My daughters and I recently attended a family yoga class together. After a little downward dog and cat and cow, we transitioned into tree pose. I shifted my weight onto my right foot, lifted my left foot off the ground and rested it against the inside of my right calf. I was just focusing my gaze when I felt a small hand on my hip.

My 5-year-old was standing next to me. Actually, she was falling over next to me. Over and over again, she reached out to steady herself with my body before dropping her hand and attempting to regain her balance. It never occurred to her that she could just put her foot down and try again.

I was acutely aware of her every movement even as I was trying to stay balanced. And then, it hit me. I suddenly understood for the first time, the connection between yoga and the rest of my life.

This is it, folks. This is parenting. We’re all just trying to stay upright even as our lives are moving forward, sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not quickly enough. When we’re lucky, we move from pose to pose, from moment to moment, smoothly and easily, finding our grounding in places and positions we never thought possible. And sometimes we fall. Meanwhile, our children are reaching out to us for that same stability, stability we may barely have for ourselves.

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