Pause to Play: How 5 minutes can change your day
A lesson inspired by our FlashMob Fridays
A group of us over here at Kula Annex in Toronto Canada started planning our flash mob at the end of the summer as a way of sharing the benefits of yoga with our neighbors. Our hope was to remind everyone to live, love, play & grow. This whimsical project began just as our lives started to pick up speed in the get back to school/study/work kind of way that September invites. Though I am wildly grateful to be the director of Kula Yoga Studio Annex the reality of my work is not as glamorous as it might seem. In fact, it can be stressful and if I am not careful it can spread me quite thin. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, scheduling, creating, problem solving, checking things off my never ending list of things to do, balancing a lot of people’s needs, making big, small and somewhere-in-between decisions… We were all busy and we had just added four flash mobs onto our already full proverbial plate.
Did we really have time to pause to play?
Luckily something beautiful happened! The flash mobs taught us exactly what we needed to know at this demanding time of year. In the process of choosing a song, developing a sequence of postures, teaching our friends the sequence and executing the flash mobs we realized that in the 5 minutes and 16 seconds that we breathed and moved to Adele’s “Lovesong” we become different beings. In just five minutes our bodies felt better, our perspectives were broader and our hearts felt more free. In some extraordinary, or perhaps ordinary, way we were able interrupt the day and shift from the feeling of not having enough time and perhaps not being enough (insert however you might feel in the middle of a busy stressful day) to a place of connection and fullness. Like all things this feeling of connection and fullness wasn’t permanent – chances were I still found myself overwhelmed the next day. However, what was important to discover was that such a short amount of time taken during an intensely stressful day could soften us into play and open us to a brand new way of moving through time. One of the ways I have heard myself describe my yoga practice is as a way of interrupting the current of the thought patterns, habits and activities that are forming the ways in which I am experiencing a given moment. Five minutes was all I needed to interrupt my day. Five minutes was all I need to practice. Five minutes was all I needed to experience yoga.
We invite you to open to the possibility that pausing to play really can make difference. Try it! Especially when you don’t think you have the time or when you believe that your current mood is unchangeable. Here is how we did it at Kula Annex:
Step 1: Pick a song you delight in
Step 2: Play your song
Step 3: Move through some of your favourite yoga postures
Step 4: Breathe
Step 5: Offer yourself completely to the song, your movement and your breath
Step 6: Repeat Steps 3–5 until the end of the song
Step 7: At the end of the song bow in gratitude to yourself & all that you feel connected to
Try it. We’d love to hear how it goes.
PS – if you want to try something different substitute hula hoop for step 3.
When I found yoga I felt like it saved my life. It created space for me to befriend my body, to understand the ways in which my mind was perpetuating my own suffering, to shift these very patterns and to explore the expansive depths of my heart. The result was more strength and creativity to carry me through life’s challenges. Learning how to embrace and experience my sadness, anger and fear helped me to more fully embrace and experience love, joy and peace. I became more aware of how interconnected and interdependent everything is and what a gift it is for me to be here. The beauty that I discover within and all around inspires me to serve this sacred web of interconnection.
As the Director of Kula Yoga Studio Annex in Toronto and an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher I am honoured to share the gifts and insights I have received through my practice. I draw inspiration from my teachers Christopher Wallis, Michael Stone, Sue Elkind, Naime Jezzeny and John Friend.
Off the mat, I follow my heart (often by bike) to experience the gifts of the world. Currently I am cultivating the art of skateboarding on the streets of Toronto! MyKulaToronto.ca