Yoga and Faith Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6


30 min - Practice


Joy is our natural state. This class will invite you to tap into the stable, unchanging presence of joy that lies within the heart of every human being. We explore mudras, tapping, and a few poses that help us drop into the belly, let our inhibitions go, and feel joyful.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket, Block

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Hi everyone, welcome to joy. All the great sages say that joy or happiness is our natural state. There's a term in Advaita Vedanta that says sat-chitananda, truth, consciousness, bliss, is the joy of our being. That's one way that you could look at that word. In Nehemiah it says, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

When I think of the Lord, I think of being, so I sometimes see that as the joy of being is where we are really strong and where we're supported. This class is all about connecting to joy, really connecting to the belly. I don't know why, but joy seems to pour from the belly when we really feel those moments of laughter, of joy. We really do let all of our inhibitions drop, and we are close to really who we truly are in joy. I invite you to join me today.

All you're going to need is a bolster, a blanket, and a block, and we're going to start just lying down. Make your way back. Allow the soles of your feet to find the floor, and let your palms open. We're going to begin just by bringing the hands to the lower belly. Allow your breath to drop down into the lower lungs, just filling up your lower belly here.

To really get a sense of a connection with this zone of the body, we're going to start to just move toward the right hip, and you're just going to kind of make some circular motions with your fingertips, and just kind of get in there and see what's going on. Is there tension in the belly? Is there some freedom in the belly? You're just going to start to walk your hands around toward the bottom of the sternum, just kind of staying in that solar plexus area for a moment, and then eventually working your way back down, and then over to that left side. You may notice some little tender spots here as you need the belly.

I know sometimes connecting with the belly doesn't feel perhaps too joyful, but really when we're real about it, there is a peace that comes with just connecting with this part of our body, and working through whatever stories we might be telling, and just really see the essence of this space. It's said to be in the solar plexus above the navel, said to be really a sort of a bridge to the heart, and so we come in to this space as a way of moving from earth to the heavens, you could say. Just a few more seconds, just connecting here. Sometimes I'll even squeeze the belly so we can do that. We're just kind of getting ourselves connected here.

This is the place of connection, and then after you've done that for a bit, just let your palms open. Remember the hands are the motor organ of the heart, and so as we connect here, you can feel heart and belly connected. Just let your breath rise into the belly, and then let it sink back down. Good, and now we're going to slowly make our way over to one side, and we'll push up to seated, and you're welcome to sit on a blanket here, it might be nice. We'll sit up on a blanket and get comfortable in a seated position, whatever that looks like for you.

We're going to start with a little side movement now, so now we're like opening up the windows of the side waist, and just feeling into that freedom of movement. It's easy to get stuck in that area of the belly, and so as we drop in, just allow yourself to connect with freedom here. Let's go one more time over to this side, and then once more on this side. Now this time open up through that left arm, and just see about opening up the chest, maybe shining the heart toward the sky, and then slowly round. Inhale, picking up and opening, and exhale, crossing over.

Let's do that one more time, and then reach that arm up and over, and we'll go to the other side, pulling that right arm back, and exhale, diving across. Inhale, exhale, one more time like that, inhale, open up, exhale, round, and now reach that arm up and over, and let's take our palms to our knees, and just sit up nice and tall. Maybe let your eyes close, soften through the base of your skull, and just notice what you feel here. Now we're going to make our way onto our belly, and we're going to use a bolster. We're still looking to activate this sense of joy in the belly.

So you'll take your bolster, and we'll place it onto the top of our mat. You can sit your blanket off to the side, and then I'm going to have a block at the top of my bolster. Now the lower belly is going to go right to the edge of this bolster. So you just ease down, let your legs sort of hang off the edge, and then we'll rest the head right onto that block, and just really let go here, finding the breath, and we'll settle in for a couple of minutes. And as you rest here, breathe down into the belly, relaxing through your legs.

And joy can be found even in little things. We can follow joy like we're following a breadcrumb trail to happiness, simply just noticing in this moment what will bring me joy, just right here, right now, nothing major, just finding those places of joy, of being. Sometimes it might just be taking a sip of water, or stretching your arms, or it's taking a shape like this. Final few seconds here. Now slowly bring your hands under your shoulders, we're going to tuck the toes, and if this is okay for your body, you're going to just lift up like a little baby cobra, and if that feels okay, then I want you to press through your arms and just really lift up through your chest, looking up toward the ceiling, and maybe even lift your knees away so you're in sort of an upward facing dog here, and then gently chin toward the chest, let the knees drop, and just walk your knees forward, and I'm going to sit back onto the heels for just a moment, and notice what you feel.

From here we'll remove our bolster, and our block, we're going to come into an extended child's pose with a side stretch. So allow yourself to come into a comfortable wide knee, and then we're going to walk our hands forward, lengthening through the spine, and then just gently walk toward the left. So here again, you're getting into that side body, you can take your right hand on top of your left hand if you'd like, and let's find some breath here. Now slowly coming through center, we'll walk our hands over toward the right. Same thing, if you'd like to bring that left hand over the top of the right hand, please do so.

Good inhale, back through center, and then just one more little reach, maybe walk your fingertips, let a ha breath out. We'll slide the hands back just a little bit enough to find our way to a downward facing dog. Let's take a moment here, let's bend through the left knee, pressing that left heel down and then we'll switch that out, spinning through the left knee, pressing the right heel down. Inhale high onto your toes, find a bit of length, and exhale, release. Good, inhale, slowly walk about halfway up your mat, let a nice easy bend come into your knees, slide your hands back.

We're going to come into a forward fold, just let your belly rest on your thighs, you might even cross your arms here, and then just see if you'd like to move your legs a bit more towards straight, feel free to do that. And release those arms down ragdoll, let everything go. And then we're going to transition into joy mudra, so you're going to press down root through the earth, feel the feet really grounded into the earth, and then we're going to begin to bring our hands to the kneecaps, inhale, move your arms towards straight, and then as you exhale, come up and then reach up and out, and we're just going to find our way into this expression of joy, just imagine yourself expanding out into the room, using all that good belly energy, that good fire to radiate outward, we'll just hold this here for a moment. If you need to drop your elbows a little bit, please do that, make sure that you're finding that space for some joy here, and we'll breathe just opening up through the chest, maybe you want to extend some joy out towards someone who needs it, just let that flow out from your heart, from your fingers, from your toes, from your heart, from your belly, just let that expression of joy be here. And then we'll just bring everything back in and start to step the feet toward each other.

Now we're going to do a little tapping, because nothing feels better than getting energized after we've done grounding work, so you're going to just take your hands and you're going to start to tap right at your chest, just right below the collarbone, good, and then let's take our fingertips and tap the thymus gland, gosh that feels so good. Tap it, tap, let's feel that energy pouring in, good, and now let's tap the belly, I know it's something you have to kind of let go of thinking, it kind of sometimes chiggles. And then the hips, and then the sides of your waist, and then maybe drop one arm or lift one arm and tap down the side of your armpit there. And then over the top, down the arm, clap, up the arm and down, and that karate chop line, and then back to home base. Feel your feet, notice you're connected to the earth, good, and then we'll do the other side, just kind of going up near the armpit, over the top, clap, karate chop, back to home base, back to the heart, good, keep that going.

Now let's go behind, so you just kind of let your forearms get a little floppy, and you just kind of wake up the back of the neck, you know, it's like that upper back tends to be where we stick a lot of things, a lot of stresses and tensions. So tap there, just let your hands be floppy, good, and then just come up into your sweet little head, just tap down through your crown, and just feel that buoyancy, feel that bounce of energy that just kind of goes from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. Awesome guys, good, and then just kind of shake your little arms out, shake your legs out, and stand with your palms facing front in Tadasana. You're welcome to close your eyes, and just notice, awesome, alright, we're going to make our way slowly back down, and all that energy, now that we have all that energy, we're going to start to wind down into a spinal twist, so for this, you might take a little time, get your bolster, we're going to place our bolster off to the left of the mat, and we're just going to use that bolster to put our leg up on the top, and then I've got a blanket for my head, just that will feel comfortable, and so then just tip over to the side, and I don't know if you ever use a body pillow, but kind of use this bolster like a body pillow, and find your twist. We'll be here for just a few moments, and just feel the breath, and you're welcome to take Gyan Mudra here, if you like, with your right hand.

It's really nice after tapping to get this twisting action in the body, when you think about just bringing some fresh blood flow to the internal organs. Final seconds here. Nice and slow, just bring that left arm over, make a little pillow for your head if you don't have a blanket, and just rest there for a moment. Just rest on that left side, letting the breath be felt in that right side, and then we're going to inhale onto our backs, we'll let that right leg extend, and draw that left knee in toward the chest, big hug here, and release that when you're ready, and we'll make our way over to the second side. It's getting comfortable with that left knee on the bolster, and we'll be here for a couple of minutes.

Very often joy is something we surrender into. It's easy to think that maybe I'm too happy or whatever, but it's actually, I do believe what the sages say, that it is our natural state. If you ever have a question about that, just coming home and your pets welcoming you, they show you pure joy. It's just so natural, and the same with little children, playing. It's these things that we can so easily forget, we get caught in our thoughts, in our worries, but simply coming to the matine and meeting ourselves, it allows us to really experience the truth, and that's that joy, peace, pure being is always here, it's never left.

Nice and slow, please make your way over to your right side, make a little pillow for your head, with your arm, and rest here for a moment. Now we'll inhale onto our backs, and take a moment to stretch out through that left leg, now we'll hug the right knee in toward our chest, and then release that. Alright, final shape here before Shavasana, we're going to make our way up, just a couple of minutes for a reclined butterfly, just to close out our practice, and since we have a block, you're welcome to place the block under your bolster, you can go to the medium setting or the lowest setting, and then you can even take your blanket out. Alright, so meet you back here, let the soles of your feet connect, if that feels right for your inner thighs, let your palms open, just a couple of minutes here, and often when I'm in this shape, I like to bring my little finger and ring finger to the thumb, and just holding this very grounding mudra as the heart opens, so if you'd like to take this mudra, feel free to join me in this. And the mudras really bring us into that subtle current, and so see if you can notice how your breath changes as you hold this.

Final seconds here, good, and then deepen your breath, and exhale everything, and place our palms down, and just easing up away from that support, and we're going to make our way into our shavasana here. So I'm going to use the blanket, always use the props that you have if you need them, for shavasana. So I think today for shavasana, I'm going to bring my feet up on the edge of the bolster, and then just let my knees drop in, and you're welcome to join me here, just find your favorite shavasana. And these final seconds as we rest here together, just consider ways that you can follow joy, that you can find joy, and it is very helpful to have people and pets and experiences that do remind us that we're joyful beings, so I encourage you to find that in your day. And slowly deepen your breath here, you might take a little stir with those knees, drawing the knees in, and then over to the other side.

We'll make our way slowly up to a seated position. Thank you for being here today.


Michelle F
2 people like this.
Angel dear!
thank you so much for this wonderful gift of a season - joyous indeed and just what i need to replenish body and soul for the new year!
festive greetings!
loveandpeacexx x
Angel B
Michelle F Yay!!!! I'm so happy it brought a little joy and replenishment to you! Festive greetings to you too! xoxo Angel
Jenny S
2 people like this.
This “Grand Finale” was deeply healing and inspiring …. And your point about pets was right on. My 3 little gurus bring such joy into my life 💕🐾Thank you for this wonderful season of yoga medicine Angel 🙏🏻
Nancy T
2 people like this.
I now have more Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart, and tummy.  Great practice having an intention to restore our being of Joy.💕
Amanda H
1 person likes this.
This joyful practice has put a permanant smile to my face.
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Angel, for bringing back joy into my life with this beautiful practice! Namaste! 💖🌞🌹
Angel B
Nancy T Fantastic!!! I remember that song from childhood.  What a joy to be reminded of it here!
Angel B
1 person likes this.
Amanda H I love it!!! So happy to know that, friend.  May many smiles continue to energize your life in this new year. xoxo
Angel B
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan it really warms my heart to know that! Such an amazing community we have here at Yoga Anytime. I am grateful to share this space with all of you.
Nadine R
1 person likes this.
I feel joyful now!
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