Two weekends ago I attended a 3 day training with Rainbow Kids Yoga. I came home buzzing with excitement and inspiration, having met such nice people and been introduced to so many new ideas. I loved that the teaching method was all about getting us to play as many of the games as possible, and learn by doing, rather than just reading course material.
My favourite part of the training was the fact that we got to participate in a community class, given by Cayetana, and we saw for ourselves how well the Rainbow Kids Yoga approach works, especially when delivered with confidence and love <3. It was lovely to see the kids having so much fun through their imaginations and with their parents. I feel we all had so much trust in each other, despite having only met a few days before. So I'd like to thank RKY, Caye and all of the other students that attended to make it such a special 3 days.
It reminded me how playful we can all be once we drop our ideas of how we should behave, and how we should have fun. On that playful note, I also attended my first acroyoga class last week, and had a blast! Like their slogan says at www.acrobaticyoga.ie, "because it's fun to get turned upside down". I can vouch for that.
In my classes we've started trying out handstands, and like Tiffany Cruikshank was explaining at her workshop the other work, inversions can be so enjoyable thanks to the way that they pull you right into the present. You can't think about anything else when you're trying to balance upside down on your hands! And so they allow you this focus, a heightened awareness of everything that's going on in your body as you begin to orientate yourself from this new perspective.
This is an excerpt from a lecture of Alan Watts. There are numerous gems of his floating around out there on youtube, and I definitely recommend giving them all a listen. This particular little clip really strikes a chord with me. Take 3 minutes out to really listen to this. Really, listen. No, don't click onto a new tab and scroll through your facebook homefeed at the same time. For 3 minutes just let your mind focus on only listening, because this might just cause a little shift in your perspective.
For me, perhaps it's the age I'm at, having recently graduated from college and not necessarily pursuing a definable 'career', this feels very relevant. I often notice this recurring question from peers and elders, that I think most of us will be quite familiar with. "What are you doing?" What plans have you got, where are you headed, what ladder are you on, and so on. I think if I could take a map out and show them exactly where my points are plotted through life, they might finally be satisfied. People like to get the measure of each other by judging their journey. We are all so concerned with what's next, where are we going, that we tend to miss what's around us right now.
I think this is a kind of cultural tendency, for example, when we study history we often frame events as a sequence of linear development, always heading towards an improved end point. But of course this is not necessarily the only or best way to view history, and I think it tells us more about our desire to see things in linear development, and why we tend to imagine our lives having similar structure. But, as Alan Watts suggests, life and the universe, is playful. There is no master plan for the us or the universe, none of it is 'necessary'. However the process of life unfolding can be beautiful.
"The whole point of dancing is the dance", not to arrive at one particular point in the room, otherwise we could just walk there. Don't be fooled by the hoax, don't miss everything. It's not a race to get to the end.
Sing and dance while the music is still playing!
For more Alan Watts, listen here. These are just clips from his longer lectures, but if his words resonate with you, take the time to listen to some of his longer lectures.
This is where I work and what I do when I'm not teaching yoga. Rock climbing has so much in common with a yoga practice. Personally I don't see them as two separate activities, but as an extension of each other. The fun of movement, staying present in the moment and completely focusing the mind and breath. Stepping out of your comfort zone in order to expand it and gain a fresh perspective on things. Both climbing and yoga have been so important to me since I began both of them, and I might never have tried yoga if it hadn't been for my stiff climbing shoulders!
This might inspire you to give climbing a go, but even if it doesn't, I hope it reminds you to keep trying things that bring you out of your comfort zone, whether it's a new yoga posture or starting a new hobby or embarking on an adventure.