Play Until It Hurts So Good

Right now, this is the perfect walking weather.

The type of weather where it’s not too hot, mixed in with just the right amount of cool breeze. You can walk for hours at a brisk pace, breathing in the fresh fall air and only have tiny beads of sweat form along the brow line. This past weekend I was on one of these longs walks, clearing my mind.

The autumn smell of fallen leaves, sounds of the city streets and children at play intermingled with soft conversations on street corners took me back to childhood memories.

As a kid, fall was the time of year I would play on the streets late into the evening. I would play until I felt as though my legs would fall off, doing gymnastics all over the lawn, playing soccer and biking down the streets over and over again. It’s possible my neighbours might have thought I had plans to break into their homes, seeing me make the rounds on my ten speed, looking like I was casing the joint. I would play until it hurt so good in every fiber of my muscles. My cheeks would ache from smiling and my lungs would be ready to burst from breathing so fast. I ate big spaghetti dinners, at least three helpings, watch Home Improvement and go to bed fully exhausted. I drifted off to sleep knowing who I was:,a strong, brave and young girl who could proudfully eat mountaints of spaghetti.  

I miss that girl. That young girl who knows and trusts herself.

What makes this inner child grow up to become shy and cower in the corner of her mind?

And then I remembered the nay sayers - those Negative Nancys that popped into my life as I grew up, telling me “no” or “slow down” or “you can’t do that!”. The teachers,  adults,  friends or  the family members.

I decided to take my memories into my own hands.

I tried to recall each time someone said I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something, even though I loved it and brought me to life. I placed myself in those memories as a full-grown woman I am today (which would be pretty intimidating, considering I’m no longer 5 foot nothing, but 6 feet tall).

I would walk up to the person who said those negative words, look them straight in the eye (and with all due respect), tell them to politely “f*ck off”.

I highly recommend this mental exercise. It’s extremely cathartic and freeing.

Every time we go for a walk, run, play a game, or lay out a yoga mat to practice, it’s a reclamation of that inner child who just wants to play until it hurts so good. It’s our chance to get in touch with that little person who was curious, courageous and filled with wonder.

The child we were before the world started to weigh on our shoulders with “no’s” or “should not’s” is still inside of us. We just need those moments of play in our adult life to let loose and be free.

So go back in time, tell the negative voices of the past to take a hike, and then run into the present moment until your limbs hurt so good.


Written By: Jelayna Da Silva

Jelayna is a well certified, passionate yoga teacher and writer living in downtown Toronto. Her love for yoga takes her across the GTA to teach at several studios and to multiple clients. With a background in Psychology and College Athletics she infuses her classes and writing with mental and physical awareness, not to mention a healthy sense of humor. Whether leading at a large outdoor events, in a classroom, or in the home of a client her philosophy for teaching is simple - teach with love, empathy, patience and humility. Yoga is a journey, not a destination.