Hi, and welcome to our Yoga family!! With all of the myriad responsibilities, distractions, obligations and stressors we deal with everyday, sometimes joy is hard to find. We all need a regular injection of joy into our lives and your yoga and meditation practice should be a dependable source for you to tap into and find that joy. My yoga practice has been a constant source of joy for me, whether I'm teaching it or practicing it and I'm sure you'll find the same.
Whether we recognize it or not, true happiness exists within all of us. Not the passing happy of buying a new dress or going out on a fun date- but the type of happiness that is not dependent on things or circumstances. The joy I'm referring to is eternal, unchanging and always there within us. Is resides in the deepest part of your being- what we call the anandamayakosha, or the 'bliss sheath'.
A very brief teaching of yoga philosophy explains that our being consists of 5 'sheaths' or koshas and each sheath is made up of less and less dense energy. In the Upanishads the koshas are explained:
Annamaya Kosha:“Human beings consist of a material body built from the food they eat. Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.
Pranamaya Kosha:“Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.
Manomaya Kosha: “Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. Those who understand and control the mental body are no longer afflicted by fear.
Vignanamaya Kosha: “Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. It permeates the three denser bodies and assumes the same form. Those who establish their awareness here free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.
Anandamaya Kosha:“Hidden inside it is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight, and bliss.”
The anandamaya kosha is what we also call the 'seed body'. This is the subtlest form of energy that makes up who you are- this is the eternal part of you that you are born with- what some would call your spirit or soul- and this is the part of you that moves on when your physical body dies. This deepest part of your being is what we are all trying to realize when we refer to 'enlightenment' or 'awakening'. It is where we go when we are in the deepest form of meditation. It is what we experience when we are feeling true bliss.
Here I have a short reading on how to live your days in joy. I read it in my class on joy for you, but I love it so much that I'll repeat it for you here. I was inspired by Tao Porchon Lynch in this writing. It is her inner bliss and beautiful spirit that keeps her young and incredibly vibrant as the oldest yoga instructor in the western world. She's 98!
Shine Your Light in Joy
When you wake up in the morning, look outside first thing at nature. It's a new day w/endless new possibilities. The light of dawn wipes out the darkness of despair. The sun rises from East to West bringing promise and hope.
Take a moment to listen to the melody of your own breath. This is the power behind all things. As long as the breath is in you and you listen to the pulse of your own heartbeat- the world is yours to enjoy and live! This pulse is telling you to listen and live in harmony, not dissonance, and be ready for anything with an open heart-
Awaken thinking that this is going to be the BEST day of my life! Think- I don't know what I may experience but it will be amazing and life affirming. Celebrate and listen to the breath of life within you!
Stop and look inside your heart at the book of life and approach the day finding the good in all. Be open to receive the good rather than focusing on fear or negativity.
Go into the new day embracing the fact that you don't know what will happen and look for good things to happen. See the light side of the play of life unfold before you.
Observe nature as much as you can and see that the geese that fly before you don't worry about where they're going- they just greet the new day and fly into it with ease and grace.
Get out of the mind and into the heart- let your heart open and light up your smile and let your smile shine out into the world as a gift for all to receive. Acknowledge the power of your smile and ignite the world with it! Bless every space you enter into with your smile and let it be contagious!!!
See life in everything and listen to the music of your heart. Take a breath and mean it! Expand your lungs, expand your heart, expand your life in joy!!!