Cultivating Gratitude

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Cultivating Gratitude

gratitude-changes-everything“The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” – Yogi Bhajan

This past Friday we had the opportunity to celebrate with some of our amazing yogis, our first year of a full-time schedule as Verapose Yoga! As Courtney and I had the opportunity to plan and participate in this celebration, we were continually amazed at all of the light and love that the Yogis of Verapose share with one another. We are so grateful for your presence and energy, and believe me, in challenging times this gratitude carries us forward!

In times of stress, such as the upcoming holidays (WHAT am I going to make?!?!), travel, and other world goings-on, the idea that we can take a moment and take stock of that which we are grateful for, is truly a tremendous way to ground ourselves. There are certainly days where it feels like we could write down one thing, if that is the case, write down that ONE thing. Breathe it in. Love that one thing. We will often find there are other days where we feel like we could fill pages with the things we are grateful for. Sometimes these moments give us the chills, or “warm the heart”, we connect with a physical sensation of gratitude throughout the body. With those days, breathe that in as well, love those things. See if that feeling can move beyond ourselves and be shared with others.

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” –Rumi

Research from UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, discusses how reflection on things we are grateful for (on a regular basis 🙂 ) improves emotions, makes people feel more alive, promotes better sleep, leads to increased expressions of kindness, and boosts immune function! It seems that Rumi was right!

This can be as simple as stating your feelings of gratitude on a regular basis, or keeping a consistent gratitude journal. As we stated above, there need not be TONS of things on the list every day, taking the time (a minute or more) to reflect on that which we are grateful for, over time, changes our perception of events, and how we focus on various aspects of our lives, according to Emmons research. According to this research, be specific! Rather than: I am grateful for Courtney. Stating: I am grateful for Courtney talking me through that issue with MindBody so that I understand!

Perhaps take a moment today, or in this week dedicated to Thanks, write down a few things you are grateful for:)