I usually walk this forest path from east to west. Yesterday I went the other direction. Until then, I didn't notice how the path sloped a bit to one side. My knees noticed though. It's as though the muscles and tendons and bones had become used to the habitual way. So I decided it would be good for me to change it up more often.
It's not always easy to switch directions, though. On the trail, the usual landmarks become harder to spot. My joints become a little bit crankier. If I'm feeling unwell or tired or stressed - and who doesn't feel that way during a pandemic - I'd much rather take the usual path. But it helps to take a playful approach.
Energy moves more freely when I am playful. I learned this first hand years ago. Every other Wednesday a group of us would get together and practice our skills in energy work and get feedback from the others in the group. The best results came when I did the energy work playfully and with joy. As soon as I started taking it too seriously the others in the group would let me know that the energy had collapsed.
In yoga we take a playful approach to movement and breathing and rest. There is no need to achieve. Instead we can respond to what is happening that day. My yoga teacher suggests we do silly walks off and on through the day. Walking backwards across the kitchen now and then disrupts my usual habits, and reactivates the sleeping muscles and ligaments. It's fun.
When we play, we are more free. We don't care how goofy we look. There are no special rules. Things are uncertain but we are open to surprise. We don't ask ourselves to be anything but what we are in that moment. It's about being curious. It's the willingness to let go and see what might be possible.
Today when I go for my walk through the woods, I plan to change it up again. It could be fun.