Dads Do Yoga Too!

Peter Bertero
Dads Do Yoga Too!
For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to find a way to make each day count, to live each day as if it were my last. This has emerged as the central theme in my spiritual practice and rituals (meditation/yoga/chanting/etc.), which basically are all about being free from the runway freight train in my mind and using the senses for spiritual growth.

The Wild Years

As a teenager, I really wanted to learn the art and science of simply being alive, of experiencing the world in and around me with integrity, insight and peace. As a young adult, I turned to nature as the teacher, moved to the Rockies, and led an outdoor life. In those years when I was out in the mountains or desert hiking, climbing or skiing, I felt such a high from being in my body and in the wilderness. I remember lying in my sleeping bag at night thinking to myself  'if today was my last day, it was as good as it gets.

The Yoga Years

After many miles and years of questing and adventuring, I settled into the yoga lifestyle. Yoga and meditation have taught me to refine the process of tuning in, to still me mind and control my senses. Practice has given me more steadiness in my mind as well as in my heart.
Yoga has been a bit like taking the wilderness experience inside my own the skin. Yoga offers me access to the infinite, connection with my true nature which is also part of the universal spirit.At its best, yoga gives one knowledge (jnana) to put into enlightened interaction with others (karma) and virtuous engagement in the world.  Knowledge and action are the double-edge sword of yoga. Sharpening the karma side of it, putting knowledge to work, has been the most difficult for me.

The Daddy Years...And Yoga

Now I have an ideal opportunity to do just this. Since becoming a father earlier this year, I have become infinitely more grateful to have yoga in my life. Yoga helps me to present and absorb the breathtakingly quick process of growth in my son's first year of life. As it turns out, we are growing together. The highs of the wild places still inspire me. The silence, stillness and delight of early mornings, longs retreats, and chanting immersion may always call me toward solitude. At the moment, however, just being able to observe and participate in the day-to-day blooming of this little 'bud' of a guy makes every day extra special. The practice of yoga in the role of father is enough to overcome distraction and confusion and take me into the moment. Daily life is now an ongoing opportunity to put into action the knowledge of my own practice and experience. Being a father is reason to appreciate everything that got me to this moment, to make the most of today, and to give my son my very best. Before long, he'll be up and off on his own quests and adventures.