Gratitude and Mindfulness
There is an interesting correlation between mindfulness and gratitude. As Martin Heidegger says, “thinking is thanking.” Gratitude requires some exploration of your life to see where thanks should be given.
Robert A. Emmons describes gratitude as a two-stage process. Firstly you must acknowledge the goodness in your life. Secondly you must recognize that the goodness lies at least partially outside yourself, either with other people, a higher power, animals, nature etc. you will find something to be grateful for.
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. To experience gratitude there must be an intellectual level of recognition. Then there has to be the act of acknowledging that recognition. To me, this is an act of mindfulness that goes hand in hand with yoga.
As yogis we are seasoned practitioners when it comes to awareness. We know how to bring our attention to our breath, our bodies, the sensations in our bodies. We know how to think about what is happening in our present moment experience in a way that is different from our day to day reality. In this way we are ready to practice gratitude. We are ready to open to the contemplation and reflection that gratitude requires of us.
What would we want to practice gratitude? Robert Emmons Ph.D.’s research shows that those who practice gratitude report feeling more loving, forgiving, joyful, and enthusiastic. Conversely, lack of gratitude leads to a shrinking sense of self, anger, resentment, envy and bitterness. Research shows that people who experience gratitude are more effective at dealing with everyday stress, recover from illness more quickly and benefit from greater health.
Today we will practice gathering our attention towards mindfulness and extending them towards gratitude.
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Ten Tigers Running Through the Forest, Shoulder and Neck Release, Pigeon or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Anjali Mudra, Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog, Bowing, Kundalini Kriya Stimulating the Master Gland for Increased Intuition and Wisdom, Eagle Pose or Garudasana, Rabbit Pose or Sasangasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Supta Matsyendrasana or Reclined Knee Down Twist, Bountiful Beautiful Blissful Meditation, Savasana or Corpse Pose
Yoga Props: Yoga strap, Yoga Block, Meditation Cushion, Chair, or Folded Blanket, Bolster
Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons
The Eight Human Talents
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What has your mindfulness of gratitude allowed you to open to appreciate that is different from before?
You can show your appreciation for this brand new series of classes on gratitude which is going to take us on a journey towards feeling better about your life, more optimistic, more energized, more joyful, less anxious, being less sick, getting more sleep, and even being more organized with a donation or you can like, subscribe or leave a comment.
Thank you Linda Caldwell and Ronneke Luke for your donations this week. I appreciate your support of Namaste Yoga and our family as we work to bring these classes to you.
If you would like to receive more support for your practice I just released a special 28-day practice in our membership community to relieve anxiety for the summer. Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population? Over the next four weeks we will be using journaling and practices together with our yoga buddies with a special focus to relieve anxiety. We will use journaling to observe and record our experiences of what is happening in our mind, emotions and our bodies. Over the days, and weeks we will be able to observe how the practices are leaving us feeling mentally calmer, physically energized and happier.
Sending you much love from beautiful British Columbia
May you experience the strength of our mountains
May you be as rooted as the trees in our forest
May your joy be as deep as our Pacific Ocean
Namaste Yoga 286 Photos of Yoga Poses