2019 is quickly winding down, with only a little over a month left until the new year. Regardless of the traditions we come from, this season is widely recognized as a time to give thanks for the abundance of the year past. While customs may differ from one culture to another, we come together in gratitude, and spend this time in the company of loved ones; friends, family, and chosen family.
Here at SY&M, how we honor the harvest season is all in our name. We incorporate our gratitude into our practices, both physical and otherwise, by employing both intention and mantra. Offered below is a breakdown of how to effectively weave this invaluable mental technology into your current routine.
Practicing asana with intention
When stepping onto your mat to practice physical asana, begin by taking a comfortable seat. Elevate the hips above the knees, soften or close the eyes, and rest the hands palms face down on the tops of the thighs in a gesture of grounding.
Begin by taking a deep breath in through the nose, and exhaling out through the mouth. Do this several times as needed, allowing any tension in the body to begin to release. As you are ready, begin to shift into more of a practice breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly through the nose.
As the practice breath begins to steady, call to mind one thing in your life for which you are grateful. It could be a circumstance, a relationship, something that elicits strong positive feelings. Notice how the body feels as you allow your attention to rest here, and then, as ready, you can open your eyes and begin to move through your physical practice. When the postures become challenging, take a moment to close your eyes and recall this feeling of gratitude. Notice how the body feels, then continue to move. Repeat as necessary both on and off the mat.
Mantra meditation is another way in which we can express gratitude through the use of mindfulness. To employ this method the practitioner simply closes their eyes and begins to draw the attention to the breath. This exercise can be performed seated or laying down. Once again, employing a practice breath, sit in stillness until the process begins to steady.
Once finding rhythm in the breath, begin to repeat a mantra to yourself, over and over. As you remain in stillness, when the mind begins to wander, notice that it has, and simply draw the attention back to the mantra and the steady breath.
For a mantra in this gratitude practice, you can use “dhanyavad,” which translates to “I thank you.” Repeating this powerful mantra over and over as many times as necessary to address everything in our lives both large and small that deserve our gratitude.
Gratitude can be expressed in any number of ways, and we encourage you to try these practices out for yourself.
However you choose to celebrate, do so in good health, and from all of us here at SY&M, a very happy harvest season.
SANCTUARY YOGA & MINDFULNESS
Sanctuary Yoga & Mindfulness is a healing haven in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. Our premier yoga studio offers weekly yoga & mindfulness meditation classes, as well as workshops and teacher trainings of the highest caliber. “Sanctuary Signature” yoga classes all place an emphasis on: excellence in alignment; thoughtful sequencing; inspiring & uplifting verbiage to support your body, mind and heart, allowing you to feel enhanced on every level. Each yoga class and yoga practice offered also contains 3-5 minutes of mindfulness meditation at its conclusion to further punctuate your profound experience during your time with us.
Our expert and exceptional teachers are highly trained, warm, and knowledgeable in areas of therapeutics, bio-mechanics, philosophy, meditation and so much more! All our classes are highly curated with an excellence in sequencing and intelligent alignment for the body; artful language for the mind; and inspiration for the heart. Come experience our amazing teaching tribe for yourself!