A Novice’s Tale Of Yoga Journaling: Learning Gratitude
A few months ago, I became very interested in starting a yoga practice at home. I had been going to yoga 1- for a little over a month and thus decided that I liked it enough to begin a daily practice at my house.
As a result, I immediately ran out to buy the yoga clothes, mat, blocks, DVDs, strap, and even a deck of cards containing different yoga postures.
As I began to acquire the “necessary” things to set up an in-home, yoga space, I decided that an appropriate “yogi” activity would be to begin keeping a yoga journal. I had wanted to become more present and grounded on my mat, and had read that journaling could lead me there. As such, I went out to buy a beautiful, leather-bound journal that night.
Getting My Feet Wet
The following morning, I awoke, headed over to my yoga corner, and set off to build my little yoga sanctuary. I began firstly by taking off the crisp, crinkly plastic wrapping located around my new yoga mat. I unraveled the plastic onto the floor and plopped onto the mat, sitting on it as I would an overstuffed suitcase to prevent the mat from coiling up underneath me.
Once seated awkwardly, I lit my new relaxing, scented candle and turned on my “Yoga” Pandora list.
I began my yoga sequence, going through a few rounds of sun-salutations A and B. After about 30 minutes, I sat back down on my mat; and with my favorite blue pen, wrote down the date on the top corner of the first page of my yoga journal, as neatly as possible.
A Realization of Monotony
The first entry began with the sentence “My yoga practice today…. was 3o minutes of Sun-Salutations A and B.” I continued on with these “entries” for a few more days until suddenly it struck me that this journal had simply become one of my many “to-do”/”get-around-to-it” lists in which I archived.
I alarmingly realized that my yoga journal was not a journal but rather a harsh reminder of the times in which I did not find the time to practice yoga that day; just as my errands list were a reminder of when I did not make it to the Dry Cleaners.
I had begun associating my yoga journal with yet another thing that I could not check off of my to-do list.
That’s when I decided to turn my yoga “list” into a gratitude journal by writing down the 5 things that I was grateful for that day. At first, this exercise felt extremely silly. I would write a simple entry that was only 2-3 sentences long that said something like….
I am grateful for…
- Getting to drive with the windows down in October
- The great deal I got on a new pair of sneakers today
- That my favorite song came on the radio on my commute to work
- Finding time to write in my gratitude journal today
- Having time to stop for a coffee before work …
Yet, what I came to realize from this daily gratitude practice was that no matter how tough the day was, it was always very easy to find 5 things in which to be grateful for.
It’s been 3 months and I still continue to write in my gratitude journal daily. Along with writing the 5 things I am grateful for that day, I like to write down a quote as a way to set a positive affirmation for the following day.
When I awake the next morning, I re-read my quote, often setting it as reminder in my phone for later that day. When I see the quote, it reminds to create good energy for myself and those around me, and of course it is a constant reminder that there is always something to be grateful for.
I invite you to all to take a few moments today and recognize what you are grateful for. Below is the “takeaway” quote from my first gratitude journal entry that I share with you all today.