Gratitude and Health


The holiday season is a great time for yearly reflection and spending time with loved ones. Studies show that expressing gratitude can lead to a happier, healthier life. Yoga is a great way to foster gratitude while keeping you healthy.

Like wellness, yoga is a journey. Practicing yoga can strengthen your body and mind, at any level of fitness. Here are a few key lessons from yoga that can help you cultivate gratitude:

  1. Reflect: Most yoga classes end with time set aside for reflection. This is dedicated time to process your accomplishments and let the benefits of the class sink in. Outside of the classroom, try to begin or end your day by writing down three things that you are grateful for. Focus on the positive; you may be surprised to see how this gratitude begins to overflow into other areas of your life.
  2. Breathe: If you attend a yoga class, you are likely to hear the word “breathe” or “breath” many times. In yoga it is a great reminder that with every breath you can deepen your stretch, or let go of a negative thought you’d been holding on to. And as you breathe in, you are stronger and more in control of your outcomes.
  3. Accept: Yoga is wonderful for both body acceptance, as well as the things we control. With a strong yoga practice, you can become stronger and more flexible--and see your progress. You learn to stop comparing your journey to others and to focus on staying present and honoring yourself.

At this time, there is no one fitness device that is ideal for tracking a yoga workout to earn Vitality Points. Pedometers do not give a true picture of a yoga workout, and heart rate monitors may not register the 60% maximum heart rate for a rigorous vinyasa class. The best way to earn Vitality Points through yoga is to either join a yoga studio that is a Partner Fitness Facility, or to use the “Recommend a Health Club” link on and enter your yoga studio’s information. If the owner agrees to a partnership, you can earn Vitality Points each time you go to yoga!