Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Joyful Gratitude

We've often heard that happiness contributes to well-being. That's what we all want right, to be happy and well? Happiness is not something found outside of you. Happiness is already inside you, waiting to be discovered. Yoga can help us discover the joy that lives within us. How does it do this? By reducing our stress. Yoga increases our resilience to stress and awakens a sense of joyful gratitude. Most of our stress is caused by thoughts of something that has happened in the past or might happen in the future. Yoga helps us come into the present moment. As we move the body and become aware of the breath we let go of stress. 

This month we tune into the joy of being alive, grateful for the ability to move the body. We focus on the movements of the in-breath, opening the heart and lifting the arms, these movements cultivate a feeling of joy and gratitude. Our story; I am filled with joyful gratitude. 

We open with Breath of Joy pranayama. Breath of Joy energizes, uplifts and cleanses. It is a breathing practice that awakens your whole system. It increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream, circulates energy and detoxifies the body. It strengthens the arms and shoulders and makes you smile. 

A word of caution...you may become lightheaded. Find your rhythm. Breath of Joy is not recommended for anyone with untreated high blood pressure or any injuries of the head. 

Breath of Joy: Stand with feet hip distance apart and parallel, knees slightly bent. Inhale one-third of your lung capacity and swing your arms up in front of the body, bringing them parallel to each other at shoulder level, with the palms facing up. Continue to inhale to two-thirds of your capacity and stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder level. Inhale to full capacity and swing your arms parallel and overhead, palms face each other. Exhale completely with an open mouth audible "ha", bending the knees more deeply as you forward fold swinging your arms down and back behind you. Slowly and gently return to standing. Repeat several times and SMILE!

We invite you to take a moment to be grateful for your practice. Be grateful for whatever you may be experiencing. Be grateful for all you have accomplished and all who have helped along the way. Be grateful for where you are on your joy-filled journey. 

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu...May all beings be happy, free and JOYOUS!

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