There are a number of things that our friends across the Atlantic have given us which, quite frankly, we may be better off without: peanut butter and jam sandwiches, American Football, a certain orange-faced President…
That said, there is one fabulous thing that the Americans have that we really ought to consider adopting here too – Thanksgiving.
Quite the best of all holidays, Thanksgiving has the festive fun of Christmas – but without the over-the-top present exchange, extravagant decorations, sleepless nights thinking about whether you have spent enough/too much, worry about how to fit the dinner into the oven, and overall pressure to produce the most instagrammable set of holiday photos.
The spirit of Thanksgiving focuses on friends, family, love and inclusiveness. It is all about being grateful for what, and who, you have in your life over the sharing of one delicious meal on one day. Essentially it is the fun of Christmas, without all the stress.
Yoga and Giving Thanks
Gratitude is good for you. It boasts a myriad of healthy benefits – an increasingly large body of research indicates that practising gratitude can promote a wide range of physical, mental and social improvements, and there’s nothing like a great yoga class to help you to appreciate the many blessings in your life. The time on your mat can be a sacred time to practise gratitude – and to bring ‘Thankfulness’ into your everyday life.
Here are some ideas of how to bring more gratitude into your yoga practice:
1) Set gratitude as your intention at the beginning of the class.
2) Focus on the positive throughout the practice. It is easy to get fixated on the things you can’t do – the binds you can’t reach, the poses which elude you. Instead, make a commitment to observe all the amazing things you can do, and to be thankful for those.
3) Use your Savasana to practise your gratitude. As your tired muscles melt into the yoga mat, remember all the wonderful things and people in your life to be grateful for. And the practice itself, of course.
4) Bring a friend or family member you are grateful for to the practice with you.
Consciously making a mental note of what you are grateful for, and going out of your way to spend time on what you have, versus what you have not, can certainly improve your health and will have some surprising knock-on effects. Give it a go, and drop us a message to let us know what you are thankful for this year.
At this time of Thanksgiving why not book a session at PilaYoga, December is currently just £15 for unlimited yoga, Pilates and barre in our beautiful studio. A great way to end the year.