Can you be steady but still soft and relaxed? These are traits that really can help when you are leading, especially a group of kids. Yoga teacher and author Helen Larsson tells you more about a playful way to lead.
Lead in a steady yet playful way
I love the concept of sthira-sukham from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which means steady but at ease. I also love to explore how I can take what I experience and learn on the yoga mat into everyday life. How can we be steady, focused, aware and awake in all that we do, but still be at ease, gentle, soft and relaxed. I like to play with this and it’s so useful.
For instance the other day, when I was riding. The horse needs you to take the lead but if you become rigid, inflexible and harsh it will protest. The other way around, if you are too soft and yielding the horse won’t listen to you at all. It’s also really helpful in my work as a kid’s yoga teacher.
When I started, more than six years ago, I wasn’t good at the sthira-part. I was way too flexible and lacked the steadiness. The kids felt that and tested me in many ways, which was a great learning ground. Children just like horses need to feel that you are the leader, but if you get rigid and too strict they will start hating yoga. They need you to be steady but in a playful, fun and relaxed way.
You can apply this to anything. To the way you walk to work, the way you clean your house, the way you speak when you have an important presentation to do, to the way you sit in front of the computer and so on and so forth.
So, will you play with me, right now, whatever you are doing? See if you can be steady but at the same time soft and relaxed. How does it feel? One thing that works for me when I become to rigid is smiling. And forget about perfection, it’s boring.
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More about Helen
Helen has practiced and studied yoga for almost 25 years. She teaches yoga for all ages and specializes in yoga for children and yoga for stress management and recovery. Helen also holds workshops and trainings in children's and teenage yoga and has written a book on children's yoga in Swedish, "Yoga with children" (Lava Publisher).