The Practice of Gratitude Together with Santosha

Gratefulness is the way to find the natural flow of life fulfilling your being. When we welcome the practice of gratitude into our lives, we are able to be more grounded in the present moment, more fulfilled in our daily activities and more focus in our life process instead of our life goals. Therefore, our achievements can be beyond grater.

“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become” -Robert Holden

The word thank you expresses love and it’s a magnet for more things to be grateful for. There are many benefits by the use of positive and grateful thoughts, like:

To have the power to make you feel good,

To experience joy and peace in your life,

To get more confidence,

To have better relationships,

To heal the mind and the body,

To work against fear,

To make your soul spark love,

And of course, to be present.

Sadly, gratitude is not something we all learned or practice as much as we should or need. We have been trained to DO things, instead of pursuing to BE and resonant with what we do have. That’s why I call this a practice. We need to and have to train ourselves to learn and cultivate gratitude.

So, what should we do?

From the yoga perspective there are the Niyamas that are teachings of how to live into being your better self. One of them is the practice of Santosha meaning Contentment. It’s the practice to search and to accept your inner peace. It’s to accept and to bless who we are, where we are and what we have. And amazingly, we don't need to go that far; just look around you.

To make it easier, here are some ideas of what to do for experiencing gratitude.

  • We can start by making space in our body and in our mind. By doing a very easy and simple yoga practice (physical postures and breath work), our body can stretch and get heat, and our mind can release.

*One great posture to practice gratitude is Humble warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana). It is the pose of gratitude. It helps to experience presence by looking inward. It allows you to practice without thoughts of comparison, expectation or attachment.

“Detachment is not that you own nothing; detachment is that nothing owns you”- Bhagavad Gita
  • The next thing to do is to let go the tendency (need or attitude) of comparing yourself with others or with last experiences. The practice of gratitude is to stand in the present, without attachment to the past or expectations to the unknown future. You can give yourself permission to release what doesn’t make you feel good just because your essence deserves to spark happiness and welcome new things to come.

  • We also need to work on our confidence. Know that at the end, everything turns ok. Everything is a lesson. We turn wise in our hearts and our minds with “good or bad” experiences. Just be careful to not use that wisdom for attachments, judgments, expectations or fears. Use your wisdom to remind yourself that you have everything you need to make it thru any challenge. Everything you need is inside you. Follow your heart!

  • Lastly, practice the flow of thankfulness. Thank everything and bless any situation and being. Train yourself gently and with love as if you’re a little kid that is just starting to learn and doesn’t how to behave. Practice repetition. I have a page in my journal dedicated to all the things I am grateful for and I read it every day. This way my mind is saving the information of all the amazing things that surrounds me. So, the Universe will know what I want. The practice of gratitude doesn’t need to be forced. It is simply a time to admire what we have right now. To start, here are some examples:

Thank you universe because I accept the success I deserve

I am grateful for what I do and don’t have

I am grateful for my happiness and disappointments

I am grateful for all the good things I don’t know jet

To live in gratitude, we have to find contentment in everything we do and find detachment from what we don’t have.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” -Lao Tzu

When we practice gratitude, we can find that the natural flow of life fulfills all our desires. And even if we don’t have the best moments, we can be grateful that we are able to feel our emotions and move on until we feel ready. We have the option to accept and bless any situation or person the way it is knowing that something higher than ourselves is supporting us to see things from other perspective and to grow our wisdom. We can be grateful for everything, even those close doors because they are a sign that something better is around the corner.

As I mentioned, this is a practice. We don’t need to be experts of this process. We are students of our own teachers that reside within us. Look to enjoy every moment on the way. And be ready to go out and live full of yoga as part of your lifestyle and a heart full of gratitude.

I am grateful for the light in my heart that can see the light in your heart.

From my heart to yours,

Namaste - Cecilia de la Rocha

Cecilia de la Rocha is founder of Yoga By Cecilia de la Rocha, a creative and enthusiastic yoga instructor with professional training in hatha & anusara yoga. Always willing to share more with people in a different, loving & fun ways. Her teaching is an innovative fusion of yoga, metaphysics, mindfulness and shadow work that has taught many families, from moms to be, to kids, to adults of all ages and limitations, and to celebrities who want to incorporate yoga as part of their lifestyle. She loves to facilitate privates and group workshops. For more information about her work, please visit:

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