Perfect Moment Monday: Jai Ho

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Details on how to participate are at the bottom of this post, complete with bloggy bling.

Please visit the links of the participants at the bottom.

Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.

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Have you ever had one of those fleeting thoughts that your life is so fragile you could die any second? Followed by one of those even rarer thoughts that dying in this moment would be OK because of the amazing thing you just experienced, which filled you so with life and joy that for just a moment you felt your own timelessness?

This happened to me this weekend as I crossed the street to get to my car following a dance/meditation class I attended for the first time. Had I been hit by a car, I would have died happy.

My yoga studio offered a Bhangara dance session Saturday. I had no clue what Bhangara (also Bhangra) was, but I’m really into moving my body these days, so I signed up.

I knew Bhangara was a dance form that originated in northern India. I knew that it had been recently popularized in the film Slum Dog Millionaire (to the song Jai Ho). Here are scenes from the final credits.

Bhangara is a dance of joy, of abundance, done to celebrate harvests and marriages and other happy events. It’s not technically difficult — you do better at it when you just feel the music and let it take you over. It’s very energetic and, from what I can tell, it is done as a group. Think Deepak Chopra meets Achy-Breaky Heart, with more free-form.

Our instructor, a western woman, greeted us in traditional Punjabi dress, complete with turban. For an hour, she showed  us several Bhangara moves to traditional and modern music, and we moved around the room energetically. The dance requires a lot of jumping around and springiness — we got quite an aerobic workout and today my calves are chanting at me (not Ommmm, but owwww).

This is NOT me and my class (sorry, WiseGuy!), but it’s similar to what the 11 of us learned to do.

It was exhilarating.

We closed the class with a brief meditation to heal the planet with our feminine energy. The instructor chose a mudra to activate both our hearts and our third eyes. Feeling and knowing. Connecting and healing.

As I sat in the stillness, people swirled in and out of my mind. Family members, friends, some of you. I had a sense that debris was being released. Clearing. Expanding. Healing.

That was just the beginning of the magical moments. The yoga studio has a set of vertical windows  on the west side of the room. I sat on the east side, almost facing the windows. At the start of the meditation, I was in the shade. In those few minutes, a beam of light only 6 inches wide landed fully on my face, allowing for incredible warmth (yet not uncomfortable heat) and a fantastic color show on the inside of my closed eyelids.

Bright yellow, fiery red, vibrant orange swirled around in my mind’s eye. Verdant green, limitless blue and deep purples joined in to make a gorgeous chakra dance. (And you know how I love my chakra colors — see my header).

I continued to breathe deeply and I filled with an intense joy — boundless, uncontainable joy. On the rare occasions when I get filled up like this, I experience an uncontrollable bodily function.

I cry.

Much to my dismay.

It’s embarrassing, and it takes me away from my happy place. I so wanted to surrender to the tears, but I feared what the others would think of me. Fear is quite a buzzkill.

Nevertheless, each time I find the joy I surrender a bit more.

When the instructor brought us out of the meditation I had a few tears rolling down my cheeks. I hoped the other women didn’t notice. But who knows? Maybe they were crying, too.

That’s a pretty long post to describe just one perfect moment. But since so many of you were in it, I wanted to do it justice.

Mwah, my friends. Wishing you all a joyous week.

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To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment in a blog post, on Twitter, on Facebook, or simply leave a comment below.
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What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Be sure to visit these moments and share the love, and please come back next week (click to subscribe).


22 thoughts on “Perfect Moment Monday: Jai Ho”

  1. I like your beautiful description of the light that hit you during meditation.   That sure is letting in the clean, white light. 
    But I LOVE your description of the dance as “Deepak Chopra meets Achy-Breaky Heart.”  Hah!

  2. I think it’s a good thing you cried and released it–don’t keep those feelings inside.  I also loved “Think Deepak Chopra meets Achy-Breaky Heart, with more free-form.”

  3. The dancing looks like such fun!  (Not that I would try it, as I would be more likely to hurt someone than have fun – it’s the land of uncoordination in my house – someone is always walking into a wall).

    And your ray of light…that always feels like a particular blessing.

  4. It sounds like and looks like fun.  Although at the moment it looks a bit like movement that might be beyond me.  Someday.  
    Glad you enjoyed yourself.

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  7. Ack….this means that I will have to open my third eye and imagine you shaking your waist…

    That crying you experience in meditation is a ‘kriya’. At the Vipassana camp that I attended, there were women who would spontaneously break into sobs.

    But this looks so fun.

    I love your yoga teacher/centre, and wish something that innovative was here.

  8. that was a beautiful post, I too find myself breaking down when I am in the midst of moments like that. Like I can’t believe and take in all the wonderful emotions I am feeling. I felt like I was right there with you.

  9. Thank you for telling me about kriya! Now I can look into it more.

    Wish we could do this together. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

  10. I dont think anyone could watch those closing credits without moving or at least smiling.

    I love that you are learning to surrender to the joy. and those releases can be so powerful.

  11. I love the unrestrained joy in moments like this!  This is one of the hardest things that I find when living in Japan – the conservative and reserved nature of the people (while they are incredibly solicitous and sweet) is almost too hard for me to comprehend.  THIS, on the other hand, seems natural and totally perfect!

  12. I love that song “Jaiho” and the credits on Slumdog. It’s on my iPod, and I always run faster when it comes on. I wish that your inner critic didn’t ruin your moment of being touched by the light. Next time, tell your inner critic to f-off :)

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