Evolved For Play
As healthy children our bodies were naturally alive, expressive and full of vigour. Almost bursting at the seams, we effortlessly included a huge variety of movement in our days and given the chance, we gladly ran, jumped, skipped, sang, nodded and shook, rattled and rolled. We pretended, we laughed, we experienced excitement and joy – we played as much and as hard as we could.
Children don’t need to be told how to move, we instinctively used our body through play in every dimension and direction: seeing, breathing, hearing, touch, motion, action, voice, facial expression, gestures, imagination, interaction, co-operation.
Play Is For Adults Too
As adults, we get caught up in roles, jobs and modes of being that slowly restrict us to a small subset of ourselves. Mundane repetition takes over and instead of grabbing life and making it our own, life grips us. Ultimately, this rigidity and loss of diversity is reflected in the tightening of our thinking, attitudes and the pain and loss of flexibility we experience in our body.
Kids have society’s permission to play, and most adults don’t. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, most of us exchange play for work, and forget to play with the abandon and joy of childhood.
National Institute For Play
Play & Movement
All of this activity and playful use lights up our brain and body, creating strength and structure, and laying down and developing pathways as the foundation of our future selves. Play helps us to learn, develops our body and our brain, and connects us to others, demonstrating trust and building confidence.
As Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play.
The Need For Play
As we grow up, play gets a negative rap. Time spent playing for it’s own sake is often seen as childish, negative, a waste of time, lazy even. It’s only now that we understand the real value of play in our own personal evolving, that we can see the positive aspect of the childlike qualities of play as constructive, creative, inspirational. Whether as children or as adults we are in a constant state of creation and renewal in both body and brain. The ability of our body and brain to adapt to new challenges never leaves us and the need to adapt never goes away in all the years we live.
If you don’t understand human movement, you won’t really understand yourself or play. If you do, you will reap the benefits of play in your body, personal life and work situations. Learning about self movement structures an individual’s knowledge of the world – it is a way of knowing, and we actually, through movement and play, think in motion. For example the play-driven movement of leaping upward is a lesson about gravity as well as one’s body. And it lights up the brain and fosters learning. Innovation, flexibility, adaptability, resilience, have their roots in movement. The play driven pleasures associated with exploratory body movements, rhythmic early speech (moving vocal cords), locomotor and rotational activity – are done for their own sake; pleasurable, and intrinsically playful. They sculpt the brain, and ready the player for the unexpected and unusual.
National Institute For Play
Agata Commisso is a certified trainer, wellness practitioner and laughter coach with over 10 years experience in community education. For several years Agata lived and traveled broadly overseas and her love of culture, food and language enables her to connect with people from all walks of life. As a natural communicator with a trademark bubbly personality Agata’s classes always include fun, playful elements as well as valuable skills for living.
Agata’s belief in laughter as an antidote to life’s troubles extends over more than 20 years. At Lighten her work combines intentional play, laughter & movement to help clients reconnect with and develop all their abilities, rather than accepting and adapting to their limitations.