I’m quite drawn to yoga teachers who “play” with the asana practice—teachers who transcend the boundaries of the yoga mat. Crawling around on all fours, interacting with other students, roaring like a lion, literally—playing.
It stirs something in me—a sense of inhibition that often feels repressed or unaccepted. And the experience actually feels more real. I feel a greater contact with the essence of human nature.
Play knocks down the doors of our self-prescribed code of behavior. It shakes us up and simultaneously opens a window to a different dimension of existence—the dimension of spirit.
We associate childhood with play, and cite children as being more innocent, more “in touch” with spirit, and yet fail to see the correlation between the play of childhood and the quality of spirit we perceive within children. Being playful is a way to participate in the world that is creative, interactive, encourages mistakes, and is only concerned with this moment.
And Yet, As Adults, We Rarely Play
Actually, allow me to rephrase that statement, as adults we always play—we play “make believe”- we’re just not aware we’re playing.
We go about our days pretending to be this or that, “making” each other “believe” we’re content when we’re really not, brave when we’re really afraid, and that we’re very serious and important when actually we yearn for the innocent joy of our childhood—a time in which all we did was play.
Play pokes at us, and our sense of self. It reminds us that we never really leave the playground behind, we just pretend to. In our lives, whether it’s yoga practice, work, or family life—try it.
Take A Playful Approach And See If There’s A Difference
Observe if the anxiety we create around certain situations dissolves when we enter the situation through play rather than serious concern. See if your sense of self expands to incorporate your newfound playfulness and if you can actually respond better to challenges when engaged as a playful participant.
Play on. Player.