed yourself off and tried it again.

But where is the child in me?

We are always told to grow up and not be immature but in the process we sometimes lose our qualities. We let society kick in and tell us how to behave. We are no longer fearless, we become afraid to take on challenges, and stick to our comfort zones. We lose our imagination because there is very little place in the grown-up world for creative thinking. We become over-analytical and hence never reach our full potential.

How do I become a child again?

It’s not easy, you will have to step out of the box and start thinking like one. Here are some easy ways:

– Ask questions, as many as you can – be eager about the things in life

– Be imaginative and do not let your creativity disappear – working  on this at home is a good start

– Take on a challenge, try something new – the top achievers in the world are those who aren’t afraid to take a risk

– Realize your dreams – if you want to get somewhere in life, then don’t let anyone stop you

– Ask yourself what you miss most about being a child – now bring those things back

What about my responsibilities?

I remember when I was a child life was simple. I laughed a lot, I had several hobbies, and I wasn’t afraid to try a cartwheel even if I knew I was going to hit my head. Those against this idea will say that we have too many burdens to live like a child now, but I ask them to still give it a try. Our responsibilities should not prevent us from being excited about life, or from trying something new. We feel that every action we take will get judged, but why does it matter what someone else thinks of you if they don’t even know you?

If all these still seem to be difficult steps towards positive living, then just try the first thing my yoga teachers say – breathe like a child. Let your belly pop out dramatically at inhalation and then back in at exhalation. Laugh at yourself if you think it’s silly.

Go ahead, no one’s watching.

7 thoughts on “Cultivating the Child in Me

  1. Its funny, because I always thought living in fear had to be some big, monumental weight, where you’d be too paralyzed to do anything. I think I see it as living in constant worry, even if you aren’t completely overwhelmed. Just that sick voice that never lets you enjoy anything or give yourself a break. Kids don’t feel guilty for their joy. They completely embrace the moment. Great article!

  2. As we grow older, there’s a stigma against making mistakes, this inhibits our fearlessness, and ultimately comprises our creativity in the process (Check out a famous ted talk you might have seen called ‘Why public education kill creativity”). I have yet to learn how to rollerblade, I never learned when I was a kid. I’m more reluctant now because I don’t want to fall, which is something you’re not afraid to do as a kid.

  3. I feel like I can really relate to this article, because it is so well written… 😉 jk

    Nice concise manner of writing about an aloof concept such as ‘benifits of living like a child’.

    If the two of us were to show down on this concept, I would just show up with some dirty, wet, crumpled up peices of paper with washed out ink on ’em. Because, I truely embrace the childness of life.

    Your way is much better…

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