You may have noticed that my old blog post asks, “Have you ever had someone pee on your yoga mat?”
Well, you guessed it – that question comes from personal experience. It happened with a group of toddlers I teach in a Montessori School.
For half an hour each week we have our yoga sessions which includes all the aspects of yoga including asana, deep breathing, meditation, and relaxation. Of course all of it is kids-style yoga.
If you’ve done yoga with kids between two and five, you probably know that once they’re familiar with you and the class, they like to do everything wholeheartedly.
In this class, one of the little girls (who was just out of diapers), was participating in the class and really getting into it. She became animals, and sang the songs with abandon. Then when it came time for the relaxation, she went straight to my mat, laid down and closed her eyes immediately.
Resting Like a Peaceful Little Angel
Now, usually I don’t let the kids sit on my mat, mostly because if I let one kid sit there, they all try to crowd onto it.
However, on this day I allowed it. All of the other kids were already quietly relaxing on the carpet, and she was the only one there – looking like a little angel, curled up, eyes closed, all quiet and peaceful.
I admired her from my place by the CD player, while the soft music played and the moment of stillness and contentment lingered in the air. I made the decision to let everything be as it was.
Then I noticed a dark circle forming on the mat by her little cherub bottom. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening. Then she slowly sat up in the center of that dark circle and looked up at me with big, knowing eyes and said the two simple words so common and profound to a toddler:
Yes, she pee alright. There was no question about it, no shame, and no victory. It was a simple statement of “what is”, a perfect moment of knowing and being. A profoundly real example of living without judgement or expectation.
What More Could a Yoga Teacher Desire?
It was all these things and more! The world responded quickly to her needs. The Montessori teacher jumped into action and carried her at arms length to the bathroom. Another teacher armed herself with a diluted bleach spray bottle and paper towels and wiped up the mess. Within a short minute, we had moved on.
This little incident was a beautiful example of yoga, union, and the fun of teaching children. I think everything I have learned helped me enjoy that moment rather than getting upset or angry.
As it says in one of my favorite books,
“Being concerned about results and being anxious about the outcome and worrying about the future is interfering with the work of your consciousness. It is your mind’s desire to fail. Knowing that whatever you intend will be done is the secret of success.”
My intention for teaching children’s yoga is to assist children in developing tools to enjoy life, with all the feelings that come with it, and learn the secrets of true success. I also want to be a model of what I teach. I don’t want to be concerned about the bumps on the way, like a little pee on my yoga mat! Enjoying the fun of that experience was a great success for me.
And by the way, in case you’re wondering, I never did use that yoga mat again. Although my mat was sprayed with bleach and cleaned very well, I just had to throw it out. I couldn’t look at it anymore without thinking of pee!
Yours in yoga,
Aruna Kathy Humphrys