joy

  • Vibes of Joy

    As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I’ve decided to infect ya’ll with extra vibes of joy.

    Down Dog Variation Downward Facing Dog via www.houseexercises.com

    But first…what is joy?

    In Sanskrit, joy is known as mudita. Mudita is not a joy that follows the more euphoric of life experiences – falling madly love with someone you've only just met, winning a big race, winning the lotto, receiving a big promotion, nailing that handstand for the first time, etc. These joys, though exhilarating, are superficial and fleeting. True joy is sustainable and flows constantly, even when life isn’t rich with excitements.

    True joy is a selfless joy. It delights in the good fortune, happiness, and health of others. It means being completely free from feelings of resentment, jealousy, and envy that we often experience when we see others prospering. As such, it is a practice that is difficult for many (myself included) to cultivate. Joy is not only celebrating others’ successes, but also celebrating them even when our own lives are messy with obstacles, heaviness, and tragedy. It is practiced even when our personal experiences aren't all rainbows and butterflies.

    Here's some good news: True joy is available to you at all times regardless of your circumstances. It’s abundant, infinite, and ready for you now.

    • "Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it." ~Chuck Palahniuk
    • "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." ~Buddha
    • "Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." ~Joseph Campbell
    • "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." ~Marianne Williamson
    • "The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting into joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift." ~Ellen DeGeneres
    • "We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry." ~E. B. White

    To cultivate mudita, practice Danielle Vardakas-Duszko's online yoga class: Align with Compassion. Focus on spiritual growth and open your chakra line for maximum sparkle and joy!

    vinyasa yoga online

  • Seeds of Intent: Plague the World with Joy

    “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ~ Swami Satchidananda

    forearm balance Practicing Joy via www.deeeezzy.tumblr.com

    Yeah. Why not?

    We get so caught up in how we think things should roll, both in our practices and lives. We survey the external and think about ways we can tweak this or that, struggling to control the uncontrollable. Maybe we attach to grandiose ideas of changing the world or aspects of it. Maybe it’s not that big. Maybe we form attachments to ideas of how certain people or things in our worlds - be they friends, asanas, lovers, business endeavors, family members, teachers, co-workers - should be. We all do this. It's natural.

    But guess what? You cannot expect to change ANYTHING outside of you. In fact, the more hung up you get on changing and controlling what’s out there – beyond you - the more lost, confused, and stuck you feel. You become a slave to expectation.

    Peace isn't having everything rolling as you think it should. Peace, instead, is detaching your self from these fantasies of how things, people, and circumstances should be. Peace is knowing that the only freedom you’ll ever have in life is your ability to control your reactions and maintain your cool in the in the midst of madness and messiness. The other stuff going on around you isn’t necessarily yours to change. All you have control over is your experience. So, why not make it serene? Why not color it with joy? Why not die happily, laughing?

    I think it’s because we take things too seriously, including ourselves. I get it. It's easy to do. And sure, there is a place and time for seriousness. Sometimes, you gotta put your game face on. Yet, too often, we are all walking around with our game faces on, wrapped up in tasks, lists, distractions, chatter, expectations, fantasies, etc. I say we all walk around with our smiley faces on and move through this world without all the heaviness. I say we wrap our worlds in joy, laughter, peace, and freedom. Because...why not?

    To tap into your inner joy, practice a vigorous online yoga class: Causing Breakthroughs in Your Life Through Your Asana Practice. Instructor Jen Pastiloff will lead your through meditations to release unhelpful thoughts and manifest your life's goals. Explore arm balances and inversions and enjoy singing by Samadhi Bishop. (90 mins.)

    Jen Pastiloff yoga online

    And for a dose of laughter - the best drug - join Gigi Yogini for an online yoga class weaving together meditation, pranayama, and Kundalini yoga: Throat Chakra Opener. Find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself in this practice. You'll play with mantra and affirmative singing, smile, and, if all goes to plan, crack up. (12 mins.)

    Gigi Yogini yoga online

    Sending joyous vibes to you all!

    Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

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