As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on all we are thankful for this year marked by collective and personal challenges. While it is easy to feel thankful for what we perceive as the positive side of events, it sometimes takes a superhuman effort to shift our mindset to one of gratitude for what we appreciate and take for granted, as well as circumstances and conditions we perceive as disappointing, awful, and uncertain.
The kritajna, or gratitude, practice is not a denial of life’s challenges. Rather, it tunes the mind to acceptance of what is unchangeable or not yet, so that you can experience feelings of inner peace, even awe and wonder, in the face of undesirable circumstances. Gratitude allows you to see possibilities, to have an open heart, to gain an understanding where there was none. It allows you to meet each moment as it arises, to lift dark moods, and to build trust in the benevolence of the universe.
The key? Feel the gratitude in your heart. Don’t just give it a passing thought in your mind. If you like, you can practice the Anjali Mudra while offering gratitude before, during, or at the close of your yoga or meditation. You may also want to repeat one of these mantras: Kritajna Hum (kritachna hum) meaning “my true self is gratitude”, or Dhanya Vad, “thank you”.
About Anjali Mudra
The “prayer” position” is often used in yoga classes when we say “Namaste”. It symbolizes “honoring and celebrating this moment”.
“This gesture signifies the potential for an intention to progress to greatest spiritual awakening. When done properly the palms are not flat against each other; the knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating space between the palms and fingers of the two hands resembling a flower yet to open, symbolizing the opening of our hearts.” – Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, father of modern yoga
As a calming, grounding practice, Anjali Mudra guides you back to yourself and your intention. With hands placed in front of the heart chakra, it promotes balance and unity between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
As explained by Yoga International, this can be beneficial for many realms of your life: When the mind is calm, harmonious, and concentrated, you gain right understanding of yourself and others. Your comprehension expands, enabling you to see the world and your place in it in a light charged with appreciation for what you truly are. Your list of complaints begins to dwindle. You are no longer uncomfortable with others or with the circumstances of your life, and so you begin to bask in a positive and joyful atmosphere, both in your internal world and outside yourself.
KYWC is Grateful
Here at KYWC, we have much to be thankful for.
Because our building was closed for classes and workshops in the spring due to COVID-19 restrictions and opened in a limited capacity the last few months, our attention turned to the outdoors.
Thank you to Steve, Diane, Kevin, and Ray for making our property a welcoming space for visitors. Several visitors expressed appreciation for our well-maintained walking trail, the new human-sized nest, and artistic features in the backyard. Thank you also to everyone who donated money toward the maintenance of our trail!
Thank you, Nancy, Val, Steve, and volunteers for taking on two gardening projects. They added pollinator-friendly plants around the labyrinth and transformed the entrance side of the building into a lovely pollinator/cutting garden filled with a variety of perennials that should bloom from spring through fall.
Thank you, Val, for leading the Energy Self-Care Workshop and Jean Marie Tabolt for teaching the Yoga Basics Workshop.
A big thank you to Linda Wart and members of the Center for Spiritual Awareness for your generous donations toward an air purifier that filters out viruses (including COVID), mold spores, pollen, VOCs, and anything else we don’t want in our indoor air. Thank you Healthway in Pulaski for the generous discount that made this purchase possible so we could safely use our indoor space with small groups.
And thank you, friends of KYWC, for your continued support and friendship. We appreciate you. May you enjoy a happy, safe Thanksgiving and holiday season.