Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude™

When I was living in Israel, I realized that Thanksgiving is the only American holiday I like. Although cranberries and their derivatives are nowhere to be found in Israel, the traditional food was not what I missed. This holiday stems from the pilgrims and the Native American Indians gathering to share the bounties of the land’s harvest. This annual tradition continued through the mid-1800’s. In 1863, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, which evolved to become a time for family and friends to come together for a big feast.

The Thanksgiving menu commonly features a turkey as the main dish. In yesterday’s midday yoga class, I guided everyone into garudasana (eagle pose). I mentioned that Benjamin Franklin had proposed the turkey to be the national bird. One of the students asked, “If the turkey were the national bird, would we be eating eagle every Thanksgiving?”


Smiling gently as everyone chuckled, I silently noted my gratitude to have chosen to stop eating meat twenty-six years ago, and the health benefits I’ve been enjoying because of this life choice. For the second year in a row, I’m hosting a veg*n potluck for a small group of neighbors.

That the turkey can be spared from my table is one thing my neighbors and I will be grateful for. A fellow yogi living in Tel Aviv expressed gratitude for the Iron Dome, which has been keeping our loved ones safe in Israel. My folks and friends in New York and New Jersey are grateful that they’ve survived Superstorm Sandy. The warrior women in my Yoga for Women Cancer Survivors classes certainly have tons of blessings to count. I’m grateful for Skype, email, SMS, and Facebook to connect with my family and friends, and for good friends and wonderful yogis like you to share this holiday with offline.

Here’s one way to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude™ year-round: keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down one thing that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. You will be surprised at the positive effect this practice has on your daily life, and how gratitude and yoga feed into each other to help you to heal and grow.

If you’re in Washington, D.C. for the holiday, come to the 8am Attitude of Gratitude™ all levels vinyasa and restorative yoga class at lil omm in Tenleytown. Plenty of parking is available, beginners are welcome! Bring your loved ones along to stoke the digestive fire, open your heart and relax deeply! You can reserve your spot here. All proceeds, along with gift cards, will benefit a family living in NY/NJ that lil omm has adopted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear yogis!!!

©2012 Amy Dara Hochberg. All Rights Reserved.