Connecting to the words from last week’s theme, as students settle their bodies and bring awareness to their breath, we can begin to embody a sense of gratitude that the breath is there for us. It gives us life, literally breathes life into us. We tune in and feel the subtle transformations as we soak ourselves in this sense of gratitude. From a thought, we can start to physically feel its effects as the body relaxes, and almost spreads out, opens up a bit. It is as though we embrace the feeling.
As we practice on our mats, and effort levels gear up, it often becomes more challenging to retain the cloak of gratitude. The mind is being trained as much as the body, so bring in reinforcements: light up a soft inner smile and add lightness in your heart. Stay with your breath and feel into the movements. Challenge yourself and then give yourself space to reflect on what you have achieved as opposed to what remained out of your grasp this time. And yes, you can feel grateful when it is over!
Ruth is a yoga therapist and yoga teacher based in Cheltenham, UK. She emphasises yoga as a tool for well-being, for individuals and in her classes, in person or via zoom.