The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

From Oy-full to Joyful


Ever have a time in your life when it felt like the deck was stacked against you, the winds of change were blowing you hither and yon, and you were stuck in second gear and revving your engine? If you are human (and if you are reading this, I am guessing that you are:) then you can answer yes to these questions. I know that I certainly have been there, done that, got the t-shirt. The good news is that I got through every one of them and so did you, because you are here to talk about it.  It’s easy to remain entrenched in habitual happenings, but infinitely more rewarding to disengage yourself from the bonds of the mantra of ‘that’s the way things have always been,’ and step into infinite possibility of how things could be.


Tonight I facilitated a workshop called Yoga Off The Mat at a beautiful yoga studio in Harleysville, PA , called Anahata. That is the sanskrit word for the heart chakra.

According to author Anodea Judith:

“The heart chakra is related to the element air and the quality of love. Air is  formless, largely invisible, absolutely necessary, and the least dense of our first four elements. Air is expansive as it will expand to fit any space it is put into, yet it is soft and gentle.

So, too, is love. Love is the expansion of the heart, the transcendence of boundaries, the interconnectedness of spirit. Love is balance, ease, softness, forgiveness. And love at the heart chakra is felt as a state of being, existing independently of any object or person.


The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Anahata, which means “sound that is made without any two things striking.” This describes a state where we are no longer fighting or confronting what we love but moving with it in graceful harmony.”

This was the perfect setting for the conversation (both verbal and non-verbal) that took place among those of us gathered in a room that flowed with peace and grace, carried in by the women who sat in a circle, some on cushions, blankets and yoga mats, some in folding chairs. I was moved by the collective wisdom there; these mothers and daughters, teachers and students, healers and BE-ers.  I learned so much from them about what it means to be fully alive; humanly divine and divinely human. Laughter and tears flowed…to me, the mark of a sense of safety in the room. They shared their ‘oys and joys’. One of my favorite exercises is what I call The Oy Vey Stretch in which you stand, inhale and do a forward bend and as you exhale, you let out the relatively tame Yiddish expletive ‘oy’.  Then you slowly, one vertebrae at a time, stand. The next round has you letting out an ‘oy vey'; upping the ante as it were. And finally, you release an ‘oy vey iz mir’, in full kvetch (complaint mode). What resulted, as it always does, were gales of laughter. Amazing how quickly we can transform our emotional state with a good belly laugh.


So, what ‘oys’ are you willing to release and what ‘joys’ are you willing to call in? The choice, as always, is yours. Know that you get to live in the light of love, heart chakra open as widely as you allow. In The Light of Love by Deva Premal and Miten with Manose

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