The Very Real Importance of Joy and Play in Yoga

Last week we discovered that to have a strong compassion muscle, we needed to work and strengthen that compassion muscle within ourselves first.  Functional muscular strength is best built from the inside out, just like spiritual strength.  Over the last term we have been building  awareness, acceptance, balance, focus, strength in all it’s guises, and learning to tap our energy sources.  Once we have all these muscles starting to work there is a bit of an energy shift from solid foundation to lightness… we can start to work the joy muscle.

Joy is a by-product of playfulness.  This week’s practice introduces some spontaneity (read Play!) into, so let go of perfection, have a lighthearted approach, transcend your egos and soften rigid dignity.  Everything in this practice has its roots in yoga tradition, but we can still laugh.  Levity is great for our health, great for creating a sense of community. Many spiritual masters use humorous stories to convey their messages.  Think of the current Dalai Lama or Mahatma Ghandi.  Think of the laughing Buddha!

Like any other muscle, the joy muscle also needs regular use to work properly and to respond quickly.  Work it and you will feel wonderful!!