All Work and No Play Made Jack A Boring Yogi
Remember to Play
I come to you directly off of the mat, after doing a Kemetic Sun Salutation three times through. The lesson that was given to me this morning was:
Remember to play.
The day before yesterday, I wrote out the plan for my life, which, I like to check in with myself from time to time using different homemade charts. One of those charts is a life wheel. You have your spiritual category, your financial, health and beauty/wellness, family, personal life, etc. They are just categories where you write how you are currently sewing into these spaces.
Upon bringing you this message, I had just moved back to my childhood home. Spending much time with my mom and her boyfriend. For career life, I had just started “The Independent Nomad Podcast” which was later changed to T”he New Paradigm Letters” where material for this book came from, and working towards getting my Kemetic yoga certification at the time.
But there are other categories, or rather other life charts, that I do like to play around with as well. I also use the mind, body, and soul chart and, just like the example above, I write down how am I sewing into my mind, how am I sewing it to my body, and of course, how am I sewing into my soul.
Another chart is my reminders chart. It reminds me what’s my purpose, what’s my vision, what’s my mission, And this also includes the steps, the resources that are currently available to me and could potential be available to me, and the steps, if any, that I might need to take. At the time of writing this book my purpose in life was written as,
“To allow I AM to flow through me by unprogramming what my experience in the world has programmed me to be.”
And my vision at this time was to be a Kemetic yogi. As someone who has committed my life to aligning my physical plan with the spiritual plan the Divine has for me, it was on my radar to move back to my childhood home and pursue a certification in Kemetic yoga. And at the time of writing this book I was on that path. Though, as I am human, my mind was asking all of the logical questions; how am I going to get certified? How am I going to find my certification? Where am I going to teach? Where would I like to teach? And in moving back home because I was focusing on the home, I did so into quite a bit of distractions before honing in back on yoga. At this point, I asked myself how can I get grounded and get back to my original purpose? Because once you understand your purpose, everything else in your life is spring boarded from this core.
And one last chart for those that are more visual and creative, I created a life garden chart. And the categories are weeds, seeds, plants, and flowers. The weeds, our old energies, all tasks or habits, old things on your to do list that, for lack of a better term, must be weeded out of your life. A couple of weeks prior, I had gone to a holistic wellness center where the energy of my spine was read by placing a device, that reminded me of those rubber ice cube trays, against my back and one of those things that came up from the reading was old overloads. These can be unresolved energy, those could be bills that have not been paid, or things I said I was going to look into it and never did. These items will go in your weeds category because they need to be pulled up to allow the seeds that you will plant to not be overshadowed or overcrowded.
The seeds are ideas and concepts you desire to see manifest in your life. These can be business ideas, content for your social media page that you’ve had just sitting on your phone (these are specific examples, and the only thing keeping me from the marketing phase of these ideas is that I had not planted the seed yet). The plants are those ideas and concepts that are already in play. These are things that you are ready have going but just need to tend to a little bit each day, whether these ideas be in the family category, business category, relationship category etc. And of course the flowers, which are probably everyone’s favorite, or the harvest. All of that hard work attending your life garden, has finally paid off, and you are just reaping the rewards. Money, gifts, vacation time, downtime, whatever the things that you have been sewing into you’re finally able to enjoy.
What does this have to do with remembering to play, as a lesson from my yoga mat? With all of these charts, and different people may use different charts, or rules of thumb for the milestones of their life, it is very easy to get caught up in the checklist of personal goals, and completely forget to enjoy the magic and every moment of life. Moving back home into my childhood home, and for the first time in my life understanding that I do have a clear, divine purpose over my life, my time was spent in meditation, and yoga, and a lot of digging into the inner work.
From this a lot of beautiful life lessons have come up, including this book, but, at some point in time, that pendulum has to swing back the other way.
We all have purposes over our lives, but even in the divine realm of sowing towards your purpose, there is also a time of rest, and there’s also a time of joyous exploration. In the time of this particular lesson, I was sowing heavily into a time of rest. Just came shortly after creating a YouTube video about how failure is an opportunity to reset, speaking on how most of my life I had lived checklist to checklist, to do a schedule to crossed off task, goal to goal. I’m sure you can relate when there is a list of obligations, or responsibilities that must be done in a single day. When you don’t get those done, whether because you have obligatory deadlines or self set deadlines, it’s easy to get caught up in making a schedule over your life.
So in the time of this lesson, I moved back home, was in a season of rest, and finally had the space to pull up some of the weeds that had overgrown the soil of my life. I didn’t look at the seeds, I didn’t look at the plants, I did not even look at what was ready to harvest (though as we know ripe fruit does have an expiration date whether you decide to take it off the tree or not)!
So once I started pulling up those weeds it was nothing but work, work, work, work, pull, pull, pull.
Though I had taken the time to get a full eight hours of rest, and maybe a nap during the day, outside of those literal resting periods, I’d been doing a lot of mental and physical work. Walking our dog (a nice muscular breed which, walking him is always a workout and job in itself) spring cleaning my childhood home, reacclimating to the community, spending energy with friends and family (also taxing in an empathic person) . So you can imagine that with all of this work, I hadn’t taken into any account the sections of those charts that do employ you to play and enjoy leisure time. But of course, it wasn’t through the charts that I was aware of this, it was actually on my yoga mat.
How did my yoga practice tell me that it’s time to remember to play?
In doing my morning sequence, and at this time heavily focused on a Egyptian and Kemetic yoga, the practice is largely based on geometric progression. You start at one pose, and you flow into the next pose, It can be a very slow, methodical practice that eventually gets built on to add more strength and flexibility as the energy in your body increases. In this concept of geometric progression, all of the poses or postures if you will, very balanced, they grow on one another, or compound on one another. It wouldn’t serve this particular practice well to go from a mummy pose, where you are laying completely flat on the ground, directly into a very heated, and charged isolated nostril breathing while sitting erect and cross legged. There has to be a progression, because, essentially yoga is not about the postures themselves, it is about the journey of progressing into the pose. So these types of yoga are very much about the symmetry, the geometry of the poses self.
Because the specific style of yoga is new to me, and I am still in the process of learning the “correct progression“, the practice has been very methodical, very by the book, and almost rigid in the way I’ve chosen to learn and practice (doing one sequence when I wake up to “check in” with my body and be on my merry way). This morning instead of doing one… I did two sun salutation flows! And the beauty in trying something new, was that my body, after doing what it needed to do in the first flow of the practice, felt completely free and open to experimenting with the postures and playing around on the mat. I still went through the geometric progression, but I had fun with so much more movement. One of my favorite yogis constantly says “No yoga robots!” Meaning don’t be so rigid in the posture that you can’t have fun and listen to your body when it’s asking you to move in certain ways. Which is ironic, because Egyptian and Kemetic yoga is very much about holding the posture-it can be interpreted as a robot or statue- like).
And playing on my Mac, I moved from post- to post, flowing through the progression, enjoying each space that called for a little bit more attention, instead of keeping the traditional pastor, I played around with different variations of hand placement, and foot placement, and just allowed my body to be more whimsical on the mat.
Through this playtime, I was able to bring a completely different sense of vitality into my being and joy to my practice. There was more heat, there was a different use of my breath, and overall had a much more vivacious, young, fun intention over the practice. And so nice to explore.
So the message I got from my yoga mat through me to you is to remember to play.
About the author
Thai Cromer is a 200hr registered yoga teacher and wellness influencer. Her wellness brand Soulltraining focuses on promoting practices and product for your personal wellness. Check out her healing schedule at bio.fm/Soulltrainingbrand/.