Add more Joy to your Yoga!

Tips to Increase Joy in Yoga
Tips to Increase Joy in Yoga

Add more joy to your Yoga!

The whole purpose of yoga is to create “Union”, oneness with all. In this union we often find that our oneness is full of joy, bliss and love.

Is your yoga full of joy bliss and love?

If not, why not?

Sure, at the end of the yoga class you are almost certainly experiencing some aspect of oneness. Sometimes it may be that “out of it” feeling, other times intense peace, other times a feeling of dissolving into everything. There is a myriad of experiences available at the end of the practice.

But how about during the practice? Is your mind chattering about the pain, the to do list, desire to be even better? Are you caught in comparison with the next student who is doing yoga better than you?

Here are 2 techniques that bring “Union” into your yoga practice earlier than waiting for the Shivasana posture that heralds the end of the class.

  1. Keep bringing your focus back to the breath.

As you move your body into, through, and out of the poses, constantly bring your focus to the breath. This gives the mind something organic to place its attention on. The breath is changing constantly, a challenge that aids the mind in staying focused and out of boredom.

  1. Create Bliss in your Muscle Memory

Muscle memory is a fact! If you burn your a finger, that finger will remember the experience and protect itself by from heat in the future.

If you are thinking constantly about a stressful situation at work while doing yoga, this will get imprinted into your muscle memory and you will move away from yoga,  like your finger moves away from heat.

You can use muscle memory to your advantage. This technique was taught to me by the famous Indian yogi, Paramahamsa Nithyananda. He recommends that we consciously plan on breathing in bliss and breathing out bliss with every movement and yoga pose. He emphasizes that bliss is our very essence. By moving our body while invoking the experience of bliss, this becomes embedded into our muscle memory and the ultimate goal of yoga is achieved in each moment. Here is an example of how to do this:

  1. Breathe in bliss. As you breathe in, bring the awareness to the breath and breathe in bliss. Feel the bliss flowing through your whole body. Allow your whole body to resonate with that feeling and experience.
  2. Breathe out Bliss. On the out breath, visualize that you are breathing out bliss. Your breath is nothing but bliss.
  3. Each breath is bliss. With each breath and each movement, keep the focus totally in the in-and-out breathing of bliss. 
  4. Increase the Bliss. As you develop this feeling in your body, allow it to become stronger and stronger.
  5. Feel the bliss throughout your body. Now begin to feel that bliss flowing throughout your body.
  6. Increase that feeling. Your body will now be alive with joy and ecstasy in a very fiery way.
  7. Take that Bliss into your day. Now remember that feeling consciously at different times during the day.

Enjoy these techniques regularly and feel the union with “oneness” increasing and enveloping you more and more! Let me know what your experience is.

Yoga Postures and Impossible

breakthrough the impossible gently!
Yogic breakthroughs start when we drop the “Impossible” word

Yoga and Impossible

As a yoga teacher and student our mind has a huge effect on the yoga practice. We have a strong tendency to rule out our potential as humans by using the word impossible.

It is a common word among yoga students when they first encounter some of the advanced poses.

This is ultimately a self-fulfilling prophesy for many students.

Saying anything is IMPOSSIBLE creates limitation, and stops expansion. If as a child you dream of interstellar travel, but you are led to believe it is impossible, that dream will never manifest as a true potential for you. Interstellar travel will remain unexplored by you, because of the “impossible” residing within you.

The virus “impossible” is the dream killer, responsible for not trusting your heart and inner calling. But it doesn’t stop there, the negation of your dream remains in your subconscious, lurking as regret and disappointment in yourself.  

From where do all great inventions in the world come from? They come from a “blank” space, a space that communicates via intuition, flashes of knowingness, daydreams and in other unexpected ways. When asked about inventions such as the Apple computer, Steve Jobs professed that the idea just came to him. It is interesting to note that before the idea came about, Steve had spent substantial time as a spiritual seeker practicing zen buddhism and traveling in North India, searching for the solutions to the unanswered questions of science.

It is only from the blank space of unlimited possibility that inventors such as Steve Jobs have created some of the biggest companies in the world, with inventions that have transformed the lifestyle of humankind.

Einstein and Impossible

Einstein’s formula E=MC2 was revealed to him in a flash of intuition, a knowingness that was not based on scientific calculations or mathematical equations.  He just knew “It’s got to be so”. The formula was proven correct 20 years later, when technology was advanced enough to rigorously test its validity. For Einstein, the word impossible was not part of the equation.

Walt Disney and Impossible

Walt Disney’s inventions came to him in the form of daydreams, daydreams so vivid, that in spite of the many obstacles he faced, he endured in creating Disneyland Amusement Park.  To this day the park not only nurtures the magic in children, but celebrates possibility thinking and imagination. It prides itself in showcasing innovations that point to the future of technology. For Disney, the future depended on the young generation going well beyond the word impossible.

Why we love the word “Impossible”

Best selling author Rick Hanson in his book Hardwiring Happiness” says that brain research indicates that part of the brain loves negativity, nurtures it and enjoys it. What does that part of the brain do with the word impossible?

The brain’s“enjoyment of negativity” means that our tendency in life is to automatically choose impossible over possible.  By choosing “impossible” the ego strengthens, and it constantly scans for information and events that will proof to us that the choice of impossible is valid.

“A Crime of the Mind”

 As we take this line of thought even further in our questioning, we discover that the mind so loves the word impossible that it shouts it out, screams it out to us. We can describe this as the“Crime of the Mind”.

If we truly sit with the thought that impossible is a “crime of the mind” and witness its devastating effects that keep us trapped in smallness, this contemplation can be liberating.

As soon as we increase the awareness of ourselves and see the world through the lens of “possible”, our horizons expand and magic flows with ease.

Exercise to increase yogic performance

  1. On a paper write the heading Impossible. Then write down 10 postures that you desire but consider difficult or impossible.
  2. Sit with the idea that what you have been labeling as impossible is a “crime of the mind”.
  3. When you have shifted your consciousness, on the list of 10 postures, from impossible to potential, take a pen and cross out the heading and write possible instead.
  4. Repeat this exercise for 21 days until you can look at the list and smile. Enjoy the potential of your future.
  5. Now in the yoga class feel your body move into those postures with excitement and ease.

 

The short book on Worry that I produced has some great exercises that also shift thought patterns about “Impossible” Click here to go to that page.