The Power of Playfulness
Play is important.
This summer in women’s yoga, we got tangled up, twisted, small and large, we chased each other and connected to ourselves, the group and the space around us through fun.
Play is profound.
Play invites an opening, to the moment (it’s hard to contemplate much else when being chased!) and to those we are with.
When playing physical games or exploring simple movement practices (e.g. get as small as you can with your partner with at least one point of body contact), a whole host of magic happens:
*We move from mind and down into body
*We are called to be present: how does the body want to move in this moment? What’s happening in this moment in play?
*We listen: where is my partner, how are they moving? How can we connect physically? And in this tuning in, we connect at a deeper level to ourselves and our partner/group.
*We clarify our boundaries and truth: where do I not want to connect/be touched in this moment? Do I feel safe enough to play this game? What are my needs and how will I voice them now?
*We perhaps expand our comfort zone or move out of familiar patterns of movement or reaction.
Uncomfortable or unfamiliar feelings can arise as this happens (as well as joy, pleasure and many others!).
How is it to observe what arises and still stay curious in the practice being experienced?
Can we honour our truth and voice it too, do we need to end the practice? That in itself is also part of the practice of play.
*We let our inner child express her/him/their self.
*We express aspects of ourselves we may not normally share.
*We open: physically, emotionally, energetically and mentally.
*We laugh (and sometimes cry or release).
*We experience and embody our creativity.
In order for all this to happen we need to feel the space is well-held, that we are safe and supported in the playing space and that we will be heard and our boundaries always respected. Nourishing play leaves us feeling our vitality, connected to our sense of inner aliveness and freedom. The practice of play then, is similar to the connection and flow of love-making, of intimacy with ourselves and all of life.