Thanksgiving is generally a time for getting together with family and friends to share meals and play games. It can be a busy time of the year with lots of planning and cooking.
I enjoy my family’s Thanksgiving.
Yet, I am like most people: I notice when things go wrong more often than when things go right. Often reality doesn’t meet expectations and sometimes, before I catch myself, I feel disappointment or frustration.
By paying attention to reality, rather than desires, one can end this situation.
Take, for example, the effort it takes to bring a family together for Thanksgiving (or any other moment in life). The modes of transportation that brought you all together, the people who constructed the vehicles, maintained them. The home where you have gathered, the person who built the house, the tree whose logs burn in the fireplace, your food – once living – used the energy from the sun, the rain from the sky, the ground from the earth and gardeners, truckers, retailers and the cooks in your family to bring it to your table.
To stop and really look, we notice we are supported continuously in countless ways. When we find ourselves in a spirit of gratitude, we come out of our own pettiness and smallness.
Practicing gratitude keeps us centered in the joy and abundance of our own life.
Center the breath and body in Balasana. Breath in happiness, love, thanksgiving. Exhale all that doesn’t fulfill you in this moment. Find gratitude for your body as it comes to the mat today.
Standing postures like Virahabdrasana II, Trikonasana and Ardha Chandrasana. Be grateful for present strength and openness. Experience the sensations and feelings that arise in each pose.
Heart openers like Setu Bandhasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana and Dhanurasana give us a feeling of lift or reaching up. Physically opening the heart center helps to emotionally open the heart to all the love we have to give and receive.
Forward bends like Eka Pada Kapotanasana, Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana, Baddha Konasana, and Upavishta Konasana brings a softer sense of gratitude. Time to slow down, to reflect and relax into the feeling.
Twists/releases like Marichiasana III, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana and Ardha Matsyendrasana release toxins from your body. Exhale, squeezing out stale air and inhale gratitude and love.
Savasana, or Corpse Pose, is the most important part of your practice. Here you learn to surrender into the mat, into the moment. Spend at least 5 minutes in Savasana.
Each moment comes to us in perfection; stay in the center and notice each moment with calm serenity.