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30 days of yoga: Are we having fun yet?

Monday, January 25, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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DSC_3828
The joy of yoga*

If you started your 30 days of yoga sadhana on January 15th then you’ve been practicing for 10 days now. You are one third of the way through your sadhana.

Are you having fun yet?

Maybe that seems like a strange question. Maybe you expect yoga to be serious?

It is. At least, it is profound. My experience of yoga has been that it leads me into all of my own darkest places and then helps me find the steadiness and the ease that I need to find my way through each of them to the other side.

Yoga can be intense. But it has also been a source of real lightness and joy for me. I have fun when I’m in my flow.

In my yoga classes we often end up having a laugh. Sometimes it might be a release of the nervous energy that builds up when you step into those otherwise untouched places. But sometimes it simply is a spontaneous outpouring of joy.

Many of us spend much of our lives unplugged from our source of energy, joy and love. When we plug in, which yoga helps us do, it’s not unusual to feel joyful, even ecstatic.

Not all the time. There are certainly days when my practice is taking me through places where I’m still storing up fear, shame or guilt. When my practice leads me to lean into those spaces it can feel pretty heavy.

But when I keep breathing, keep connecting to the earth, keep coming back to the sensations in my body, keep returning to my sankalpa – well, eventually I find space, I find freedom and I find joy.

So how about you? Is yoga a source of joy? Are you having fun yet?

How is your sadhana going? Have you noticed any changes in your body, mind or spirit? Have you learned anything new about yourself?

*I've used this photo before, maybe even twice, but I can't think of a
better image of the joy of yoga. Not just because of the bliss state evident on my
face but also the guy in the background, who didn't join our class but
did do his own joyful thang!

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7 Responses to "30 days of yoga: Are we having fun yet?"

  1. Emily Perry says:

    ah, yes! i am finding that this practice is bringing me lots of joy:: today my daughter was dancing, and then moved into spontaneous rounds of sun salutations, and i thought:: this is it! she is movin’ and flowin’! the last 10 days have brought her joy, too. everyone benefits!

  2. Swirly says:

    I love that photo of you, and YES, I am having fun with it!

  3. Anne-Marie says:

    I’d never thought about this before. I guess I take my Yoga fairly seriously, when I am practising at home or in class [although my teacher can be funny and often makes us laugh]. But when I do Yoga at the beach or in a park, that’s usually just for the pure enjoyment of it. I love doing Yoga outside.

  4. amy says:

    finding and creating more joy and lightness in my life is part of my intention for this whole year and this thirty day practice. yoga brings me a quiet, grounded feeling that i adore. but more joy would be a lovely thing. working with an injury sometimes makes it hard to find that sense of lightness but i want to explore more ways to make that happen. thank you for the inspiration and encouragement.

  5. asiyah says:

    Feeling good, yes!
    I find that on days when I don’t do the yoga – I make it a point to go for a walk, take the longer way home or just work out a bit.
    Very happy and feeling good about increasing my discipline without the self-criticism. Thank you Marianne.

  6. MIKE says:

    I have been doing yoga twice a week and Im loving it.

  7. Christina says:

    I’m enjoying my yoga practice more each time, i think it’s a confidence thing “I can do this” and the serenity that comes with the breathing and the slow movement. I’ve also experienced moments of joy which were quite unexpected, something like a release or a burden lifed. I love the break its giving me from the over-activity of my mind.
    But I had fun for the first time last night when my husband wanted to try it out…his efforts to replicate your “comfortable seated position” were admirable and left us in tears from laughing.

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