Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Flavor of Fun!

"From joy springs all creation, by joy it is sustained, toward joy it proceeds, and to joy it returns." -Mundaka Upanishad

Fun comes in many flavors and last night fun tasted like the 80's!  We celebrated the magic of the 80's at the yoga studio with a special "I Love The 80's" yoga class.  It was an incredibly FUN and joyful evening of practicing together in a relaxed and lighthearted way.  It was, dare I say "Like, oh my God! Totally bitchin'!"

I spent the years between 1979-1987 in middle school and high school. I am also part of the "MTV" generation. As a kid, my life was ruled by new wave music, music videos and all things 80's, like Pop Rocks, outlandish fashions (which all came from the crazy music videos we were exposed to) and John Hughes movies. When I look back at those days, I get the warm and fuzzies. They were carefree, happy and playful times where the world was safe (as only it can be when you live at home with mom and dad), but also the future was wide open and  unknown, full of mystery and possibility.

Somewhere along the line though, as we get pushed through our school years and into college, and from college into the world where a career or family take precedence, we forget the importance of fun and why we need it in order to grow spiritually.

Ever wondered why time flies when you’re having fun? It’s because you become so absorbed and immersed in what you’re doing that you forget to look at your watch. You think only of the present without comparing it to the future or the past.  Fun is the purest form of mindfulness practice.  Pure, unadulterated JOY in motion!  That's what last night's class was... joyful!  A beautiful coming together of folks from the yoga community to celebrate, sing and have fun.  It was pure magic (cue the Cars song)!

Having been a student and teacher of yoga for several years now, I am often reminded of how we as practitioners can become so engrossed in perfecting the physical or spiritual aspects of the practice that we lose sight of what the essence of the practice is all about... living fully, joyfully, and lovingly in this moment. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the reverence of our practice that we actually end up closing ourselves off to the feeling of joy.  We can become so engrossed in our asana or meditation practices or so enmeshed in presenting ourselves as "spiritual" beings to the world, that we miss the deeper purpose of the practice entirely. 

The larger purpose of yoga seeks to reveal the true nature of the self and to have us live as that true nature. The true nature of the self is not closed off, but rather open and connected to all things. The true nature of the self is not having one leg beautifully stretched behind the head, but rather opening the heart to embrace all of life as it unfolds. The ultimate aim of yoga is freedom and to experience one's innermost being or "soul" (in Sanskrit: the Purusa).

Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Last night's practice was a beautiful example of experiencing the joy of yoga.  Of being so completely absorbed in the fun of the moment that time stood still.

It was a wonderful reminder to incorporate fun into your daily life and to taste the sweet flavor of fun.

Until next time, wishing you the clarity to find joy right where you are...

80's Playlist:
"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
"Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
"Take On Me" by Aha
"Venus" by Bananarama
"Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles
"The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
"Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams
"Working For The Weekend" by Loverboy
"We Got The Beat" by The Go-Go's
"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell
"Heat of The Moment" by Asia
"Is There Something I Should Know" by Duran Duran
"Whip" It by Devo
"Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard
"Down Under" by Men At Work
"Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant
"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds
"Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
"Life In A Northern Town" by Dream Academy
and for our special sing along chant...
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison

Joy is not in things; it is in us” -Richard Wagner

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