Monday, November 23, 2009

A Yogi Thanksgiving

- Rebecca Merritt

Every Thanksgiving I find I have more to be thankful for than the year before. There are the basics of course – family, a good home, the food on my table – but I am getting better at being grateful for the little things. I notice that I am thankful for the autumn air or the perfect cup of tea. I am thankful for my mother’s laughter or the opportunity to go barefoot at work. Some might say that I am growing wiser or more sentimental with age, but I like to think that practice makes perfect in such matters. I practice being thankful by doing yoga.

Yoga, in and of itself, is full of thanks giving. In her book, Yoga from the Inside, Christina Sell says: “Prasad, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘grace,’ is literally the food that has been offered to a deity, which is then shared among devotees as God’s gift and blessing.” Every time you dedicate your practice you are giving thanks for these blessings by opening your heart and putting your gratefulness out into the world. We repeat this throughout our Vinyasa with heart-opening asanas – poses that allow us to give a little more of ourselves every time we lift our hearts. Shavasana, final resting pose, allows us time not only to reflect on our practice but also on what we are thankful for. Class draws to a close with an exchange of gratitude between teacher and student. Juliana Mitchell, a New York Yoga teacher, closes her class by asking you to “take a moment to thank yourself for doing yoga.”

This Thanksgiving, if you are looking for an opportunity to give thanks, come stop by New York Yoga – dedicate your practice, open your heart, and thank yourself for doing yoga.

Can’t make it to class? Open your heart at home with Peaceful Warrior.


  1. juliana mitchell's classes make my heart sing

  2. "...the opportunity to go barefoot at work."

    :) I take my shoes off at work sometimes as well. Always makes me happy.

    I'll make sure to try that move!