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Playful practice

woman performing yoga

We ran a workshop yesterday: 'How to practice Yoga in a playful and mindful way". Mindfulness is popular nowadays. How about playfulness?

Again, there are games everywhere, especially online. Sport involves playing as well. How about Yoga then?

I've been teaching children for the past three years. In my training with the French Recherche sur le Yoga dans l'éducation we experience games as teachers, before introducing kids to these games. Each session starts with a Yama, a group activity based on the first "limb" of Yoga , which helps children become aware of each other, interact with each other.

In adults classes, we usually get together for coffee after class. In class, though, there is little interaction, apart from a chat here and there.

Before Covid, I was encouraging partner work, students helping each other in the postures. Since, we've been practicing apart, with more distance between us.

Coming back to interactive practice is great. Yesterday, we started a game as a whole group of 12 people (teacher included). We created a whole sequence of movements , each participant adding one gesture to the previous gesture and so on until our whole group had added something.

We had to concentrate, remember, imitate. This brought us into the present moment, fully. This was Yoga, this was Yama.

Yama is the first limb of Yoga. It is often described as a discipline more than a game " . It involves lots of rules, lots of "non'doing (non violence, non stealing, non falsehood, etc). The best part of the description is: listening, kindness, care and compassion. The playful practice therefore consists on bringing this back to our adult sessions. It is a great start!


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