February 21, 2011

Gratitude and Grace

At the beginning of yoga class, we're often asked to set an intention or to send our practice where it needs to go. This is a practice I have extended to other parts of my life like climbing, hikes, bike rides, the activities that help make that connection between the body and soul easy to see.

Sometimes setting that intention is really easy. There may be an area of your life where you're struggling or a loved one in need so your intention is very clear. Other times it's not that easy. Maybe all is going well or it's just too messy to bring it to the mat. At those times I have always had a staple intention, simply to practice for those who can't. Move for those who can't. Be present for that period when others can't. This intention has served me well.

Recently, I began to think about that a bit more. Sending your practice out to an anonymous stranger who can't practice is a lot like praying for someone you've never met. I think that's something we've all done. Whether we've been sending good vibes out to our co-worker's sick daughter or keeping good thoughts for someone we heard about on the news, we all do this to some extent.

Chances are if most of us pray for a stranger in some way, well then a stranger has sent good energy our way. Have you felt that before? I have and it's pretty awesome. So now when I am not sure where to send my practice I still send it to those who can not practice but I also send it to every person who has ever prayed for me, those I know and those I will never meet.

So I invite you,  the next time you're on your mat or about to begin a hike, walk or ride to send it out to all those who have ever given you energy when you needed that extra bit of love, even if you've never met them. Be mindful, be thankful and be present for them.


Meredith LeBlanc said...

Yes yes yes! I totally agree with sending vibes out to those we haven't met whether they're a friend of a friend or someone clear across the big blue marble.

Lokah somasta sukhinoh bhavantu: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may all of my thoughts, intents, words, and deeds contribute to this Universal happiness.

Tali said...

Beautiful Meredith! Thank you!

Lisa said...

I've gotten lazy in my practice, primarily because I'm unable to do it in my sunroom, which averages about 45 degrees at 6am right now. So I'm in my living room, squished and cramped and often cranky. Still, though, I leave the phone upstairs, roll out my mat, and make do.

However, reading your post has made me now want to shift my focus. I've never thought beyond the moment I'm in and like the idea of setting an intention. I can't promise it will be easy for now but I'll give it a try. Who knows, it may make the room warmer and less cramped and me a lot less cranky. :)

Tali said...

Thank you for sharing, Lisa. You made me smile. I know it's a slow road to get on the mat on a regular basis, especially when there are so many reasons not to.

You can do this. Baby steps.

rockiesgirl said...

I love the idea of starting things with an intention. I'm going to have to try this out next time I go climb. It reminds me of a quote "When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude".