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Are you ready to Play?

Playfulness is how we learn, how we adapt, how we develop our sense of curiosity, confidence and self-worth.

We may notice during a transition of season's, for instance moving from Winter into Spring, that we may have a sense of inertia, reluctance to move forward or even feeling a little stuck. Let's examine the meaning of these words more closely.

Emotion: Energy in Motion.

Echo: Repetition of the smallest of sounds, even the ones that aren't inaudible may be felt as

resonance or subtle pulsation within the body

Stuck: Unable to change or move from a particular place or way of thinking, feeling blocked

So how we move, how we think and how we feel are directly interrelated and interdependent. And when one of these positions changes, it directly and profoundly affects the other two.

When we notice the stress and challenges that arise either through the body, the mind and or our emotions it is time to take stock to listen to the body, notice how our mobility, thoughts and feelings are uncomfortable and finally take a different perspective, a different view or even a different body shape.

Playfulness with Yoga

From a Yoga point of view this can mean re-assessing our yoga practice from a different perspective. For instance, how would it feel to approach class from a sense of fun, playfulness, welcoming everything that comes with us to class, all we carry around in our day to day life. From repetitive thoughts to repetitive movements and from old stories about the past to worrying about the future.

What do we want from a Yoga practice?

Firstly, how do we apply ourself? Whether we overthink what we do, hold unrealistic expectations about change or do we engage with yoga, being clear about our intention as to what it really is we want from a yoga practice? And in fact, are we able to be that honest?

Very often we take our bodies for granted, having unrealistic expectations rather than being willing to adapt and welcome the wisdom that comes from taking the perspective of a beginners mind, as if each time we come to practice we come anew. Are we able to recognise that our body is different and so is the mind or do we push our mind and body to exhaustion thru expectations and fin ourself taking more care of others than we would ever do for ourself. Do we find it easy to take a break from constant bombardment of media? How do we really take care of our needs?

Once we realise that we are the ones in control then it is possible to make informed choices and develop a yoga practice to welcome the joy of beneficial change, not just onto the yoga mat but also, into our daily life.


Pandiculation: to open the body to movement by yawning, stretching and breathing, all the same time

Pandiculation is our innate response to the sensations of lack of movement and to tension building up in our muscles—which often go hand in hand and it sends biofeedback to our nervous system regarding the level of contraction in our muscles, thereby helping to prevent the buildup of chronic muscular tension. This is an extremely important function of the pandicular response. A pandiculation contracts and releases muscles in such a way that the gamma loop, a feedback loop in our nervous system that regulates the level of tension in our muscles, is naturally reset. This resetting reduces muscular tension and restores conscious, voluntary control over our muscles.

Preventing the buildup of tension in our muscles is critical to maintaining healthy posture and movement throughout our lives. 

The foetus has been observed pandiculating in the womb, showing how deeply ingrained the pandicular response is in our nervous system and how fundamental it is to our musculoskeletal functioning.

When a baby comes into the world we see how it wriggles, slowly exploring movement until it eventual finds its centre, the spine, when it is ready to stand and eventually walk. But in order to stand babies go through phases of development such as animating their arms, legs, fingers and toes, rolling, crawling and eventually pulling the body up and eventually walking. The also animate their mouth, jaw and begin to make noises. All these and more are vital to development and they are recorded as being natural stages in the development of mobilisation of the child..

Unfortunately, as we age and develop habitual ways of standing and moving, our natural pandicular response typically can’t counteract all the learning that occurs in our nervous system. Our repetitive, sedentary lifestyles are quite different than the active lifestyles of our ancestors. We tend to build up muscle tension at a much faster rate than they did because we move less and tend to have less variety in our movements. As we gradually build up muscle tension and lose awareness and control of our muscles, our pandicular response often becomes inhibited.

Somatic Movement

The word Somatics, coined by Thomas Hanna Phd, as it relates to re-awakening the mind's control of movement by activating the muscular skeletal system via the central nervous system.

Because somatic movement is initiated through the nervous system it gives access to the muscles and the necessary sensory information to bring a different kind of intelligence to moving muscles in order to release tension. More about Somatic Movement

Go deeper. Try an Immersive, a three hour class July 27, Oct 12, Dec 7

Workshop: June 18th Friends Meeting House 1100-1230

Photo: Leo Rivas Unsplash

Resources: Sarah Warren Somatic Educator, The Pain Relief Secret


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