Of all of the amazing lessons our practice of yoga can teach us, perhaps the greatest single idea is gratitude.
In almost every aspect of our daily lives, we tend to push forward and try to find new avenues to achieve happiness. Within work or school, the pursuit tends to be one of attaining more. Yoga teaches us to ‘just be’ and reflect on what is.
Through an appreciation for what already exists on earth and a strong understanding of how our bodies interact with the mother nature, we find the basis for increasing happiness through yoga. More so than almost all other challenges we take on in life, great yoga starts with appreciation. Appreciation for the amazing resources our world provides us, for our sense of community, for the great capabilities of our own bodies, and the list goes on..
Yoga is as progressive a practice as any, yet it must start with gratitude for what exists currently. As we master balance in the poses we do and move to more advanced asanas, we build on what we’ve accomplished, constantly reflecting on the path that brought us to where we are today.
Much in the same spirit as our recent post on yoga meditation, we can’t stress enough the importance of taking every opportunity to understand and express gratitude for each day we have to better ourselves. The next time you roll out your yoga mat and join your peers in preparing for a class, take the time to think of all of the incredible occurrences and interactions that have lead up to that moment. (From the physical to the spiritual, nothing is worth reflecting about more than our existence.) Then breathe, and use the momentum of your own gratitude to flow into each pose.
Most of life’s immediate and long-term obstacles can be alleviated with a better sense of gratitude. With enough positive self-reflection, it becomes extremely difficult not to be grateful — and in turn, happy. This is one of the most powerful and profound qualities learned through the practice of yoga.
Keep moving. Be grateful.