play; february 21

'A physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective'.

Our intention this past month has been to recall the art of Play and the creative process of enjoyment. We took a dive into allowing movement to come through us, with no idea of where we were heading, no ‘goals’ and little direction.

Rules, regulations, guidelines and dictatorship all inhibit the practice of play.

Is it any wonder people feel their creativity is non-existent? We have so many rules, social guidelines, pre-empted notions of what’s acceptable and to-dos, that we rarely feel able to practice anything just for the pure joy of it.

We are rarely permitted time to dive into any action or activity, just for the play of it.

We’ve forgotten the art of flow; moments where consciousness interweaves with presence so much that we lose track of time.

There’s been a point in all our lives when play was put on pause. Play is deemed necessary for children, but pointless as we grow.

Yet, here is a space for imagination and sensory expansion.

When we let go of how something looks, or should be, when we allow things to come through us, rather than from an external place, magic unfolds.

If you doubt that play is vital to humanity, you only need witness someone doing what they truly love. You’ll notice they become lighter, less afraid of being seen, keen to share and joyful.

In the curiosity of play/flow, it’s like the layers of armour drop and we bear witness to the inner depths.

And the best part? When we’re playful, it’s infectious to those around us, having the potential to make the world around us a lighter, brighter place.

During movement, we leaned into non-conventional ways of finding edges. For us, it’s always been hugely important that Yoga and mindful movement space is not one full of dogma; we try not to teach, we prefer to share or guide. There’s no right or wrong; it’s what feels good to you. And that will shift moment-to-moment.

Play is vital for intentional movement as it means we explore and discover new nuggets of bodily wisdom; new ranges of motion, avoiding any injury through pre-conceived ideas or goals of how a practice should be. More fluid and playful options allow options for us to fall into our own, unique way.

Beyond intentional movement (though all our moments should be moved through with intention 😉) there are many methods to play. You’ll have many to mind, but here are a few added extras;

- Get creative: draw, colour, sketch

- Try something you haven’t done since you were a child; play an instrument, ride a bike, ice skate; there are so many activities we hear people express they ‘used to do’

- Pause and witness; learn from others that inspire you

- Attend dance/language classes or theatre, ballet, any artistic presentation

- Bake, cook, or try other foods

- Get curious about the rules and boundaries that inhibit your creativity & lean into changing them

- Join in with your children/pets’ games: let their imagination and freedom guide you

- Climb trees

- Walk barefoot and wander

- Visit museums, galleries, fairground attractions, the unknown

- Travel; even if just a new town; learn and lose yourself in new surroundings

- Eat without cutlery

- Try new things; always

- Mix up your meals; try having a dinner for breakfast, and a breakfast for dinner

- Do something for your own enjoyment; what does your heart call?

- Move in new ways; choose new routes, go new places

- Be open and willing to find new sources of inspiration and things that light you up

Whatever you do, never lose the art of finding enjoyment and amusement, just for the sake of it. For that is our natural state; to wander the world, being inquisitive and attentive to all that surrounds us, with fresh eyes, so we can learn what inspires and encourages happiness in our heart.