[During the making of my recent ink-in-skin, Munir, the tattoo artist, and I discussed about many things, among others about being grateful, about counting our blessings in life. I bumped into the following reading in Yoga Journal I thought it is very appropriate to what we discussed and also towards, our attitude to life.]
Gratitude is a fundamental component of most spiritual paths, and a growing body of research suggests that it has important health implications, too, including better sleep, fewer physical ailments, and a greater ability to cope with stressful situations.
‘Gratitude elevates, it energizes, it inspires, it transforms,’ says Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis, psychology professor who has helped champion the study of gratitude as a factor in mental and physical health.
Practicing conscious gratitude has also been linked with positive mental health. Todd Kashdan, associate professor of psychology in Virginia’s George Mason University explained that: There are two parts of being grateful. One is recognizing that someone benefited in some way, then mindfully seeing the connection to you. You have to really be in the present to see what’s happening in your life, what’s causing things to happen, and how you fit into things bigger than yourself.
To begin consciously cultivating gratitude, try considering what life would be like without a pleasure you now enjoy, or think about who you are grateful for. Gratitude practice doesn’t have to be scripted: Simply taking time on a regular basis to mentally note your blessings in a big step in the right direction.
Excerpted from Yoga Journal, December 2008, as written by Jill Duman.
Attitude of Gratitude…
… as taught by TKV Desikachar, a prominent yoga Guru . Try it before or after asana practice, or any time you have a few minutes.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes, and, for a few moments, forcus on the gentle movement of your breath. Then begin pausing briefly after each inhalation and exhalation.
As you inhale, visualize receiving the elements of your life, experiences, people who have touched you, things you are capable of – with gratitude. Pause after each reflection and take a moement to integrate and appreciate feeling fulfilled by these gifts.
As you exhale, imagine sharing that sense of fulfillment with others – your family, your community, the world at large – receiving your offering with a similar sense of gratitude.
Continue this cycle – inhale/pause, exhale/pause – for several minutes, and then shift your focus back to the subtle movement of your breath before gently opening your eyes.