YogaJournal.com is challenging you to get in the season’s thankful state of mind with gratitude-geared practices all month long. Share yours using #yjgratitudechallenge.
Every day holds the possibility of opening to life or closing down to it. External events are a call to action for the yogi to rise up and choose the way of growth from within. It’s up to each one of us to cultivate our internal state of mind in any given circumstance, and the spirit of gratitude is one essential way to nourish real growth and expansion.
I once read a line about gratitude in the novel The Red Tent and the way it stuck with me is like this: “Gratitude is the nectar of the beehive of the heart.”
I’ve contemplated this metaphor for many years, and it’s true for me. The heart is like a great beehive with bees buzzing all about gathering the pollen from life’s experiences and ultimately churning it into honey inside. When we learn to open to each life experience as a portal to our inner alchemical state, then our sense of wellbeing naturally flourishes. Gratitude becomes a way of living rather than something we are trying to force ourselves to feel.
In this Gratitude sequence, I feature an asana I call “Honey-in-the-Heart” Pose. It’s a variation of Wild Thing, aka Camatkarasana, which means something like “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.”
See also Coral Brown's Daily Mindfulness + Gratitude Practice