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Our theme around here at Yoga Pura this month is Appreciate. In our yoga practice and in our lives, figuring out how to appreciate things is a powerful shortcut to more happiness. Sound simple? Well, sometimes it is.

Receiving a gift from a friend, having our coffee paid for in the drive thru, or finding a moment of quiet in a hectic day: these are all things that make it easy to find spontaneous appreciation.

The difficulty arises when life doesn’t go our way. In the midst of unpleasant circumstances, we have to work harder to find something to appreciate. But the good news—this practice is most powerful in the long run when we have to work at it.

When performed as a conscious practice, appreciation is a means to train our attention to effortlessly and habitually gravitate toward the positive aspects of our lives. As our attention is pulled toward that which is positive, we naturally focus less on that which is negative.

Becoming more consciously appreciative of the gifts in our lives shifts our mental and emotional states for the better. We find ourselves automatically gravitating toward the positive elements of any situation, increasing our sense of peace and wellbeing and ultimately making ourselves—and our world—a happier place.

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