Yoga teaches us to be grateful for the present moment, not only for the promise of future reward. It allows us to appreciate the full spectrum of life, from pleasure to pain and joy to sorrow. Through the practice of yoga, I’ve learned that the darker moments allow the lighter times to glow ever more brightly. The bumps in the road are the Universe’s way to teach us something about ourselves. Are we moving too quickly, rushing around and missing the sweet joys of life? Are we anxious, impatient, and forgetting to appreciate what we have? Are our egos getting the best of us? Are we not showing appreciation for everyone and everything we have in our lives?
In yoga, we practice a breath of fire and talk about burning away things that no longer serve us. I know there are many places in my life where I can embrace the growing pains with gratitude. Here are three valuable lessons my yoga practice has helped me to realize.
3 Yogic Lessons for a Life of Abundance
1) Practice the mantra “Thank you. Thank You.”
In your meditation or yoga practice, with every inhale, silently say “Thank you.” With each exhale, “Thank you.”
Silently thinking of all I am thankful for while inhaling and exhaling deeply throughout each and every pose in class allows me to equally enjoy an uplifting urdhva danurasana (wheel pose) and challenging pavrita utkatasana (revolved chair pose). Gratitude keeps me patient. Hopeful. Confident. Richly happy. I carry these sweet feelings with me off my mat – and this is the true meaning of yoga – whether the circumstances seem fortunate or un-fortunate, having a strong sense of gratitude for the present moment and appreciation that I am able to APPRECIATE whatever the present moment is.
2) Take a moment right now to look out at the beauty right in front of you. Take a deep breath, soak it all in.
Take a moment to slow down and be completely aware of where you are in this very moment. If you are stressed, unhappy, injured, feeling broken, shift your perspective. I can tell you honestly that in the very moment of feeling pain, it definitely isn’t easy to see the light. The truth is, staying stuck in a sad hole doesn’t benefit you and it doesn’t benefit the world either. What are you thankful for? Acknowledge the richness in the dirt and the light in the fire. Focus on the gifts of life.
3) Show your gratitude by being kind to yourself and all others in your thoughts, words, and actions.
Be helpful, don’t hoard, give back. Be your authentic self, give your gifts to the world. Be YOU. This is gratitude. You have gifts no one else has. Go live. Truly live this life. Bless the world with your beautiful spirit.
I have realized that giving thanks on only one day a year is not enough for the benefits of gratitude to take root. I kindly urge you to appreciate what you have when you have it. Realize now, before you have lost, that nothing is forever, and enjoy life and enjoy every moment of the present, the sweet and the sour, appreciate the people in your life and cease expectations. Show you’re thankful not just only on Thanksgiving, but by acts of kindness and love all year long.
I am thankful all year round for the incredible blessings in my life – family, friends, food, my body, health, energy, freedom, work, travel, love… YOU.
About the author: Fern Langham
As a yoga teacher and healer, my passion is to guide you on your personal journey, providing a safe, nurturing and playful environment for you to challenge yourself and find increased body awareness so you can make space for healing your mind and soul. Embrace goodness with me on a transformative yoga and wellness journey at Bliss Out Retreats.