Sunday, November 6, 2011

Play! Laughter as Healing!

During a yoga class I was taking recently, my teacher asked us to reflect back on the earliest memories of being a child just spinning around in circles in the yard until falling over in exhaustion and laughter.  She encouraged us to bring that element of playful freedom into our practice that morning.  Yes!  I love this!  And I so enjoyed playing in that freedom during my practice!  However, at the same time I realized my most playful memories are more recent than childhood.  As I kid I was always so shy and hard on myself that I never really let myself let go into that care-free bliss.

So a few days later unseasonably warm weather inspired my 9 yr old daughter and I to spend some time at the park.  We ended up playing on the play structure, in a very open space near the ball fields.  I had a blast hanging upside down on the monkey bars (thanks to my recent love of the aerial arts totally healing my traumatic experience of falling from them as a kid, a subject worthy of a blog of it's own!).

But when she asked me to play Hide & Seek, my initial analytical reaction was to think "oh no, there's really no place to hide around here, and I don't like playing hide and seek, and...".  Immediately the inspiration from yoga flooded back in through my body...YES!  I WILL play hide and seek, because, well why not?!

So we did!  "3, 2, 1...ready or not here I come!!"

The wide open space we were in made "logical" hiding spots limited.  And what I quickly experienced was you don't always need logic...just PLAY! 

On my first turn to hide, I curled in a ball on the grass underneath the picnic blanket we brought.  Surely she won't see me, she'll see it as just a crumple on the ground.  As I waited for the count down my ribs heaved with the laughter I was trying to suppress...which made me laugh even harder at the thought!  Of course she quickly came up behind me and announced she could see my shoes, which just caused an explosion of laughter as she pounced on top of me blanket and all!!

Another time as I "hid" in plain view on top of the play structure in a ball, she walked about two step before being directly in my line of sight.  "WAIT!" I declared, as I placed a pebble on my head.  "I am hiding under a rock and you can't see me!!"  BWWAHHH HA HA!  We roared again and again!!!...

I can't recall the last time I laughed so hard and let go in play so deeply!  And it felt sooooo good!  My connection with my daughter deepened, and I felt so alive and vibrant!  Truly a healing, blissful experience :)

Invite yourself to let go in play, what's stopping you?!