08 Nov A YOGA FLOW FOR GRATITUDE
My introduction to gratitude and giving thanks came when i moved to America (from Norway) in 1994. Thanksgiving was always my most favourite holiday. The simple act of giving thanks always feels so good. A few years later watching the Oprah [Winfrey] show i (together with millions of others, ha ha) learned about Simple Abundance, a new book by Sarah Ban Breathnach. My Gratitude practice began then, and i am forever grateful for the introduction. It has helped me navigate through a lot of diversity with trust, self confidence and [dare i say] grace.
It is said that gratitude is:
* the secret to life
* the key that opens all doors
* the most passionate transformative force in the cosmos
* the greatest of the virtues (together with patience, may i add)
[Below you will find a Gratitude Flow that can help get you started on your Gratitude journey].
When Ben Stein (an economist, actor, politician) was asked what is the best way and fastest way to get rich?; he said: I can’t tell you how to get rich in a few minutes, but i can tell you how to FEEL rich. BE GRATEFUL. It’s the only reliable get-rich-quick-scheme there is.
And … he concluded: it’s tax free!.
Gratitude is about looking for the good and seeing the good, even in a so-called bad situation. A gratitude practice can helps us get out of a negative mind-set, and since thought affects affect us on a deep level, a gratitude practice and have mental, physical and spiritual benefits.
– help us feel happier
– decrease mild forms of depression
– motivate us to exercise more (especially if we are not exercising much)
– help us sleep better
– lower blood pressure
… the list goes on.
When i first started the practice with the Simple Abundance Journal i listed 5 things i was grateful for every single day. I kept that up for 15 years. Lately i’ve been using the 5 minute Journal; and i list 3 things i am grateful for every single day.
The latest research shows it can be even more beneficial to become more specific about what you are grateful for. i.e Instead of just saying: i am grateful for my breakfast. List why you are grateful for your breakfast: I am grateful for my breakfast because it give me the nourishment i need for a productive day.
Focusing on one thing in detail can be very powerful. Let me tell you how powerful this was for me over the summer when my husband was made redundant. I hated having him home all the time. My work is produced [for the most part] at home and it was driving me crazy that he was there all the time. To make sure i didn’t go completely insane i sat down and listed all the things i was grateful for about him, and all the things i was grateful for about this situation. Wow, it completely shifted my perspective and attitude.
It didn’t change the situation (he was still out of work and at home), but it got me out of the mindset of: oh, poor me, i have lost my workspace. Now i can’t do all the filming i normally do because this idiot is here all the time. He just doesn’t understand that i need the place to myself and that i … blablabla. [oh yes, i said, idiot]
Instead it shifted to;
– how must he feel being out of work, fully capable but unable to get work because of the job market is at a standstill after Brexit.
– how amazingly resilient he is, never giving up or succumbing to self-doubt. i noticed how incredibly mentally and emotionally strong he is. [He is more of a yogi than what i am!].
– how grateful i was that we have enough money to survive and still live life without his income.
The list went on. From that exercise i saw things very differently.
This is the power of Gratitude. We tend to focus on the negative. It’s called the negativity bias. When we train ourselves to be Grateful we train ourselves to look for the positive, to look for what we can learn and how we can grow from the adversity.
I highly recommend starting (if you don’t already do it) a Gratitude Journal. Write down 3-5 things, or 1 thing in detail every day that you are grateful for; and witness the benefits.
I recently taught a workshop on the power of Gratitude, Breath and Backbends at the Life Centre where i teach here in London. It was the first workshop i taught where i could clearly see the students leaving smiling from ear to ear. I felt such gratitude to share and will make it an annual workshop, for sure.
Below you can find the Gratitude Flow i created as i was planning for the workshop but also to share with my YouTube Goa Flow-ers. There is a music and no-music version.
Thank you and much gratitude to you for reading this.
Anita Goa 🙂