I was doing an online yoga class this afternoon with Rachel Scott (Class with Rachel Scott) that had the pose dragonfly in it. Dragonfly is a complex pose that involves arm balancing, twisting and opening the hips pretty wide. It’s not for everyone, we all have different structures and not everyone can get their body to do such a thing! The other thing that you need to do a pose like this is courage and a sense of play. At the end of class Rachel said as much. It got me thinking that sometimes it takes courage to play.
When we move out of childhood we often become more guarded and uncomfortable with ourselves as we feel others are judging our behaviours and we may be seen as geeky or nerdy (or whatever they’re calling it these day!). We don’t feel like we can just goof around and play freely without someone seeing us as uncool. Sometimes the gift of play comes back as we grow older and we realize that we don’t need to please other people or that other people’s opinions of us are irrelevant, but often times it doesn’t. Sometimes it takes many, many years to get to a place where we simply don’t care what others think and there’s a real freedom that comes with that.
At work we often thing we won’t be taken seriously or that we’ll be seen as not working hard enough if we takes breaks to relax. At home we may feel we lose authority with our children if we don’t uphold the image of the parent. Sometimes we don’t think we can be playful when we’re alone. Or we may want to impress someone and think that being playful won’t cut it. I’ve always admired people who could play because I was so shy when I was younger and so uncomfortable in my own skin. After childhood I experienced depression and wasn’t really able to let loose without alcohol for a very long time. It was a couple of years after I quit drinking that I could dance again. But when that came so did some other parts of my personality that had been hidden. Out came the playful me.
Play is an important part of life for adults as well as children. Being able to laugh and have fun in an easy manner helps to reduce stress, blood pressure, stimulates different areas of the brain and is good for building relationships. It’s a good thing to build into your relationships whether they be personal or professional. You do need to have courage though. To let the serious side go for a while, let the walls come down and let the wild side out on occasion. Have the courage to play.
Resource: The Benefits of Play