Yoga is not about tightening your ass, it’s about getting your head out of it.
I anticipate you may have expected something deeper and more profound than that, but for me, that is why I practice yoga.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my glutes are very strong. They help me hike, go on long walks, get up and downstairs, travel, do yoga, squat, lift things – they literally help me and my body do almost everything.
Every single day, my glutes do an incredible amount of work for me. For that, I am very grateful for them.
When I first started showing gratitude for things like my butt muscles, sunsets, clean drinking water, a roof over my head, a conversation with a stranger, a stove with fire, people in my life, and so on, it struck me as a bit weird. But I’m kind of weird in general, so I just kept going with it.
Over time, the more I practiced gratitude, the more I realized why so many individuals do so as well.
I’m less of an asshole because of it. I mean, I still have my moments, but as a whole, it has changed me.
I see the beauty in more things and the people around me. I’m more patient. I complain less. I compare less…which reminds me of another wonderful quote I love because it’s so damn true:
Comparing is the thief of joy.
That right there is what I call a truth bomb. Let that one simmer.
Sometimes immense gratitude comes out of nowhere and at other times I practice it by journaling.
My preferred way though is through meditation. With gratitude based meditation, I focus both on mindful breathing and the aspects of my life for which I am grateful for. Two birds, one stone.
I realized over many years of this practice, the more I’m thankful for, the less there is to bitch about.
With that being said, I’m grateful for the teachers who taught me so I can empower my students (and readers) to try this simple act of gratitude.
Below is a meditation to help encourage you to find gratitude in your life. Be thankful for the things you never thought you’d say thanks to.
This is a very simple, yet effective meditation that can be done anywhere at any time.
To begin, find a comfortable spot. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, or make it extra convenient and practice this as you lay in bed in the AM or PM.
Start by drawing in slow, intentional breaths through your nose.
Think about taking deep breaths in and loooong breaths out.
Focus on your breathing. The sounds of it. The pace. How your body moves as you breathe.
If it helps, place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly.
Clear your mind and take three more deep breaths.
On your next inhale, introduce your gratitude mantra:
I am grateful for…
As you exhale, mentally list someone or something you are grateful for.
Continue this mantra and breathing exercise for 5-10 rounds more.
After you have listed your gratitude for the day, take one more deep breath in and one last mindful, long breath out to seal your practice.
Sit with yourself for a few moments and notice how you feel.
Now you can move forward with your day with gratitude in your mind and in your heart.