Cultivating a Sense of Gratitude in a Yoga Class

sense of gratitudeBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed 

As a Yoga instructor, cultivating a sense of gratitude in your Yoga classes is particularly appropriate during any holiday season. Gratitude is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a sense of appreciation or thankfulness. To feel a sense of thankfulness also elicits a profound sense of being blessed as we walk through the world. When we become aware of the many blessings and gifts that surround us on a daily basis, it is easy to lead our Yoga students into a sense of grateful abundance.


One of the primary foundations for a grateful mind and heart is the awareness of how many blessings surround us every day. When you are cultivating a sense of gratitude in your Yoga classes, it is important to take a moment or two, at the beginning or end of a class, to allow your students a few minutes of repose as they contemplate the many blessings in their own lives. You may even wish to facilitate a brief sharing among your students of different aspects of their lives for which they are grateful.

If you have a student or two who is unable to think of any positive aspects of his or her life for which to be grateful, gently guide them to think of the many “little” blessings we all take for granted each day. For example, fresh water to drink and clean air to breath. Remind them that the mere act of being able to physically and financially attend a Yoga class is a luxury many others may not be so fortunate to enjoy. Even the ability to see the beauty around them is a pleasure that visually impaired individuals are unable to behold.


When your Yoga students tap into the great abundance, blessings and pleasures of life that they experience daily, their hearts will expand with gratitude. Some of the Yoga poses which facilitate a profound sense of gratitude are vigorous standing asanas, such as Sun Salutations and the Warrior Series. These poses remove deeply held tension and increase the flow of energy throughout the entire body. Many of these poses also expand the entire heart region, which facilitates a profound sense of emotional openness and a release of negative thoughts and beliefs that prevent a sense of gratitude from arising.

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


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