Choose joy!

How you handle what you don't like is the difference between peace and frustration, between contentment and anger, and between joy and discouragement. It's all about what you dwell on, not what you're going through. If you dwell on what's beautiful, if you dwell on what God is doing, or how you can lift up other people, you could be unsinkable no matter how many icebergs there are. For as one man said, "To those who look for providences, there will always be nice ones provided to see." Choose joy!

After the wrapping paper is all put away, the frantic last minute gifts are purchased, the food bought, prepared, and stored in containers, and the gifts are all opened, what is remaining? I believe that yoga has taught me to choose joy in every moment! Yes, I knew it as a Christian, but I somehow failed to learn to live in the present. Instead of allowing the past to be in the rearview mirror, I thought about it far too much. The future of endless possibilities kept my mind on the hamster wheel that never stopped. Now not rehearsing the past nor worrying over the future with constant thoughts revolving over in my mind, I am learning each day to choose contentment by enjoying each minute.

In yoga contentment is referred to as santosha, outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras as a niyama or a personal observance. It is like a governing principle that we choose to be a hallmark of our lives. Letting go of our attachments to what we wish we had or how inadequate we may feel or look, we learn to breathe joy into each moment. This important yoga concept teaches us that instead of grieving or complaining about the things that have gone wrong, we should accept the truth and learn from it. It aims at helping us attain a state of calm and happiness, irrespective of what is going on in the outer world. When we practice yoga poses on the mat that we cannot yet accomplish, we breathe relaxation into the pose, find joy in the moment, and let go of our EGO in the process.

I think that choosing joy is a great way to start each day. Dedicate each day to the God we serve and breathe peace and calm into even the hard times and difficult scenarios. Learning to do this on the yoga mat helps us to learn to do this in real life.

Namaste'

We have a FREE yoga class on New Year's Day with this theme of choosing joy! You must have a reservation to attend as class size will be limited. It will be a one hour and five minute practice at noon, January 1, 2011. Call 918-855-6459 for more information.

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