Since we are pretty much smack-dab between Canada’s and America’s Thanksgivings, I thought I’d put up a short gentle sequence of poses designed to bring out the gratitude.
Gratitude gets us out from under the pressure of the ego. The ego is the eternal critic: you’re not good enough, fast enough, you’re not doing enough. And yet, instead of motivating us to go out there and do better (whatever that may be), that internal criticism often binds us into a downward spiral of paralyzing inertia.
Even if we do manage to satisfy the ego, the flutter of self-approval is as short-lived as the taste of pumpkin pie on the tongue. Once it’s gone, we’re craving more. If we strive to assuage the ever-increasing appetite of the ego, we will never stop grappling after the next thing, we will never stop consuming. Our contentment will not be enduring nor will we ever find the time to fully appreciate (digest) the many blessings in our lives.
Fortunately, gratitude is a shift we can make right here, right now, on the mat. As with any other mental or physical habit, practice makes the shift easier and easier.
The ten-minute gentle sequence above is a gentle hip and heart opener. Gratitude tends be seated in the anahata or heart charka. If you imagine the exaggerated physical expression of greed–hunched over and curling around our hoard–you can see how opening the chest and hip flexors would embody its opposite.