Find Gratitude Through Meditation and Yoga

I am not someone for whom presence of mind comes easily. The chaotic jumble of racing thoughts that anyone with a monkey mind will recognize is something I had to work hard to understand, observe, and surrender to.

Even now, in moments of anxiety or pressure, that tangle of unfocused thoughts can rekindle in the fear of my mind and threaten to overturn me. Thankfully I’ve been practicing meditation, yoga and gratitude long enough that I now know better than to let my stressful thoughts be the loudest voice in my head. I can easily reach inside myself and turn on the stillness that is there. That calm, inner sense of self that arises in meditation is always present. It’s simply a case of tuning into it regularly over time until it becomes the most familiar part of you.

These meditation and yoga practices can be essential to your gratitude practice, because they help you become present – ​​and just being present can be a wonderful way to find gratitude.

Becoming more present has so many benefits. It can calm you down instantly, just by bringing you back to your breath. When you take the time to be present during the day, you teach yourself this sense of stillness, peace and introspection – all qualities that are essential for cultivating an authentic sense of gratitude in life.

At least that’s how it worked for me. The beauty of meditation is that you learn subconsciously to sink into how you are truly feeling and experiencing the present moment. For example, even when you are in the middle of a stressful experience, your mind and body remember to draw your attention back to the moment.

I remember when my car broke down a few years ago on a hot afternoon. I was on my way to an important meeting in the city and suddenly, I was trapped in the middle of nowhere. It was literally the worst time and I was already worried about my finances, I couldn’t afford a big repair job. I stood there, waiting for the tow truck to arrive and then I noticed how beautiful the tall trees were around me. I heard the incredible racket of cicadas and chirping of birds. I heard the hot wind blowing through the brush and felt an intense sense of wonder and gratitude for that moment. When I became present, I momentarily forgot to be stressed about my external situation and I just “was.” It didn’t change my circumstances, but when I came back to face my present struggle then, I felt calmer and more positive.

Regular yoga practice has also helped me find gratitude through presence of mind. When you really immerse yourself in yoga, you will realize that it is as much practice as it is doing. Don’t be afraid to take it slow, cherish every moment, and let yourself really go inside and be in every position. I have found that using yoga time as a way to increase my gratitude is also a helpful way to build momentum and train my mind to find positivity in my life.

Some yoga poses that I find encouraging and inspire gratitude are as follows:

Find Gratitude Through Meditation and Yoga

Child’s pose – This is such a sweet and gentle pose where you can really connect yourself and feel connected and protected from the world. Listen to your breath in this position, and feel appreciation and gratitude for your lungs as they continue to work each day you continue to breathe.

Find Gratitude Through Meditation and Yoga

Fold forward standing – As you bend forward you allow fresh oxygen to reach your mind for more clarity and focus. Relax in this position for a few breaths and feel the sensation of your feet on the floor. Send gratitude to your own body for all it is capable of achieving.

Find Gratitude Through Meditation and Yoga

Final resting pose (savasana) – Do not skip this pose, no matter how tempted you are to get up and get back into your day. It is a wonderfully healing posture where you can let go of all tension and simply rest. I recommend that you find a centering thought and send gratitude to all living beings.

Finding moments throughout the day for light meditation and tuning into yourself are keys to creating gratitude towards yourself and your life.

I know it can be so easy to ignore this time, it is difficult to find space in our busy schedules to sit in solitude and find peace, but believe me, it is so important. Don’t you want your life to be the best it can be?