Sharon is a yoga instructor at Upper Valley Yoga, a studio I used to practice at in Vermont. I love Sharon’s classes because she emphasizes meditation and reflection, and she’s also super fun. Without those elements, yoga becomes just a series of postures; another exercise we do for our bodies and, let’s be honest, I’m no athlete! But really, there’s a lot more to yoga than physical fitness; my practice reminds me to be aware of what’s going on in my body and mind, to be present, to let go, and to play.
Often, Sharon’s classes are inspired by her children, Matty and Nora. She told a simple story about her kids, one early morning, and it sort of stuck with me. She’d planned to take them to the playground, and was looking forward to sitting down, enjoying her coffee, and chatting with the other parents. She hurried them along, but Matty dawdled, picking up sticks and such. “Let’s go to the playground, and you can play with your friends, won’t that be fun?” said Sharon, trying to prompt him into motion, desperate to drink her coffee while it was still hot. But, it didn’t work; he was in his own little world. She tried again, “Let’s go play, Matty!”
That’s when he looked up at her, with a leaf in his hand, and a huge grin on his face, as if to say “Hello-o! I am playing! What are you doing?”
I think of this sometimes, when I feel like the fun and energy is leaving me, or when I’m in an in-between moment, in which I’m not quite doing the thing I want to be doing, but almost — these are the most unbearable times for me (I’m a patient person but when the wait is almost up, I get a little weird). This story is a reminder to play throughout my day, to live in the moment, and to relax enough to find joy in any situation (I’ll be exploring this concept in a blog post soon!). Just smile. Be happy. Play. It’s amazing what children can teach you.
If there’s one thing Sharon, her husband, Kevin, and their kids know how to do, it’s play!
Location: Poverty Lane Orchards in New Hampshire