Recently, I attended a day long retreat celebrating the festival of Lughnasa (named after Lugh the God of the Sun, Light and Harvest). Lughnasa is a Celtic festival which marks the transition between the Summer and Autumn, the harvest season. It was a time when people would gather and celebrate with each other and enjoy the fruits of the harvest. The emphasis was on celebration and feeling joy.
It got me thinking about how important it is to take time to notice the little things around us that bring us joy. In our culture sometimes we’re so busy rushing from task to task we forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Joy can come in the smallest of things, a song you love being played on the radio, a delicious meal, or bumping into a friend unexpectedly. When these moments arise, it’s so important to stop and take a second to fully savour them before they’re gone. Buddha once said everyone would experience 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows in their lifetime. As humans it seems we are hardwired to dwell more on the sorrows than the joys. It’s essential to train ourselves to be aware to the joyful moments and not rush past them.
Yoga teaches that joy, or ananda, lies deep inside each of us. Practising yoga is simply a means to get at what’s already there! Yoga also helps to develop and deepen our connection to others and the world around us, which can have profound effects on happiness and health.
I’m not always feeling joy when practicing those yoga poses that challenge me the most, but maybe feeling the challenge in them makes the poses I love that much sweeter!
Wild thing…a pose that always brings me joy!