A few weeks ago, we looked at the niyamas or observances in yoga. One of these was called svadyaya – self-study. As we have been exploring play, I want to help us to integrate this practice a little further. My guess is that as you work with yoga, you are hoping to integrate the mind, body and spirit in new ways. However, in our culture, we tend to spend more time in the mind (with our thoughts) and can tend to have trouble integrating what is happening with the body and spirit as we practice yoga. Today we can look a little more at how our minds work while we continue to take time to play each day. Get out and see the sun shine. You will be able to learn more about how your own mind is oriented and how to integrate your new findings into experiencing more depth and benefit from your yoga practice both on and off the mat.
Today I want to encourage you to look at your own learning orientation. When we know more about our learning styles and our prominent intelligences, we can integrate the types of activities into our day in a way that will bring us more joy. Really that is the point of yoga, to have a peaceful mind that can flow easily with whatever arises.
Most people have a variety of factors affecting their learning orientation and it is common to find two styles that are more prominent than others in one person. I am providing some links to pages that offer free learning styles quizzes so you can look more objectively at what may be your own primary and secondary learning styles.
Learning Styles Inventory: Quick, based on three key styles.
Index of Learning Styles: Quick to take, takes more time to look at assessment and understand, but shows within ranges/scaling rather than just giving an answer.
Multiple Intelligences: Gives a Quick Grid based on 8 Forms of Intelligence
The learning styles are ways that you receive information best. Some of the quizzes provide information in the assessment about what types of situations may allow you to learn new skills and information in ways that you can more easily digest. But this is not the whole of who you are, and it is not the whole of how you engage in learning. We often think that in classes, when we are the students, that we could receive the information from someone (the teacher) and then we are done. You come to yoga class, participate, and go home feeling great. You enjoy a restful sleep and the benefits from having done the practice. What the mind sees should not limit what you think is possible. The mind is only one of the tools you bring with you to this life.
Remember that these quizzes should not cause you stress, but be another playful way to study the self and integrate what you find so you can experience ease. Look at the mind a little and then do some yoga. Go play a while. Get out of the head. My intention here is not to get you to think about play, but to try doing it.
You may wish to take the time to write to me in the comments about what you found. I would love to hear what you discover and how you integrate that into plans for vacation, a trip to the park, a new game you are creating, or any other way in which you pick up a sense of playfulness.
Yoga Pose of the Day: Camel Pose:
Yogic Concept of the Day: I can integrate what I learn into my play or enjoyment. What my mind finds out about me is not the whole of who I am, it is just one more piece.