Yoga is often defined as union, specifically union of mind and body… or of movement and breath. In essence yoga helps us to connect more deeply with our minds and our bodies, and as such yoga helps us be more present. When we are present we aren’t stuck in the past or worrying about the future – we are in the moment and only in that moment.
When we focus on the past or future we are usually in a state of mind focused on lack, worry, or some other negative feeling. Conversely, when we are present we are able to be more aware of where we are and what we have.
And so yoga and gratitude have a beautiful connection. When we practice yoga we have the opportunity to be transported to a place where we are much more free from the stresses and worries of our lives. We become more grounded, more centered, and more present. And it is from this place that we can more easily see what we have to be grateful for.
An excellent way to end a yoga practice is with a moment of gratitude. Whether this is something a teacher leads you through specifically or not, you can always pause for a moment at the end of a practice to feel a sense of gratitude for the practice itself, for yourself for taking the time to do that practice, and for everything else in your life.
Pausing to be grateful is a powerful practice. Taking the time to recognize everyone and everything you have to be grateful for helps us to lead lives filled with love, gratitude, and positivity. Even when those people and things may not be bringing us desired outcomes, there often is cause for gratitude nonetheless – we may not see it right away but often there is something to be grateful for even in the challenges that life brings forth for us.
So whether you make it a part of your yoga practice, or a part of your daily routine in some other way, try taking a moment every day to be in a place of gratitude for all the blessings in your life. Then notice how it makes you feel, how it begins to transform other parts of your life.