Category Archives: Joy
Most western yoga classes are accompanied by music. Some of mine are and some aren’t. When I teach, I try to play either atmospheric music or classical. When I practice at home I tend to listen to music that’s a bit less traditional but helps me feel energized. Here’s a link to my morning playlist.
Today’s my birthday. Here’s the number one song from the day I was born. Feel free to dance down the street like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
We all need a little downtime now and again and today’s the day! While not an official holiday, Goof Off Day is a time to remind yourself to pause and enjoy life. Taking a break from time to time makes us happier, more focused, and more creative. You don’t have to take the entire day off it, but whenever you think about it, stop and do something goofy or fun.
A few suggestions:
Life is short, so enjoy the ride,
It seems like the whole month of February is filled with hearts and chocolates and flowers… or at least the ads for them. While I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, I do like the idea of celebrating love. Celebrating our love of others is fine as long as we don’t get attached to the idea that we have to have someone outside ourselves to love or that we are only worthy of love if we have a significant other in our lives.
Madly in Love with Me Day is celebrated annually on February 13 and was established by self-help guru Christine Arylo, author of “Madly In Love With ME, The Daring Adventure To Becoming Your Own Best Friend”. The philosophy behind her message, which is targeted to women but can apply more broadly to anyone in society, is that we cannot truly love others without loving ourselves fully. This is true, too, of compassion, gratitude, and joy — the sources of all of these is within each of us and resides in the true Self. Yoga can help us tune in to the true Self.
Remind yourself whenever you need to today that you can love yourself.
I was originally going to do a post about President Lincoln’s birthday, but since I already posted a quote from him on National Freedom Day I thought I would go a different direction.
The Grammy Awards are going on as I write this, and it made me think about how much music affects our moods. We all have certain songs that get us fired up, warm our hearts, and bring a tear to our eye or a smile to our faces. And some songs just make us want to dance.
This beautiful February morning, I was having a dance party with my dog and cat (it was a fairly exclusive affair) to the music of the fabulous Robert Randolph & the Family Band. Hint: Their live shows are full of joy and positive energy and they are amazingly talented, so see them if you can. Here’s the soundtrack. Hope you enjoy!
Benefits of Laughter
Laughter does a number of wonderful things for us.
From webmd.com, laughter:
- helps reduce stress hormones;
- boosts the immune system;
- benefits the circulatory system by boosting heart rate, regulating blood pressure, and improving blood flow; and
- lessens stress and depression.
How to Practice Laughter Yoga
I usually close my Gentle Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors with a round of laughter yoga, a tradition passed down to me from the previous teacher. It’s really easy and we’re all usually generally laughing by the time we’re done.
- Sit comfortably with a long spine and bring your hands to your heart center in anjali mudra.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your heart center skyward (remember to breath as often as you need to).
- As you exhale, bow slightly and briefly say “ha” eight times as if you’re laughing. Deeply inhale and repeat twice more.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, replacing “ha” with “ho”.
- Repeat again, replacing “ho” with “he”.
- Close with “namaste”.
Yours in love and laughter,
January 31 is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, a day to think about how art inspires us, heals us, and brings joy to our lives.Whether through music, dance, visual arts, or writing, art tells our story. Creative expression helps us share our individual and shared history and keeps us connected.
Let today inspire you to be creative, go to a gallery or book reading, or maybe turn up your favorite song and dance your heart out. Also consider giving to local arts organizations and supporting local artists. Connect with your own heart.
In joy and love,
It’s National Hugging Day! The World needs more love, so seize the day and your friends, family, pets, or strangers (with their permission, of course) and hug it out!
Got no one to hug? Don’t be sad. You can hug yourself. Hugging yourself has been shown to reduce physical pain. I often include a gentle hug/spine freeing sequence when I teach chair yoga and yoga for cancer patients and survivors as part of the warm up. Check out the video below.
On this day in 1882, Alan Alexander Milne, better known as A.A. Milne, was born. A successful novelist, poet, and playwright, Milne is best known for his Winnie the Pooh stories featuring his son Christopher Robin (Milne) and his stuffed bear.
May you meet today with joy and wonder,