Seriously, folks. Life is serious enough with our work-a-day worries, concerns of future tough stuff or scary ghosts in the closet. There is no reason why time on our mat in yoga practice needs to be the same.
Yes, we can be committed, dedicated, devoted to our practice. Bring all those attributes and with a quality of play, awaken the divine. That sense of play, in sanskrit, Lila acknowledges the cosmic play, this, all of this, whirling and dancing in all possible permutations. The exquisite perfection of play is when we forget who we pretend to be and who we truly are begins to stir. Yoga stirs the pot; play stirs the soul. Yoga as play beckons us to let go, invites us to take the practice less seriously. Divine play awakens when the asanas practice us.
Seriousness as firmness is brittle and easily broken. In play, we explore flexibility, our body is free to move, emotions free to express themselves and spirit free to soar. When we laugh, when we take all of this less seriously we open up to the possibility of just settling into the moment as it is.
And then, accepting this as it is, the veils of illusion lift, and we remember. From the wisdom of Mufasa in "The Lion King". "You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life."
Yes, no matter what the practice we can never step out of this circle of birth, life and death. We are it. It is encoded in our DNA; it is the energy that we are; it is the whole in one.
This is not a description of how or even if you should practice yoga. For me, play helps me to move deeper in awareness of this intimate connection with source. Play invites me to relax into the experience of unification moving beyond oneness as “just an idea”. Don’t believe me. Try it yourself! Fall out of a balance laughing, chuckle quietly at the seriousness of you and look to the children (you are one).
Let yoga (asanas, meditation, way of life) be play instead of a means to an end. Because there is no end. We are all all ways intimately dancing in this circle of life.