An Attitude of Gratitude

By Lynn Felder, RYT

In the wonderful, old movie, White Christmas, from 1954, Bing Crosby sings to Rosemary Clooney,

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep,
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small,
I think of when I had none at all,
And I fall asleep counting my blessings."

In this season of Thanksgiving, we have much to be grateful for, and, when you think about it, it's not really the "things" we're grateful for that make us happy, it's the feeling itself.

Here's a yoga practice to try every day, not just on Thanksgiving, that comes from 12-step programs. The next time you're feeling low and mean, lonely and blue, sad and anxious, sit down with paper and pencil and make a "gratitude list," even if you're not feeling very grateful. Make a header: "I'm grateful for" ... and just write stream of consciousness. You'll be amazed how quickly you'll feel better.

Here are some things that we're grateful for in this holiday season — and every day:

Thank you — for practicing yoga, for taking an active role in your own health and well-being.

And if the gratitude list doesn't work for you, you know what to do: Do more yoga!

When we practice asana, pranayama and mindfulness, we are giving thanks for and with our bodies, hearts and minds. Let's make our practice — every practice — an act of gratitude.


Copyright by Lynn Felder November 2008. Lynn Felder is an award-winning journalist, a yoga teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance and the author of the DVD “Gentle Yoga for Cancer Patients,” available at

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