“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” -Anonymous
Weekly Focus: Lila // Divine Play (sport, spontaneous)
Lila, in Hinduism, is a term that has several different meanings, most focusing in one way or another on the effortless or playful relation between the Absolute, or Brahman, and the contingent world.
How do we engage with life playfully? In yogic philospohy, the world is the stage set for the divine play of Brahman — we might think of this as the spontaneity of the Universe. Everything around us is formed of creative spontaneity, to see it otherwise is to be trapped by our physical attachment. Finding this realization encourages a more playful or “try it out” attitude, in which we may do our best to show up authentically.
Where might you bring a playfulness to your daily life?
Align/Flow: Natavarasana // Lord Krishna’s Pose
This pose is silly and playful — if you feel silly doing it, that is kind of the point. We often take yoga too seriously. Balancing, cross the calf of one leg over the shin of the standing leg, foot away from the floor. Hands extend to the side as if playing a flute, gazing in the opposite direction. This pose is similar to a standing figure four, without bending the knees. As an alternative you can place your toes on the floor or even a block next to you. If you find yourself falling out of balance, see if you can strike a smile and a little laugh at yourself. It’s OK to acknowledge when we feel a little off or when something strikes us as silly. Embrace your playful side.
Stretch/Restore: Visualization Meditation
How do you find playfulness when trying to relax or slow down? One tool can be to engage our creativity and imagination — tools often forgotten as we become adults. Try bringing visual imagery to your meditation this week that you find appealing, rejuvenating and stimulating.
Here are a few options on what your mind might paint:
- Imagine yourself resting in a beautiful place, paint the scene with your mind
- Imagine yourself in a memory that makes you happy, visualize every emotion and feeling
- Imagine watching yourself on your mat, create an image of yourself, you may even include elements that feel beyond your reality such as an aura or quality
- Imagine viewing the night sky, can you see every detail and star above you?