SACRED SPONTANEOUS FUN!
JANUARY 22, 2011: I was hanging out today before I taught class at a cool coffee shop called Twirl Cafe in my neighborhood (http://www.twirlcafe.com/Welcome.html). I was there with my favorite 2 year old Willem and my friend Anne. The neat thing about this cafe is that it is child friendly with organized play areas, kids classes and great latte's. As I watched the kids play you can see the purest form of imagination at work, total flow yoga. One moment of play leading spontaneously into the next moment followed by another. Children innately understand that the only time we can be really happy is NOW. Like is written in the Alchemist, “Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If I can concentrate always on the present, I'll be happy!” Kids love to be in the flow!
As adults, Yoga helps us to reconnect to the spontaneous FUN available in life! We’re moving and breathing and trying our best to put ourselves in funny looking shapes without being self-conscious. It reminds us what it was like to be a kid and if you think about it, we really are all just kids in grown up bodies.
Yoga is an adventure whereby we engage in SACRED FUN. Remembering it is not how or when we accomplish something it is that sense of enthusiasm during the process in just trying. This speaks directly to a favorite quote from the Alchemist, “There was a language in the world that everyone understood. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love. We are riding the wave when what we think and what we do are done from love with great enthusiasm and vigor. This happens when we are living in “the present.” And you have to be present and easeful to tap into the joy of spontaneous, sacred fun. In yogic teachings you can think of this as Lila Tandava, “The Playful Dance of Life.”
So if today you walk into class and don’t feel very playful the yoga is still going to work to help you soften your edges and be a little less serious. Make no mistake, Yoga has serious benefits but we don’t have to practice in a way that is overly hard or serious. I wish for all of us that the yoga we do makes us feel lighter and more spontaneous. And that when we leave class we spread sacred fun into the whole of the world. And quite frankly, the world could use a lot more Sacred Fun, now more than ever.
Today thank yourself for practicing yoga and connecting to Lila Tandava as you danced with your breath, choosing not to be a spectator of life but as the Adventure Seeker yourself! As Willfred Peterson in the Art of Living puts it,“A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life; When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences. When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies (new poses or sun salutations). When he has the curiosity to experiment. When he breaks the chain of routine. When he has the nerve to move out of life's shallows and venture forth into the deep. When he keeps his heart young, his expectations high and never allows his dreams to die...staying vitally alive every day of his life.”
Take action get on the mat for the most Sacred Fun you can possibly imagine! Don’t wait. Do it now. Life is too short not to celebrate it full on everyday! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS - Thank you Yogi Students for trying out a new sun salutation which I've included below. Keep it playful!
Mandala Namaskar I (From Shiva Rea)
INHALE -- Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (1 Leg Downward Dog)
EXHALE – Anjaneyasana (Lunge)
INHALE – Parsva Anjaneyasana (Side Lunge)
EXHALE – Skandasana (Transverse Lunge)
INHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
EXHALE – hands down
INHALE – Ardha Plank (1 legged Plank)
EXHALE -- Chaturanga Dandasana
INHALE -- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
EXHALE -- Chaturanga Dandasana
INHALE -- Plank
EXHALE -- Adho Mukha Svanasana
(To create circular pattern, Mandala, go through series right foot, right foot, left, left)
FUN YOGA IS SACRED FUN IS LILA TANDAVA
OCTOBER 2ND, 2009: Yoga helps us to reconnect to the blatant FUN available in life! We’re moving and breathing and trying our best to put ourselves in funny looking shapes without any competition….when did we last do this? Oh yeah, as kids we did it all the time.
Each class can be a grand adventure! Willfred Peterson in the Art of Living says, “A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life; When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences and to step boldly forth to explore strange horizons. When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies. When he has the curiosity to experiment--to test and try new ways of living and thinking. When he has the flexibility to adjust and adapt himself to the changing patterns of life. When he refuses to seek safe places and easy tasks. When he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints. When he has the nerve to move out of life's shallows and venture forth into the deep. When he keeps his heart young, his expectations high and never allows his dreams to die. When he concludes that a rut is only another name for the grave and that the only way to stay out of the ruts is by living adventurously and staying vitally alive every day of his life.”
In yogic teachings you can think of this as Lila Tandava, “The Playful Dance of Life.” We don’t have to travel to exotic places to have adventures we can stand on a sticky mat and explore the radiance and playfulness of life within the playground of ourselves. But first we have to SHOW UP. This showing up is known as Tapas. Taking the action to walk onto the mat for the most Sacred Fun you can possibly imagine!
So if today you walk into class and don’t feel very playful the yoga is still going to work to help you soften your edges and be a little less serious. Make no mistake, Yoga has serious benefits but we don’t have to practice in a way that is overly hard or serious. I wish for all of us that the yoga we do makes us feel lighter and more radiant. This you take with you and spread sacred fun into the whole of the world. And quite frankly, the world could use a lot more Sacred Fun, now more than ever. BIG LOVE! Silvia
YOGA IS SACRED FUN!
My Dear Yogi Friends,
I have been focused on SACRED FUN all week! Inspired by friends on a daily basis who make me laugh while we are on the mat sweating our bums's off and breathing big. Interesting enough, children laugh 300 times or more per day while adults laugh an average of 17 times per day. This shows we clearly have lots of catching up to do. When it comes to yoga it is as my idol Judith Lasater who says, "yoga practice is important but not serious. Practice is too important to be serious." RIGHT ON!
So today may you feel the shakti power of being present for the many blessings in your life so that you can know greater happiness. Or as Rumi says, "hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you." Take from this that the way you practice your yoga is exactly how you can practice your life: with joyfulness and lightheartedness!
Time on the mat is where we have the opportunity to recognize our capacity for happiness (SACRED FUN). This is really the first step in yoga. It reminds us that the universe intended for us to have a joyous experience on this earth right now, no waiting. And although we come together in class as friends each of us has individual responsibility for our fun. We enjoy the poses for ourselves. Dr Wayne Dyer brings this point home when he says, "You can’t go around being what everyone wants you to be, living your life through other peoples rules and expect to be happy and have inner peace." So make the daily commitment to yourself to create time for SACRED FUN. That space to remember that happiness knows no bounds! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY AS SACRED FUN
As we put ourselves in ridiculous pose shapes we can learn on the mat how not to take ourselves too seriously. We play, we laugh at our efforts and it all helps us to soften the hard edges and be a little less uptight about the challenges we face in life. As we unwind our minds and stop the noise in our heads we illuminate the joy that is always inside waiting to burn more brightly. And maybe as we find that playful inner light burning stronger the voices that sometimes are overly critical and self punishing quiet down. We see that through humor we can delight and discover pleasure in even the most dire circumstances.
I know it’s not always easy and I am not talking about a Pollyannaish experience. All I’m suggesting is that we make a choice to not just survive the ups and downs but that we want to thrive! And the way to thrive is to play, to dance, to laugh, to be in the yoga of the moment. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS – guess what’s on the shirt and I’ll email you coupon for 15% off next purchase.
MARCH 6TH, 2009: Interesting enough, children laugh 300 times or more per day while adults laugh an average of 17 times per day. We clearly have lots of catching up to do according to Heather King. When it comes to yoga it is as my idol Judith Lasater who says, "yoga practice is important but not serious. Practice is too important to be serious." RIGHT ON! Life can appear pretty serious so as a result it can be easy to take it and ourselves way too seriously.
That’s how yoga can help. It works to maintain our balance by really finding the FUN on the mat through playful practice. This idea of Lila Tandava, “the playful dance of life” helps us to find the humor in even the most ridiculous and most challenging poses on the mat and off. We discover there is always play even within the most serious moments – this is how we thrive not just survive difficult situations. Even if you walk into class and don’t feel very playful it still works to help us soften our edges and be a little less rigid. Yoga helps make us feel lighter!
Of all the ways that yoga has saved my life. Without a doubt it is the Sacred Fun of the practice that has helped me live life more fully and with greater enjoyment. I implore you then today to waste not a moment longer stand up, wiggle, sway your arms, dance, move, breath. Reconnect to the kid inside your adult body! And feel how this helps you in the words of Tagore “attend the birthing of the radiant light within you.”