Being one of my favorite times of the year, Thanksgiving embodies the entire concept of giving back and being grateful for what you have. Yoga has had a positive impact on my life in many ways, and with the month of November comes a special appreciation for my close family and friends. Because yoga and Thanksgiving interconnect through my life in such a large way, I relate them to my own thankfulness.
Yoga focuses on the appreciation for oneself and discovering a deeper awareness of one’s body, spirit, and mind while Thanksgiving comes with a celebration of community, sacrifice, and harvest. For this reason, I decided to write an article about “How Yoga and Thanksgiving Impacted My Life.”
1. Stay Strong in the Faith: The Pilgrims are an inspiration in themselves because of everything they left behind in order to seek religious freedom in America. Yoga has shown me that I need to remain grounded in what I believe and stay true to myself.
Life can get hectic, especially taking care of three children. Yoga helps me reconnect with faith, allowing me to find peace and relaxation and myself.
2. Travel to Freedom: Leaving their homes was hard enough, but the Pilgrims bravely voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean to find the New World. The Mayflower traveled onward, even though the 102 passengers were uncertain what the waters would bring.
When I worked for Orbitz, traveling was an important factor in my life, but I soon realized that no matter what hotel I stayed in, I could implement my yoga exercises and connect with myself. While on a trip to Orlando, I was able to stay in a hotel that held rooftop yoga every day at sunrise, which was amazing!
3. Overcome Fear: Upon arriving at the New World, the Pilgrims faced a horrendous first winter that left over half of the settlers dead due to poor living conditions and nutrition deficiencies.
Yoga focuses on helping you overcome fear and trust in yourself. I struggled with breaking certain poses because I feared that I would hurt myself. Learning to listen to my body and practice the moves helped me succeed and grow.
4. Learn to Communicate: After settling in the new colony, the Pilgrims learned to plant crops, fish, and hunt beaver by communicating with Squanto and other native inhabitants. The Pokanokets helped the Pilgrims adapt to survive.
What I love about yoga is that each class brings new people who come to learn and work towards achieving peace. I learn new things each day about myself through practice and instruction.
5. Be Grateful: The Pilgrims thanked the Pokanokets by sharing their 1621 feast with them, marking the “First Thanksgiving.”
Yoga does not just involve practicing moves on a mat, but it has shown me that I need to be grateful in everything I do and receive. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, and yoga gives me a deep appreciation of life and myself.
What does Thanksgiving and yoga truly mean to you?