This morning in yoga class, which is a small community unto itself, our instructor had us begin with handstands. Usually, as in any kind of fitness class, there is a warm-up period before we jump right into jumping right in. But it was a great reminder of how important play is to work.
We started with running jumps into handstands against the wall. It was so amazing how overrated warming up can be sometimes. We are all pretty experienced yogis in the class, so truth is we could all do this. But we usually don’t. And the playfulness, as well as the challenge got all our juices flowing, and warmed up those big muscles pretty fast.
I needed some help, mostly because as I stepped in to flip up, the muscle in my head held me back—not my physical strength. When we set off on any new project it is that stubborn muscle in our heads that typically holds us back more than our physical strength or our motivational strength. The worst four letter word of all—fear—takes over.
As much as I enjoyed the playfulness of class this morning, no, I didn’t manage to do the running jump up into handstand—yet. What was terrific, though, was how I was helped by the instructor and felt the support of my yoga community. Part of being playful in order to work is using your neighbors for moral support. My teacher, Naime (see http://diggyoga.com) is expert at pushing you towards just the right amount of support, and indeed pushing you to take on the next step. Not there yet, but the play element makes me want to do the work even more.
Play more! Work less! When work is play, we enjoy it so much more. Have you reviewed your attitude lately to the project you have taken on? If you see it as a challenge, as a new game to play, then maybe it will become much more do-able.