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The residents of the Institute decided to practice gratitude for the month of November, in harmony with Thanksgiving. Since we are enjoying the presence of Divyananda with us here and the beautiful way she lives and shares the teachings of Yoga, I asked her to share her thoughts on gratitude for the blog.

GRATITUDE : “The attitude of Gratitude brings altitude.”

In Yoga our happiness is the happiness that is not based on conditions. In other words, when Life delivers a lemon (and we were expecting a peach) we find a way to make lemonade and enjoy it too.  It’s a challenge!  How can we be grateful when everything is going wrong?  How can we be grateful for the people in our life who bring us irritation and aggravation?  It’s not easy, but the ingrained Habit of Gratitude will be our greatest ally at that time.  At best, we hypothesize that this unexpected hardship is sparing us from something far worse. And if we dig deep, we can reframe our perception of the situation and practice a little pratipaksha bhavana.  Master Sivanandaji reminds us:  “A positive thought is thrice blessed … to the thinker, the subject, and to all mankind.”

HOW TO BE A BETTER TEACHER

In Integral Yoga the quality of selflessness is given top importance. It was the bedrock of the teachings of Swami Satchidananda.  For an Integral Yoga teacher, that means that our service as teachers is an opportunity to practice selflessness.   Our contemporary Yoga culture is saturated with commercial and business values, and the drive to have popular classes and earn well has seeped into the consciousness of us all.  It’s inevitable and nothing to be ashamed of, but at least we can be aware of it, and take the steps to counter it.  Learn to give your ALL in every class, whether big or small.  Learn to serve each student with all the tools you have at your disposal, and with humility.  Give them what they need, even if it is not what they want.  If they leave you because it is not the Fancy Yoga they were looking for, bless them to do well whenever they go. None of us need to be famous and rich, but we do need to be enlightened, eventually.  Teaching with a pure attitude of service will speed our way there.

Of course, the best teachers are the enlightened teachers, and let us always remember that goal.