Yoga and Gratitude
How does yoga help you express your gratitude? Why do we practice yoga? The common answer is health and/or wellness. What detracts from wellness more than stress? What is more opposite of stress than gratitude? Yoga and gratitude are like parent and child. Gratitude is a by-product of yoga as the goal of yoga is awareness as we become more aware we start to see how blessed we are and it starts to seem really silly that gratitude is not a larger player in our mental state. Especially when we understand the negative effects of stress and gratitude reversing those effects.
Yet in the rat race where everyone is running around trying to get somewhere and trying to accumulate more, we somehow end up feeling like we are not good enough and we don’t have enough. We feel like something is wrong or something is missing (because that’s the way the marketers want us to feel and think). When business 101 teaches us to create a need for what we are selling, an industry called marketing blossoms. The key to marketing is creating a need and one way to create a need is to make people feel inadequate without what they are selling, or feel like something is missing, feeling like we are not good enough the way we are or they would be much better if they purchased this product. People see these messages in the form of ads or commercials, billboards, etc…. We see how beautiful we should be and what we should have to be cool and what we need for a good time, we see what we are missing and what we should have, and even how we should act. Over time this stuff has an effect. It’s like we are being programmed by our culture and the program is making us sick but we can’t stop because we have become addicted to the program. Like the cigarette smoker is addicted to smoking even though they are poisoning themselves. Our mentality dwells more in lack than abundance. We become more focused on what we want than grateful for all we have. We believe our salvation will come from accumulation instead of appreciation. Accumulation has no end. Appreciation is the end, it’s the foundation of contentment and satiation.
Gratitude Yoga is when you consciously attempt to be grateful. One way to express gratitude within our yoga practice is to keep remembering the trillions of reasons you have to be grateful. Yoga poses that inspire gratitude and yoga sequences for cultivating gratitude are simple poses and sequences where your priority is to keep gratitude in the forefront of your mind. A yoga class for gratitude or dedicated to cultivating gratitude is lead by a person who values gratitude and is constantly reminding themselves or the class participants to bring one’s mind back to gratitude.
Gratitude is like a muscle, if you use it, it will grow and if you don’t it will atrophy. So, bringing gratitude back into one’s life means taking the time out of one’s day and developing it.
Thus, here at PowerYoga, we offer you a Yoga and Gratitude Meditation as well as a Gratitude Yoga Class or two. Your teacher is your life’s experience and your teacher has taught you that you cannot develop something you do not use. So, to cultivate gratitude you need to use it, and if you’d like you can develop gratitude until it becomes the largest player in your psyche.
We are here to support you!
- Bryan Kest