An osteopath friend told me a few months ago that my daughter tends to hinge at her hips and neck when she moves rather than moving her spine.  This comes as not surprise given that I have a rigid spine compared to the hyper mobile joints at my hips and shoulders.  Wanting to create balance in her body, I’ve been campaigning somewhat to get her to move from her spine more – “Look Rowan!  Can you roll like a ball?  Can you wiggle side to side like mama?”  I’ve seen some change in her ability to round her back more fully into flexion, but generally it’s not been significant.

As I was chasing her around the basement the other day, watching her half nudey body scamper in front me I suddently got a flash of the numerous influences that coalesce to create her.  She is a magnificent work of art born of forces that act on her in innumerable ways.  The rigidity of her spine is influenced by the force of genetics, habit, emotional countenance, birth conditions, her imitation of me, our daily activities (which are influenced by innumerable forces in themselves).  It gave me great satisfaction to know that my efforts to raise her in the best way I know how is only one force of many that create her complexity.  I can influence the course of her journey significantly, but I am not in control (much to my ego’s chagrin).  So I add the force of my  love and care to the vast pool of influences and watch as they swirl her destiney into manifestation.I will never forget the impact of this insight.  It reminds me of the bigger picture of my life and the ways that I think that my idea of how things should be is only one force amongst a vast number trying to exert themselves on the vessel that I call “me”.   History, ancestry, hormones, the unconscious, the weather, my hydration levels, social connection, thoughts, emotions and instincts are but a few of the significant influences that affect me on all layers of my being.  Can I be present to these layers?  Can I know the impact of the forces that dance my being into existence?  Yoga can help to tune in our awareness of these inummerable forces and with our intense attention start to see them more clearly.  This insight can inform our choices to become increasingly intelligent.  We can begin to see where the force of our own will belongs, not as master, but as a collaborator with the vibrations of a larger reality.