Gratitude is defined as the state of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness to others as a response. Being able to focus on gratitude in your day-to-day life and experiences enhances the quality of your life along with everyone you come into contact with. You radiate an energy of positivity that can be felt by others.

People who are grateful are more likely to overcome hardships. As we all slowly move back to a new normal way of living, we can reflect on all the lessons we are grateful to have learned along the way. For me, it has been of time of prioritizing what really matters and slowing down in order to process that in my life.

There have been many changes in life as we knew it pre-pandemic. There has been a lot of letting go along the way. Many had to face hardships in the face of this pandemic with the loss of their livelihoods, deaths of family members and close friends and so much more. Being able to move through the ups and downs that life brings and know that life has contrasts. To recognize what is good and to persist through the difficulties enhances your ability to cultivate inner strength and resiliency. To cherish love as it goes hand in hand with gratitude.

Yoga teaches me to be grateful in many ways. I get on my mat and breathe in life energy through the practices of pranayama. I set an intention of embodying an “attitude of gratitude” that whatever my body is capable of that day I will honor. I have a deep recognition that my body is my temple which houses my spiritual essence . The breath and movement unite all parts in the practice of asana. To sit in meditation and be present with the divine in silence and openness sets the tone for my day.

Studies show that spirituality enhances a person’s ability to be grateful. World religions espouse the importance of gratitude. In Christianity Martin Luther King referred to gratitude as “the basic Christian attitude” and the “heart of the gospel.” It is a key philosophy in every religion. Vince Lisi the teacher of Now Creations hands out kindness cards so that every time someone is helpful you acknowledge it by handing them the card. Expressing sincere gratitude is a love language and being able to receive gratitude is part of the circle of life.

Practicing gratitude enhances your well-being, fosters physical health and elicits positive emotions. Studies prove the correlation between gratitude and empathy which brings generosity and helpfulness out in humans towards each other. It leads to more happiness along with openness.

Ways to bring more gratitude into your life include- honoring and being grateful for yourself and being kind to yourself first. Then taking the time to express it to others. Journaling every day 3 things you are grateful for. Passing out kindness cards along with volunteer activities.

As we prepare to re-open for In Center classes this week thank YOU for hanging in there with us. We are all grateful for the opportunity to share our passion of yoga with you. The option of practicing from your home via Zoom remains. We cherish the connections we have all made along the way.

Janie Gunn