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Building Gratitude and Self-Trust Through Yoga by Paula Heitzner

The sacred practice of yoga can add to one’s life and fulfill the promise of better health, a calmer and less fearful worldview and a more peaceful outlook initiated from within. It can help us to establish ourselves in a basic state of trust. The asanas, or poses, help us explore the physical weaknesses we encounter and when we stop denying that we are less than perfect, we can then become purposeful in our practice. This creates a conscious awareness within us that engenders the trust of self and the process grounds us in a more selfempowering state of being. This is not only healthier, but is necessary for living our lives in a satisfying way which leads to feelings of gratitude and grace which help us define our humanity. It is an antidote to envy, greed, hate and mistrust.

Creating Self-Trust

With self-trust we are better capable of building relationships with others that are respectful and productive. We can then create communities that support the ideals which contribute to the higher good. The mental/emotional aspect of a yoga practice has been shown to have a pervasive effect on every dimension of our being. Through our practice of yoga, we are given the chance to encounter blocks and limitations to our growth and empowerment as we recognize they are fear based, fed by our very own habits, patterns, mind-sets and negativities. As we work our bodies in the asanas, we slowly develop the courage necessary to stay the course and to bring in light to dispel the shadows within us. As the darkness recedes, so does our fear. Remembering that fear is false emotions/ experiences appearing real is mentally freeing and can be replaced by face each apparition realistically.

Breathing to Relieve Stress

We are further positively impacted by pranayama stretching us emotionally. Yoga breathing is known to be a stress buster. The negative effect of stress on the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems are well documented, along with the diminished feelings of energy and life force.

A yoga practice also places great emphasis on the healing importance of gratitude, an emotion that creates a healthy state of being – both mind and body. Gratitude is the antidote to the toxins of fear and being unable to breath and expand. We should encourage family and communities coming together in the expression of gratitude for our blessings. As we gather with our loved ones, let's send this gift of the heart to all beings sharing the home Mother Earth.

Paula Heitzner is the founder of the Nyack Yoga Center, located at the New Age Center at 1 South Broadway in Nyack. Heitzner, Robin Laufer and Jeannie DeMarco all teach classes at the New Age Center that ground, center and align with bringing about the highest good for their students. For more information, contact 356-5613 or visit

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