The practice of joy
We all have had experiences of joy, but remembering joy can be challenging sometimes when we are entangled in our stories and painful emotions. I have some tools that have become very handy to experience joy and i am happy to keep them in my tool box.
The first and most important to me right now, is sharing: spending time with friends and family, the human touch, connecting with new people. I've said before that it is in sharing that i learn and grow, and i would add that sharing is the fastest way towards experiencing joy.
Last may i organized my very first retreat with my beloved friend David, where we gathered to explore the inner landscapes with the help of David's horses and the yoga practices i was suggesting. One day we sat in couples, we connected with our partner looking each other in the eye and then each at a turn we said something that would make us feel joy. That simple game brought so many smiles, laughs and openhearts in all of us. We were amazed to realize that little things like the drops of water running down the skin when having a shower, or the sun in the face in a cold day, or savouring a piece of chocolate, or walking barefoot, were such immense sources of joy.
So joy is available almost everyday and if we are not feeling it is just because we are not paying attention, not being aware. Sometimes there is another emotion that is really absorivng our energy and attention, so we miss this little things and the chance to feel joy amidst sadnes or anger or fear or any other emotions that are painting the whole day in a single color.
When practicing yoga, in our sadhana, at home or at class, we can allow for joy to be experienced, felt. But how do we do that? Bringing playfulness in the practice can help, as well as dwelling in the sensations after a certain karana o asana, but mainly just doing what we do in yoga and that is the basic yoga practice: being aware. Being aware is the best receipe for joy, because it will allow us to feel joy when it presents itself, even if it only lasts for a second, and we will know for sure that we just experienced joy fully. And this knowledge will build trust and help us to do it again and again, gaining awareness and experiencing fully joy and all the other emotions.