• Ashley O

Inspired by Play

Any other 80’s babies who grew up in the 90’s, out there?

I know you're out there, like me. So roll back in time to this new classic.

Remember scene in “Friends” where Pheobe and Rachel go for a run in the park and Rachel is reserved in her stride, running with seriousness and stepping towards her goal of looking the part of a runner. Pheobe is running like a kid after an ice cream truck? Hands flailing around and she’s not caring one bit. She’s free and using her whole self for the movement.

Doesn’t that seem like fun? 

What if our yoga, or any movement, can be inspired by play? What if we moved for joy instead of punishment for pizza? What if we got a little less serious about alignment, and stopped trying to look like a social media influencer?

Now, I’m not suggesting we toss our goals, but there is space for satisfied-striving.

Yoga offers us the concept of Santosha - or contentment. I don't think it means perpetually lowering our standards to just tolerate what is. Perhaps, instead simply the mindset of play while moving your whole-self in the direction you want to go can be just as beneficial. It's true. If it isn’t fun or you don’t enjoy you likely won’t stick with it. 

Recovering from perpetual striving can be a process and a practice - but it doesn't have to be boring or hard. So my friends, I’ve decided to shift my adult mindset towards a childlike nature. I remember when I would make up a weekly "dance" just because, or when I played soccer while laughing uncontrollably because I was having fun even when I missed the shot. Now my hands may not be perfectly aligned in every chaturanga and my knees may bend in a forward fold while I shimmy to the song the teacher has on their playlist, but, I will choose to search for joy in it - because that moment will never happen again!

Will the relentless strivers look at me with a weird expression on their face? Maybe. But smiles are contagious, y’all.

So, spread that -ish around!

You never know who might need it, it might even be you.

Move with your whole self, every part of you, and let the play inspire true joy.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

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