Practice Series: Strike a Pose


The theme for this month's Practice Series is PLAY

It’s easy to get into routines, which tend to become habits that over time become ruts and eventually make us downright rigid. One of the many definitions of play is “movement.” Just think how a rope has “play” if you can wiggle it. Making some wiggle room in our lives by breaking our routines can give us a spark of play. After all, the word ecstasy, from the Latin ex stasis, means “not static.” There’s inherent joy in movement, and with movement we come back to play. 

This week, practice disrupting your routine to liberate your play. You can start this right now or pick another day this week to do the practice. 


  1. Set the alarm on your phone to go off every hour.
  2. When the alarm goes off, do something that moves you off your spot. Try wiggling or making a funny face, doing a little dance or taking a superhero stance. Don’t think about it, just do it. 
  3. If you’re with a playmate, you can let them in on the game and invite them to join you. If you’re surrounded by strangers, you can be discrete or take a little risk and share it, like they’re part of your inside joke. 
  4. Notice if you’re planning before or judging afterwards and just shake them both off. The point is to shift out of whatever you’re doing and delight yourself—because you can and because life is a little more playful when you do.

"Here Comes the Sun" collage by ImagineStudio

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Gwen Gordon


Gwen Gordon is an Emmy-winning writer and creative director who began a life of play building Muppets for “Sesame Street.” She has been an artist-in-residence in settings ranging from the MIT Media Lab and Xerox PARC to San Quentin Prison. Gwen earned her master’s degree in philosophy and is a pioneer in the field of adult developmental play, publishing and teaching widely on the subject, including for the films “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” and “The Story of Stuff.” She blogs for Huffington Post and is producing a PBS special called "NOW Playing." Gwen is in the process of developing programs and coaching services for people who are interested in unleashing their playful true nature. Sign up HERE if you’re interested.


'Practice Series: Strike a Pose' have 3 comments

  1. July 16, 2015 @ 11:02 am Wendy McCulley

    Your practice series came at a great time. I am always moving around and playing but some recent hip pain has changed that life long pattern for me. Your Strike a Pose is perfect for reminding me to get back on track with joyful planned and spontaneous movement. Thank you.


    • July 16, 2015 @ 11:22 am gwen

      That’s wonderful, Wendy! Thanks for letting me know! I know from my own experience as a dancer, how physical pain can seem like a barricade from the playground, so it’s always good for me to remember I can still play…no matter WHAT! After all, freedom only really exists when there are no terms for it!


      • July 20, 2015 @ 7:08 am Wendy McCulley

        Gwen, Continued this practice all week and it was lovely! Thank you.


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