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A Novice’s Tale Of Yoga Journaling: Learning Gratitude

by Lindsay OpperDecember 16, 2013

A Novice’s Tale Of Yoga Journaling: Learning GratitudeSetting Intention and Finding a New Groove

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

A Novice’s Tale Of Yoga Journaling: Learning GratitudeThe 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.

Cultivating Gratitude

143/365  Come Sail Away With MeThat’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…

 

  1. Getting to drive with the windows down in October
  2. The great deal I got on a new pair of sneakers today
  3. That my favorite song came on the radio on my commute to work
  4. Finding time to write in my gratitude journal today
  5. 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.

Lindsay Opper
Lindsay Opper
Lindsay Opper, warmly regarded as “Lu”, started Creatively Lu., a daily blog in order to inspires others to create extraordinary from the ordinary. Lindsay graduated with a degree in Political Science from Union College in 2011. As an overweight sophomore, Lindsay decided to sign up for a half marathon that was in 6 months, despite being unable to run a mile. With the determination to train a little more each day, Lindsay successfully completed the half, and lost 45lbs on the way. She became inspired to help others with their journey to health and went on to receive her personal training and spinning certifications. Since then, Lindsay has completed her MBA at Bryant University in order to pursue a career in marketing.
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