Yoga, Play, Growth, and LOVE!

When I began my yoga practice in 2009 I realized that lightness invites growth, but it wasn’t until the birth of my daughter Pepper in 2013 that I started to reconnect lightness with play, and it wasn’t really until I took my Aerial Yoga training in 2017 that I really connected lightness, with play and yoga. Yoga continually asks us to not take ourselves to seriously, to bring a smile to your face in the most difficult pose, and to enjoy the journey of life and the journey of each posture and not focus on the destination or peak expression of each asana. When we allow ourselves lightness in the here and now through play and playfulness we really create space for growth. This doesn’t mean that we ignore the heavy things in our lives, just that we acknowledge them and honor them while still allowing ourselves to experience lightness.


As adults we often forget about play, it becomes a children’s activity. When I was a child play was natural, we wouldn’t even specify what we were playing. I would ask my Mom or Dad, ‘can I have such and such a friend over to play?’ And then I would call them and ask ‘do you want to come over to play?’ But at some point we seem to quit applying the adjective ‘play’ to our lives. Through my yoga practice I’ve come to realize that play is very important, play facilitates light heartedness, play brings joy, and play allows space for growth and healing. When we take ourselves so seriously that we neglect play we deprive ourselves a strong opportunity for growth. It’s not always easy to give ourselves permission to play these days. It is my intention through TerraSoul and my work as a yoga teacher to create and hold space for playfulness, to provide the support, safety and structure that encourages lightheartedness within a yoga class and in nature.


I am loving the sense of play I gain through time with my daughter who is four. I have been honored to teach her preschool class yoga, which is really guiding them through a state of play to a point where they can really relax, helping them connect their body to their mind and allowing all the preschool silliness that comes with that. The connections I witnessed them experience, the individually specific spiritual experiences they had, the connections they formed in shared experience, all solidify my belief that play leads to growth. We can harness this growth potential through inviting play into the structure of a yoga class. I am loving the experience of adventure yoga that I’m gearing up to share with the public, because of the sense of play in exploring nature and awe in seeing something anew, the way that the experience lends to growth. I’m loving teaching Aerial yoga at Bowga studio, it is so playful, you cannot take yourself seriously, nor neglect to see yourself whole, you are there and need to concentrate and push yourself a little out of your norm and you have fun doing it, it just happens without you even realizing it. I have not seen one student leave an aerial yoga class without a smile on their face.


Play is a strong common thread between the kids yoga, aerial yoga, and adventure yoga that I am offering. Play has become a strong route to healing and growth in my life that I love to share with others. I hope to share some lighthearted play with you through a yoga class or on the trail, but most of all I hope we can all find that space within ourselves, because really when it comes down to it, that light hearted, playful, joyful place that still honors and acknowledges the heavy parts of life, that leads to growth and healing, it is LOVE!! I hope we can all have more LOVE!


I am honored that you took the time to read this through.


Thank you and Namaste


Lisa Sullivan