Autumn, with its traditionally referenced vibrant foliage and crisp air, provides a perfect backdrop for cultivating gratitude. As nature prepares for a season of rest, we also can mirror this process in our own lives by embracing mindfulness and appreciation, and spending time in reflection and letting go. 

Yoga, a practice that harmonizes the mind, body and spirit, offers numerous tools for nurturing gratitude. 

One fundamental principle is mindfulness, the art of being present in the moment. Autumn’s beauty serves as a reminder to savor life’s simple pleasures, whether it’s the cooling of the temperature or the warmth of a cup of tea. By mindfully engaging in our current experience, we shift our focus from what is lacking to what is abundant in our lives. 

Breath awareness, another cornerstone of yoga, teaches us to find gratitude in the act of breathing itself. Each inhalation and exhalation sustain us and connects us to our immediate world. This awareness can further extend to acknowledging the efforts of others that contribute to our well-being, fostering a sense of interconnectedness and gratitude for the support we receive. 

Yoga postures also offer a unique pathway to appreciation. Tree pose, for instance, encourages balance, stability and presence. As we stand tall like a tree, we can reflect on our own growth and the strengths that we have developed over the previous season. Child’s pose, a restful and introspective posture, invites us to surrender and find appreciation for moments of rest and rejuvenation. 

Gratitude journaling, inspired by yoga’s introspective nature, is also a powerful tool. During autumn, taking time each day to jot down things for which we are appreciative can foster a positive mindset. This encourages us to seek out even the smallest blessings and reflect on how they enrich our lives. It can be as simple as acknowledging the people that picked the beans for our coffee, the driver who hauled them and the barista that created the beverage.

The concept of “seva,” or selfless service, is central to yoga philosophy. As leaves fall to nourish the earth, we too can give back to our communities. Volunteering or performing acts of kindness aligns with the spirit of autumn and deepens our sense of gratitude by recognizing the abundance we can share with others. 

The practice of meditation, often integrated into yoga, guides us towards inner stillness and clarity. Amidst the busyness of life, meditation provides a sanctuary for acknowledging people, places and things. By focusing on positive intentions and expressing appreciation for life’s gifts, we invite an atmosphere of thankfulness into our daily existence. 

As autumn transitions to winter, we can carry forward the lessons of harvesting gratitude. By infusing yoga-inspired strategies into our daily routine, we nurture a sense of appreciation for the present moment, recognize the interconnectedness of all things, and embrace the ever-changing nature of life. 

Just as the trees shed their leaves, we can take time to shed any negativity or long-held resistance creating space for gratitude and appreciation to flourish.

Jennifer Yockey is owner of Gather Yoga & Wellness. She is an E-RYT yoga/meditation teacher and wellness coach and can be reached at (760) 219.7953, [email protected]. For more information visit

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