Play is being free, to be creative, to experiment, explore, and have fun.

Play can be at once frivolously fun and profoundly serious - seriously playful.

For adults, play makes learning interesting, a lot easier, and more exciting. Play and the learning of new skills are old life partners. As children we learnt a lot through play.

A Personal Practice: Playful Exercise

You are encouraged to rest your fears, and resistance and difficulties for a little while. Discover a new acceptance of yourself being playful through your body, your voice - enjoying the freedom of a new sense of self.

Most of us come from very conservative, ordered environments, so exploring play can take some getting used to.

Play and making sounds can be a profoundly emotional event. Opening up through play can be incredibly releasing for some people. 

When you get used to playfulness you can start to feel more at ease and relaxed with being more spontaneous and more expressive than you might ordinarily be.

A playful environment is conducive to creative learning and growing, and being different - being somebody different for a change.

A place where you can play needs to be where you can feel safe enough to allow yourself the freedom to play and be expressive. 

A playful atmosphere has a light-hearted feel  - there is a sense of humour in the air - this makes a world of difference.

Drama exercises and theatre warm-up skills allow you to ease out of your customary, habitual way of being. Play-acting, "as-if behaviour" gets energy moving in the body.


A People Practice: Primate Play  

"Fake it till you make it " is a good play motto for adults to get into play. The intention is to move towards authentic self-expression. Play allows the social mask to drop down, enabling you to be less self-conscious, laugh and have fun.

Play has excitement built into it. Excitement comes from the anticipation and positive stress of “not knowing what could happen next”. 

This sense of “not knowing” sets up wanting to know. “What is going on here?”

Wanting to, and a thirst for knowing emerges - you want to find out. To do this you have to be on the ball, awake, alert and fully present - a play of consciousness.

All this “vital learning” takes place within your body and mind at lightning speed – integrating thought, feeling and action.

Play requires a keen sense of alertness, a relaxed presence, good contact with reality, and a lot of trust that things will work out. It also requires a fair amount of intuition, spontaneity, quick reflexes and the ability to respond. Playing with others is potentially a great learning ground for human relationships.

Playfulness implies risking mistakes and feeling free to make mistakes. Playing it safe and wanting assurance won't give you the fortitude to go deeper and grow. When you are at your worst, you are becoming your best. 


A People Practice: The Human Wave

When you think you're at your worst, like a child learning to walk, you need to know it's OK to fall. With playfulness the spirit of forgiveness and acceptance is needed - letting go of preconceived notions of how something should turn out.

Why do so many adults feel they must abandon play? You don't stop playing because you are old; you grow old when you stop playing. 

Great dancers are not great because of their technique; 

they are great because of their passion. 

Martha Graham