“For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
– Brother David Steindl-Rast
We are encouraged by culture and media to be joyful and grateful during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Years. Sometimes that comes easily, sometimes not so much. For those of us struggling, a gratitude practice can be powerful.
We often visit this theme in kids yoga classes, but simple practices can be incorporated into home routines as well. A colleague of mine recently described her family’s simple routine. She uses her 10-minute school commute for their practice with a few simple rules: Everyone must share sometime, anything, no judgement, so long as it’s not what they shared the day before. She finds that simple routine gets everyone’s day started on a positive note and brings her family closer together with a daily check-in.
These practices can be especially helpful during the holiday season, which encourages us to spread love and joy but also can seemingly revolve around what we want and do not have, something known to make us less happy!
One of our favorite practices in kids yoga is gratitude relaxation. We listen to a guided meditation while remembering all our gifts and advantage and the people who support us and love us. Thanks to Childlight Yoga, the program that Jen uses to teach kids yoga teacher trainings, you can now listen to audio recording of the gratitude relaxation from Yoga for Children, by Lisa Flynn. Find a comfortable position (instructions for the one on the right are posted on the CLY blog too).
At Breathing Space, we are grateful you have chosen to share your family time with us through classes and workshops. We are looking forward to seeing you this holiday season and in the new year.