Happiness is Found Within You

I have been lucky enough to spend the last week with my teacher, Manju Jois, with a few Ashtanga folks from Thrive inside his home in California. It’s been a blessing to train with my teacher of nearly 10 years, but even more so because I got to share my love for my teacher with a few of my students, I hope, growing their love for my favorite practice.

Very early in the week, during the question and answer time, we were all sitting in a semi-circle around my septuagenarian teacher, who still sits on the floor “criss cross apple sauce” right amongst us, he shared one of my favorite stories where he and a friend jumped a train in India, leaving south India for North India (so like sneaking out of his house in Florida, trying to get to Maine–pretty far away). 

Each time he tells the story, new details emerge, and different questions get asked. This time, he was asked if he was scared (he wasn’t yet a man and he hadn’t told his parents). He said, without missing a beat,

“When you are determined, you can do anything.”
So that was the first of several truth bombs that came forth rapid fire style. As someone that is very driven and determined, that statement resonated well with me. 

However, the next statement came at me like a pentecostal sermon, straight to my heart and convicting me BIG TIME.

He went on to talk about the trip and the trials and the lessons. The best lesson was that, despite not having food sometimes, or a place to stay, he was always happy. 

“Happiness starts on the inside”

(pointing to his heart)

“If your happiness is right here, you will always be happy, no one can take that from you.”

Manju Jois

I will spare you another gif 😉

Think about this for one minute.

How often have you said something like,

“I will be happy as soon as I lose this last 15 lbs.” 


“I will be happy as soon as he/she/they get their act together.”


“I will be happy as soon as I get the new Yukon Denali XL.” –that may be my husband’s dream car for us right now. 😉

The truth is, as long as you and I are looking outside of ourselves, the happiness we seek will continue to elude us.

Isn’t that tragic? The more we search for it, the further it becomes.

HOWEVER, there is a super simple solution here, according to my teacher and countless philosophies across the world. 

Stop looking outward, look inward. Happiness is right there within you, right now.

Even if the water is “5 feet high and rising.” in your life, there is always hope, there is always happiness. 

It may seem small right now, but the happiness fire, it is there inside of you, just waiting to be stoked a bit by your own practice. You can do it. 

Guess what, (and I know you won’t think this is a surprise) yoga can help with that!


You know I had to put that in here!

Yoga, the practice of it, is a journey you take your body, mind, emotions–the whole schibang. You take that with you on every practice and it brings all of you to the table for connection-the union.

If you’re looking for happiness, I invite you to come practice with us here at the studio this week and just see if you can tap back into the happiness that is there, right within you. If you’re already tapped into that happiness, go share it with the world beside you! Smile at a stranger. Help a blind man cross the road. Give your friend a hug. It’ll grow your own happiness and it’ll maybe help spark their own fire!

Let me know what happens.