5 Yogic Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

Join us this November as we begin a mindful practice of gratitude to see what unfolds in life. Lets consider  a daily practice so that the conditioning effect on both the mind and the body become more habitual.  There are actually many ways to focus on a gratitude practice so we are suggesting something simple and doable, that we might lock elbows together and make it a collective exercise in this EYP community – ready to join us? We want to hear about your gratitude practice. And, as we are grateful for you all, we are offering a giveaway, a yoga mat carrier! Post and share as many times as you’d like across all of our social media platforms with #EYPThanksgiving Giveaway2018, and each engagement will be entered into our giveaway.  The winner to be announced this Thanksgiving weekend, 2018!

Practicing gratitude in a mindful way leads to a realization of being connected to life on many levels and the acceptance that there is a larger, unexplainable context in which our personal story is constantly unfolding, while intertwining with people and events according to a master plan. With a daily gratitude practice, you might find yourself feeling less attached to your life’s drama, to being more accepting of the unexpected yet constant change.  Such are the lessons of non-attachment, and they have a very liberating effect. They also move us toward feelings of generosity, which create even more joy. Gratitude can soften the negative emotions, to include forgiveness, resentment, envy, self-doubt and self-sabotage, the true obstacles of our own suffering that we create for ourselves.  As these hard places in life dissipate, there is then room for personal spiritual growth.

Our challenge to you: Create a daily gratitude practice:

1.  Make note of the little things that contribute to the ways that you depend on life – your alarm working, the technology that gives you high speed information, the food in front of you, the farmers who grew it and the steps involved to get it to your table, the roof over your head, the clothes in your closet, your family, job, transportation,….Find ways to show/express appreciation.

2.  Embody your gratitude practice:  Practice heart opening poses like wheel, shoulder stand, cobra, locust, all warrior poses, dancer’s pose, savasana,… Notice how they make you feel open and receptive, ready and willing. Practice pranayama to move your energy upward and forward.

3.  Share your gifts:  Donate clothes, food, items that you no longer need that are still useful, your time, a financial contribution,..

4.  Pray for those in need, pray for guidance, and keep your heart open and receptive.

5.  Get out in nature and find ways to cleanup man’s footprint. We need the “gifts of the earth,” so we must take care of our planet.

You with be pleasantly surprised that your concerns will slowly shift from self and “wants” to interest and concerns for all living beings. You will find yourself being more generous, more aware of your community, both immediate and far. Your sense of well-being will depend less on external circumstances. You will be able to rejoice over smaller things as you realize that pain and joy are part of a mysterious whole. As this selfless gratitude starts to manifest and grow, your mind becomes more spacious, the mind’s chatter becomes quieter, and your heart  will feel lighter too -this is grace.