Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s no woo-hoo! anymore? One of my dearest friends was back in town recently, and this was one of our first topics of conversation. She is someone I used to woo-hoo! with. I mean girls night out, dancing on bars on 6th Street, house parties ‘til 3am kind of woo-hoo! (By the way, please read woo-hoo! like a cowboy swinging his hat around his head with a full blown Texas accent.)
Maybe it’s post-pandemic, maybe it’s maturity. Or maybe it’s that those things that used to make me want to shout woo-hoo! just don’t sound as fun as they used to. It’s not like I’ve become introverted or don’t love a good party. It’s that now I crave depth over thrills and connection over sensation. I think this is one of the side effects of yoga, once again.
Joy doesn’t look like it used to.
After contemplating this in my morning meditation, I turned on Spotify to get some work tunes going. And whadyaknow, a new and more fitting description of joy was right there waiting for me. Spotify suggested I might like this new song Subtle, on an album titled Joy, by Paul Avgerinos. As the song played (which yes, I liked), the accompanying video played on my phone screen with words that describe joy. It said
Rivers of Light
None of these words are sensational! None of these are thrill-seeking, and yet they deeply resonate with what I’m sensing now. Which brought me to another piece of wisdom about joy from none other than the Bhagavad Gita.
In Hatha last summer we used passages from the Bhagavad Gita to inspire our practice. I presented them in a repetitive, lectio divina style of meditation. (I uploaded the meditation practice for you on YouTube.) Students loved it! And check out what it has to say about imperishable joy:
Chapter 5, Stanza 21
[One who is] unattached to sensations,
who finds fulfillment in the Self,
whose mind has become pure freedom,
attains an imperishable joy.
So joy doesn’t come from woo-hoo! sensations anymore. It comes from non-attachment and fulfillment in the Self. Joy is pure freedom. It’s no longer driving fast, blasting the Beastie Boys, and smoking through the sunroof, but ascending, feeling content, and embracing simplicity.
Does this sound boring? Well, not to me anymore. I’ll take imperishable joy over fleeting thrills anytime. Leave the other stuff to the youngsters.
I will, however, remain Licensed to Ill.
May you experience imperishable joy and see it as your new and improved sense of woo-hoo!
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