As I was thinking about the end of 2016 and my personal intention for 2017, Gratitude came to mind. I have struggled this year with some physical issues that are slowly resolving and there have definitely been times along the way that I have not felt all that grateful. In addition to and partially because of my physical struggles, this year has been one of personal growth for me in several areas. I know that I am not alone. 2016 has been a tough year for many people. Sometimes when we are going through difficult times it is powerful to use gratitude as a way to get perspective; to help us see the many blessings we each have.
As my theme for the week, I shared with my classes that the thought process of being grateful is incredibly powerful. It can transform our perspective…it is truly a Superpower that each of us possess because “Gratitude turns what we have into enough”
I asked my students to channel their own “Gratitude Superpower” on their mats this week and to remind themselves that what they have available to them in their bodies is enough. As we warmed the core and the spine and moved through our opening sun salutes I shared some of the other ways that Gratitude serves as our own individual superpower. If we are able to be grateful for what we can achieve on our mats (and in our lives) then what isn’t possible just doesn’t matter as much. Gratitude helps turn denial into acceptance, chaos into order and confusion into clarity. It provides important insight into our past, helps us find peace and happiness in the present and allows us create a vision for our future. If that isn’t a “Superpower” I can’t think of what is.
Just as our asana practice is just that; a practice, so is channeling our “Gratitude Superpower”. Several times during class, I asked my students to think about gratitude– to find it in whatever version of the pose that was available to them. While the students were in Side Plank , I glanced around the room at all the different interpretations and it was amazing to see each student pick a variation where they could be grateful; and it was “enough”. We used Stargazer (pictured above) as our “gratitude pose” as it is attainable yet powerful; heart opening, spine extending, joyful and freeing.
Off the mat we can channel our “Gratitude Superpower” as well. We can transform ourselves from a place of sadness to a place of joy just by connecting to gratitude. When times become challenging or we experience loss or disappointment, connecting to our inner gratitude helps to offer perspective, perhaps an understanding of why something happened and to even see the blessing that may exist within it.
Back on the mat, we sat together for a final moment of meditation. I again asked each student to connect to their individual “Gratitude Superpower” and to remind themselves that with this power, they can turn what they have into enough. I then wished them all (as I wish all of you) a Happy New Year and best wishes for a 2017 filled with the Power of Gratitude. Namaste.