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Life is full of celebrations, usually times when we get together with a group of people, share food and chat. Celebrations can also be reminders to give thanks.

Great teachers from Aesop to Oprah have taught how cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” can lead to a sense of well-being and fulfillment. In the yoga tradition, gratitude is related to contentment and counted as one the five observances or niyamas outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Lack of contentment gives rise to desires or cravings, and which, in turn, lead to envy or frustration over unmet expectations. These are all symptoms of what meditators call “monkey mind,” uncontrolled, incessant—and usually unhelpful—thoughts. Whatever we focus on has a tendency to magnify and define us, like a negative whirlpool that drags us ever deeper.

It is easy to end up negatively ruminating, and sometimes hard to make steps in a more helpful direction. Here is one easy way to turn the tide:

Focus on what we are grateful for, it’s that simple. This will start to calm your mind

“Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind waves’


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