Yoga is a serious practice, should be practiced seriously but doesn’t have to be practiced with seriousness. Look at the time you spend on the mat as an experiment rather than an activity. One change of perspective is in understanding that you don’t do yoga, you are yoga…and the mat time is time that allows you to observe and investigate who you are, and how you can access that state of yoga, which is already in you…
You know when you watch a kid on a playground, you see how committed they are to whatever it is they are doing: swinging, climbing, building a castle in the sandbox. There is some serious focus there, they are in it completely committed, without being all too serious about it.
Get out of your head so that you can listen clearly and respond appropriately. Play, imagine, have fun and assume nothing at all. Even though you have done a million chaturangas after plank and another million updogs after chaturanga, assume nothing. It’s the surest way to being present, just like a kid is fully present in the now while they play.
Playing is a way to gain perspectives. As you move through your day, try on new ways of moving, breathing, thinking..just like you would try different costumes from a dress up trunk. Be more animated, express more with your hands, be playful with your breath. Try holding it as long as you can, try and breathe as quietly and minimally as you possible can. In conversations, listen deeply to the other person, instead of arguing your own point of view.
And when you are on the mat, let your mind take different shapes, just as your body does. If you think you are tight, be flexible. If you think you are weak, be strong. If you think you are afraid, be courageous. Start by pretending and role play just like a kid does.
How do children play? Wholeheartedly. You hear them laugh their heart out, sometimes cry all the tears in their body. Why not play that way too? Why not feel everything wholeheartedly?
In your yoga practice, avoid thinking…and feel everything. ➖
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