When did you last have a deep belly laugh until you had tears in your eyes?

Sometimes we feel that there is nothing to laugh about, especially with what is currently happening and the state the world is in. We easily get caught up in our or another’s ‘story’, where we identify with someone within that story or our own role in it. It might make us feel miserable for the rest of the day, or for weeks. We can be so absorbed in past happenings or worry about the future, that we are completely removed from the present moment.

The Present Moment

Think about where and how you are right now as your are reading this. You might sit on your lounge comfortably with a cup of tea or you are on a break from work or similar. Right this moment – if you look at it with focus and honesty – the likelihood is that you are relatively ‘ok’. Something might have happened recently which is bothering you and occupies your mind, but that is already in the past. You might anticipate a difficult situation coming up, but that will be then, and not Now. Right this moment, if you are focusing on your breath, everything is good as it is.

Processing the Past and Future

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t revisit our past and process whatever occurred then, or project into the future to be able to plan ahead; but we shall engage in that mentally only when we consciously make the decision to do so.

Yoga Play Time

As much as we are not necessarily looking forward to a challenging posture in our Yoga practice, it provides us with the opportunity of reaching an exceptional level of focus, as we need to be fully present to attempt to master the still unattainable. The practice also gives us great purpose; we know of the multitudinous health benefits it has to offer, as well as mental and emotional equilibrium. It is meaningful ‘play’ time, which aids us in training the mind to engage in what we – our consciousness – has chosen to engage in. Through this practice of concentration we at least get a glimpse of – or even a deeper insight into – what it might feel like to be in the present moment.

How to be a Dag

Sometimes I succeed in arranging my day wisely so that I can fit in my usual 2 hour practice – fret not, I teach Yoga and feel a great responsibility towards our students, so I am best able to serve you – your practice instead might take much less time. When on those days I hopefully have surpassed my only too familiar moments of fear, physical exertion, reaching that delightful bliss towards the end of the practice, I sometimes go home and make a fool of myself by performing a very naff/daggy dance for Donna, which makes us both laugh. I have to admit to myself that, despite my sometimes wishing for the practice to be a little less demanding, it has brought me to a place of ease. Everything looks a bit brighter, is more fun, is easier.

Sad tears and laughter are closely related; they are both governed by the heart meridian, which in Yoga we stretch extensively, filling it up with free-flowing energy. So feelings of sadness and joy become easily accessible; they are our birthright – think of a small child. It is such a beautiful release to cry and to be aware of the rawness of the emotion; and it is endlessly uplifting and healing to laugh and feel truly alive.

Experience the present moment, and don’t miss out on the fun.

OM Shanti,

Angelika