Yoga is Recess for Grown Ups
The other day, my husband, Jason, and daughter, Madelynn were talking about school and growing up. Madelynn is in the 5th grade and very excited that she will be going off to middle school, next year. Mom and Dad, of course, are not quite as excited. In this conversation, Jason told Madelynn, “I remember how crushed I was when I got to the 6th grade and discovered there was no more recess.” Madelynn’s jaw hit the floor. “What do you mean NO MORE RECESS?!” she cried. “I know.” Jason agreed, “I think everyone should get recess everyday for their entire lives! A break from the day to just play, climb, jump, and be free and silly. Even grown-ups should have recess!” At this point, I smiled and said, “I get to have recess everyday! And I teach other grown-ups how to have recess everyday! We play on the mat, and it’s so much fun!” I won’t tell you what kind of look I got from them. Misery loves company, I guess.
I have always wondered at what age we begin to become stagnant and stop “playing” and moving our bodies in every possible way. Now I know that it happens exactly in the 6th grade. The free play of recess is replaced with electives and sports, where competition and external pressures replace open fun and exploration. Yoga provides us with an opportunity to explore our full range of motion, stamina, and determination, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, as well. Your yoga practice is for you, and should be a fun, safe, and inspiring way to create and maintain mobility, agility and strength of body and mind.
Don’t stop playing! Don’t ever stop playing! At 108 years of age, you will still be able to bend, flex, jump, and flow with the 5th graders…and you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the seventh graders, apparently.