Dec 10, 2023


Yoga and Fitness

reading time

4 min

Gratitude Before Gravy: How Yoga's Lessons Apply to Thanksgiving

While the holiday itself may not seem directly related to yoga, the principles of this ancient practice offer valuable insights that can enhance our Thanksgiving experience.

Cultivating Gratitude

At the core of Thanksgiving is the practice of gratitude. Yoga teaches us to cultivate gratitude, not just for the obvious blessings, but for the simple, everyday moments and the challenges that push us to grow. The awareness of and gratitude for every breath, every sensation, and every experience can transform the way we perceive and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Mindfulness in Eating

Thanksgiving often centers around a bountiful feast. Yoga encourages mindfulness in all aspects of life, including eating. Mindful eating means savoring every bite, paying attention to the flavors, and appreciating the nourishment your meal provides. Applying these principles to Thanksgiving can help you fully enjoy the flavors and company, avoiding overindulgence and guilt. 

Embracing Community

Yoga emphasizes the importance of community and connection. Thanksgiving is a time to connect with family and friends, fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness. Yoga's teachings remind us that we are all interconnected and that the power of unity and shared experiences is essential for our well-being.

Compassion and Forgiveness

Thanksgiving can bring together diverse family members and sometimes unresolved conflicts. Yoga teaches us compassion and forgiveness, both for others and for ourselves. By letting go of past grievances and embracing forgiveness, we create a more harmonious and loving atmosphere during the holiday.

Setting Intentions

Yoga often begins with setting an intention for your practice, whether it's to find inner peace, strength, or balance. On Thanksgiving, you can set an intention for the day. Perhaps it's to be fully present, to express gratitude sincerely, or to embody the spirit of giving. Setting intentions can help you stay focused on what truly matters during the holiday.

Practicing Generosity

 Yoga teaches the concept of "seva," which is the practice of selfless service and giving. Thanksgiving is an ideal time to practice generosity by sharing your time, food, and love with others. Acts of kindness and generosity not only enrich the lives of others but also fill your own heart with joy.

Finding Stillness

Yoga promotes the value of stillness and inner peace. During the bustling holiday season, finding moments of stillness can be challenging but incredibly rejuvenating. Taking time to meditate, reflect, or simply enjoy a quiet moment can bring a sense of calm and mindfulness to your Thanksgiving.

Letting Go of Expectations

Yoga encourages us to let go of expectations, which can lead to disappointment and frustration. This philosophy is particularly relevant during the holidays, where preconceived notions of the perfect celebration can create stress. Embracing the holiday with an open heart, free from rigid expectations, can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience. 


Gratitude Before Gravy. Incorporating the lessons of yoga into your Thanksgiving celebration can help you fully embrace the spirit of the holiday. By cultivating gratitude, practicing mindfulness, fostering connections, and embodying the principles of compassion, forgiveness, and generosity, you can make Thanksgiving a deeper and more meaningful experience. As you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this year, take a moment to reflect on how yoga's wisdom can enhance your celebration and remind you of the true essence of this holiday.‍