Joy - Happiness without a reason - I read this in an article a while back & loved the description & then found the article below (see the link below) with this as its title. We are always trying to find ways to be happy. Many of us seek out yoga because we feel unhappy or stressed & want to find happiness again. But here lies the problem, happiness is determined by outside factors & soon can go away when those factors change or our perception of them change. So practicing yoga will not help us find Joy, as Joy, is our natural state. Our yoga practice helps us remove the layers that are covering that place of Joy that is there all along, so we don’t need to find it but just reconnect to it again.
I speak in class about our True Nature that is already Happy, Healthy & Whole. This is Joy, happiness without a reason. When we quiet the busyness of the mind, release the emotions that get held in our tissues & find peace with our body how it is right now, then we hear the voice from inside of us that is pure Joy & Equanimity. As a way to connect here, begin by remembering a time when you felt great joy. It might have been an event, being with someone, or even as simple as sitting in nature. Now feel that memory in your body & allow a soft smile to come onto your face. Allow the memory to fall away & stay with the feeling of joy. When you practice this, over time, it will become easier to connect to that innate joy that is not cause based, but just there. Even the act of allowing a soft smile to come on the face can be enough to feel Joy in any moment.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
When we feel Joy, it feels as if our heart is open. So in our asanas (postures) working on poses that open the heart centre (chest) can help us to uncover that state of Joy & to share that with the world around us. When we cover our heart centre, when we round our upper back when we sit at our desk, for example, we are not allowing that state of joy to be perceived by other, & at times not even ourselves. So by doing poses that encourage our heart centre to open, can be like seeing the sun from behind the clouds, a feeling of happiness can begin to arise. Unease can also come with this opening, as opening the heart can feel vulnerable, what if sharing of ourselves is not taken the way we want. What if others judge us? What if they see we are not “perfect”? By realizing that our essence is Joy, we can have empathy for our inadequacies & the courage to share ourselves without worrying how it will be received. We can use this state of Joy, as a way to be brave & allow our Light to shine out into the world.
So lets stop waiting for circumstances to be a certain way to have a Joyful, Happy life.
Just take some time to Stop & find the Joy that is waiting to be seen, happiness without a reason :)
Anne Cox E-RYT 500
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