Inner Reflections
November 29, 2021

Celebrating the Season of Gratitude

A few weeks ago, Travis and I had the opportunity to connect with a student from the Maine State Prison. The chance to connect with him via video conference left us full of a new level of gratitude for modern technology. 

This student is about to complete his master’s degree and is on route to his PhD. While incarcerated he has become a certified yoga teacher, facilitator of recovery groups, been instrumental in the prison’s hospice program and through his master’s degree work he’s been able to connect with the likes of Ellen Langer (remember the story you may you have heard myself or Travis tell about the elderly men who aged in reverse after being immersed in a summer camp setting reminiscent of their youth? Yes, THAT Ellen Langer!), author Bruce Lipton and luminary Greg Braden. 

In working with these individuals, Inner Dimension TV included, he is creating a program to help other incarcerated people transform their lives by undertaking education, practices such as yoga and meditation, service work, recovery and so much more to turn their time into a gift. Travis and I walked away from the call in a state of awe, humility and gratitude. If this man can achieve all of this while behind bars, what might the rest of us be capable of in this lifetime?

With this inspiring conversation on our minds and in our hearts, we reached out to our online 200-hour Holistic Yoga Flow teacher trainees from around the world asking what they feel gratitude for in their lives at this time as we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday across the U.S.

Babette shared, “I’m grateful for the love of my family. And it sounds crazy, but I’m grateful for all moments that are negative at first glance, but then offer great new opportunities. If the pandemic hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have found your videos and probably would never have done a yoga teacher training.” 

This sentiment was repeated again and again by students from around the world who upon reflection were tapping into the gratitude they have for the challenges they’ve faced which ultimately brought them to yoga, meditation, the online teacher training and the deepening of their personal practices which always led to life transformations such as leaving toxic partnerships, discovering new career paths and deepening the connection with their loved ones. 

Darcy bravely opened up and said, “I am thankful for every experience, whether good or bad, driving me to share my voice. To rise up and out of domestic violence with strength and courage.” We are each capable of greatness even in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances.

Paige’s insight touched me deeply as she remembered to give gratitude for herself, something we too often fail to acknowledge. She wrote, “I’m grateful to Myself for being committed to strength through remaining soft and open, nimble and curious. For having the courage to try new things and follow the breadcrumbs of my excitement.” 

And isn’t this the way it always works? That only by having the courage to try new things do we ultimately grow and transform, no matter our situation. Too often we become comfortable and within our attachment to that comfort (be it physical, emotional or mental) we fail to learn new things, challenge ourselves or face other positive discomforts on the road to personal and collective evolution.

There’s no question that continuing to learn is key to this process. Research shows that when curiosity is stifled and we stop learning our brains actually shrink. 

Wei shared that, “practicing and learning more about yoga have played a key role in changing my perspective, helping me become even more positive and present over the years. I am so grateful to be a member of IDM TV and the online Teacher Training Program so that I can go to the mat every day, empower my body physically, mentally and emotionally.” Reem wrote, among other things, “what I’m grateful for the most, is this training.” And Shireesha said, “teacher training was like a dream.”

So this holiday season, with our gratitude for each of you filling our hearts, we want to support you in your ongoing journey to learn, grow and transform. From November 24th – 29th, 2021, enjoy 30% off all Inner Dimension Academy purchases. Use code HYF30 to receive 30% off of Part I, Part II or the full 200-hour Holistic Yoga Flow online training

Wishing you and your loved ones a special holiday season. But most importantly, thank YOU for being part of this community. We can’t wait to share the year ahead with you.

By Lauren