When was the last time you felt truly grateful for your yoga practice?
Yogis are often encouraged by their teachers to practice gratitude while focusing on other areas of their lives (health, family, career, etc.) but one thing that’s easy to overlook is to be grateful for the practice of yoga itself.
Take a few moments to read over the following list of things all aspiring, beginner, intermediate, and advanced yogis can be grateful for and think about how they apply to your own practice.
1. The ability to move.
It’s easy to take your body for granted when you live entirely in your mind, but yoga helps put you deeply in touch with the mechanics of your body as well as all the sensations that you may not be aware of. Be grateful for the ability to feel everything you feel as you flex, balance, twist, bend, and contract your muscles in your practice.
2. A different experience every time you step onto your mat.
No two yoga sessions are ever the same, even if you perform the exact same set of pose sequences. Every session gives you the opportunity to learn something new about yourself.
3. Time to simply be with yourself.
The time you spend on your mat is your “me time.” You can forget about everything you did already and everything you still have to do after you’re done so that you can focus on yourself as you are in the moment.
4. The lessons that come with the challenges.
Whether you struggle to convince yourself to get to class after a long day at work or have been trying and trying to master a particular pose, each challenge is unique in your own journey. It always has something to teach you. Keep going, and be grateful for the opportunity to learn from it.
5. Progress in personal growth.
Through regular practice, you embark on a journey of growth. Not only will you get physically stronger, but also mentally and emotionally stronger as you surrender to the meditative effect of yoga on the mind.
6. Connection to all living things around you.
When yogis say, “Namaste,” what they’re really saying is, “I bow down to the divine spirit within you that connects the both of us as one.” Through your yoga practice, your awareness of the true nature of every living thing will become more clear.
7. A naturally effective way to eliminate stress.
There is perhaps no better way to let go than by practicing yoga. Whether it’s physical tension, mental turbulence, or emotional turmoil, stepping on your mat is an effective and healthy way to bring your entire body, mind, and spirit back to a balanced state.
8. Grounding in reality.
Speaking of the need to reestablish balance, be sure to appreciate the fact that yoga can help you accomplish this by allowing you to detach from the thoughts flowing through your mind and and start living in the world again as it is. Just because you’re thinking or feeling a certain way does not necessarily mean it’s absolutely true.
9. Great self-control.
Yoga enhances self-awareness, which is necessary for exercising good self-control. Be thankful that you have your practice to help you break bad habits and behaviors.
10. A way of life.
Finally, all yogis can be grateful for the fact that yoga is far more than just physical exercise or a mental stress reliever. It truly is a lifestyle. From the way that you treat others to the way you respond to unexpected events, your yoga journey helps you every step of the way, and that is something to be seriously grateful for.