“Wear Gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life” -Rumi

These simple and beautiful words not only ring true in my heart, but inspire me to live a more joyful life.  Okay, I must admit that I too get the winter blues, who doesn’t when we feel “cloaked” in grey for most of the year? It can take a lot to remember that beyond the clouds the sun is always shinning.  Gratitude is the one thing that brings me back to that light.

The practice of sitting every morning, even for 2 minutes, writing my list of 10 things that I am grateful for, brings me back on course.  By listing the things that I am grateful for I create the stepping stones back to my heart, back to the honesty of this life, and the understanding that we are here to love.

We are so blessed to live as we do – to have this practice of yoga, to be surrounded by this brilliant and inspiring community, to be free – and when we are in the thick of winter or the tough stuff of life, we must remember to feed the soul from the inside out, to be content, to be grateful. Because, as we know, nothing is permanent.  Gratitude brings us back to presence, it gets us out of negative thought patterns, it brings lightness to the spirit and elevates those around us.  So why wouldn’t we practice it?

So as we meander or fly breezily through this 40 day challenge, I invite you all to perhaps incorporate the practice of gratitude in your life. I choose my list of ten things while sipping my morning coffee.  Maybe for you it’s standing by the ocean yelling your gratitude list to the sea, or on your yoga mat, or while running with sweat dripping down your face, baking beautiful desserts, or playing with your kids. Carve out a time in your day to be grateful, if even for two minutes, and see what changes, inside and out.

Be present, be grateful, be love.

About Aili: Yoga for me is about letting go of anything and everything that blocks our inner light from shinning brilliantly bright. The Asana can be playful, beautiful, creative, tough, hot, fluid, and dynamic. But in the end the Asana doesn’t really matter, it’s the simple connection with heart that matters and the ability to let go.

My classes are about being playful and challenging yourself to go into the shaky places, all the while remembering that you are sharing your borrowed breath. 

“If we wait for the worlds permission to shine we will never receive it.” -Marianne Williamson

Shine on. Spread Love. Do yoga.

*Aili trained in Australia and Canada (power Vinyasa, Yin, hatha) also an Ambassador With Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi, Kenya.