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gratitude5Gratitude can be a great focus for a yogi in training. It can be a simple meditation, a tool for working on the yamas and niyamas, and a great way to stay positive. Gratitude is defined as: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for, and to return, kindness. When life gets challenging you can choose your reaction. Counting your blessings can be a great way to “choose happiness” as my friend River likes to say.

“the key, in any given moment, is to stay with gratitude. In every moment we have a choice to make. We can focus on whatever negative aspect of a situation our mind brings up, or we can say, no thanks, and consciously choose gratitude. Like everything else in life, it is practice that will make you adept at using gratitude to turn your life into a ceaseless flow of goodness.” River Coco

On the mat, using something you are grateful for as a devotion can be an uplifting motivator. Reminding us to be grateful we can do asana (posture practice) at all, instead of being jealous or self critical. We can also literally count our blessings as a form of meditation. Calling to mind all the wonderful people, places, events (or maybe even things) we have experienced.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Pantanjali suggests a practice called pratipaksha bhavana (sutra 2.33) The idea is to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones. Being grateful is a simple way to try this concept on or off your mat. Just make a choice. Of course that is easier said then done. Remember it’s all a practice. 

 “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls”. -Aesop



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