Birmingham Southern Class about Playfulness

DSC_8703So last week we were learning a language of how to engage different shapes of Chi. We learning Yin Fu Ching ( A body of knowledge that harmonizes the seen with the unseen) We learned how to play some supportive Chi gung movements to help the body/mind engage the specific shapes of chi.We also played 2 person activities to see the shapes of chi in others so that we can better see/understand shapes of chi within us.

Today’s class was about Playfulness. Playfulness is easy to recognize, think of a puppy dog that plays, think of a cat that plays, think of a child playing peek-a-boo, the signs of playfulness are universal. To reawaken a sense of playfulness here are the activities that we played at least the ones I can remember.

  • Taoist game of pointing to objects and calling them something different than they are. For instance, you point at a shoe and call it a pig.the idea was rapid fire pointing and calling out different names for things for 2 to 3 minutes.This activity does a number of things, but for the purpose of today, it was to unhinge the way we customarily think. Pandemonium ensued people calling out names and laughing.
    Then we played Yin Fu Ching with modifiers.
  • Modifiers:

Walking in a circle, as a bear, as a tiger, as a prayer for someone, for the whole school, feeling as if something in nature were moving you, playing it very small while thinking it big, as an ancient master would play, as a snake, as a monkey, as a crane, as a dragon flying in the sky, in a seated position, as if you were 200 feet tall, playing it really fast like throwing paint against a wall, playing it with a yin yang or circle in between each posture, Playing it as though you have water in your legs and hands are moving through a flow of water.

I cannot overstate the power of playfulness, how engaging our imagination and our movement breaks through our culturally engrained habits so that we have more access to ourselves. From a teachers perspective, when I looked around the room, minds that were fixed in attitude and thought slowly became more supple and vibrant. The movement became transformed, and everyone in the room started going beyond themselves and for a small hour of time, the world they were experiencing, became funnier, more relaxed, bigger and brighter.


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