Kendra Thornton Guest Post

Yoga enthusiast Kendra Thornton has requested to post as a guest on my blog, on the theme of Thanksgiving. I am actually located in Canada and Thanksgiving is past, but it is still a theme that is current at any time, and of course in Canada we can relate to her discussion of pilgrims facing hard times, where part of that had to do, also in Nova Scotia, with pilgrims swallowing their pride and asking for help from the natives—that they provided that help is something to be grateful for.

Recently a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook, to a video by the head of the Halifax (and of the Shambhala international) Buddhist community, Sakyong Mipham, son of its founder, Chogyam Trungpa. The brief talk also addresses ‘Thanksgiving’/appreciation. I find it to be an unusually pithy and gentle presentation of Buddhism in keeping with that sense of gratitude or appreciation, by someone who understands the western mind from having grown up in the west, and yet who is thoroughly educated in the Tibetan Buddhist ways, so I am including the link here, after which Kendra’s article follows:

Prayer Hands

Life Lessons from the Pilgrims and Yoga

Every year, I look forward to Thanksgiving because this holiday represents all of the ideas that I hold close to my heart. While everyone begins to think about giving back to others while being thankful for what they have, I always think of how much my family and friends play a role in my health and happiness. Yoga also contributes to my well-being, and that is why these two things are so connected in my thoughts this time of year.

While Thanksgiving is a time for bringing together the community and a sense of sharing, yoga is also about finding greater awareness within the body while appreciating one’s self. For this reason, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what I have learned from both yoga and the Pilgrims.

1. Maintaining Strength in Your Faith: When the Pilgrims came to America, they left everything behind so they could establish and enjoy the freedom to practice their religious beliefs. When I practice yoga, I also am reminded of my ability to stay strong and true to myself. Life can get hectic as a busy mom of three kids; however, all of the stress melts away when I stay strong in my faith and find myself while practicing yoga.

2. Be Willing to Travel to Find Freedom: The Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower with uncertainty regarding what events the rest of their voyage may bring. However, 102 passengers were willing to take a chance of choppy waters just for the chance to enjoy freedom. During my former career with Orbitz, I have always enjoyed traveling. I also learned that no matter where I stay, I could take my yoga practice with me as well. Once while I was in Orlando, I was able to join the hotel’s complimentary yoga class that took place on their rooftop at sunrise – it was incredible!

3. Conquer Fear: The Pilgrim’s first winter here was devastating. With harsh cold and little food and water, many of the first explorers succumbed to death and illness. Yoga is all about-facing your challenges head-on. When I first started yoga, I had my own fears regarding my ability to learn new poses because I was afraid of injuries. Learning how to listen to my body and trust my abilities through practice has led to much personal growth.

4. Learning through Community: Upon setting up their colony, it was the natives who first taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the new land by catching fish, planting crops and hunting for animals such as beaver so they could have enough to eat. I love my yoga classes where I can learn from other people who also recognize the importance of yoga for gaining peace and self-understanding. Every time I attend a class, I learn something new that I can share with others.

5. Thankfulness: In 1621, the Pilgrims sat down with the Pokanokets to express gratitude for survival during the first Thanksgiving dinner. The lessons in gratitude I learn are not left behind on the mat after class. Instead, I carry thoughts of gratitude with me as I interact with my family and friends. For me, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to celebrate the feelings of thankfulness and community that I enjoy all year through my yoga practice.
What special feelings do you have about Thanksgiving and yoga?

Kendra Thornton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

John Dao Productions

Internal arts principles. Simple, clear, artsy, free.

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

James Radcliffe

Meditations on Art and Life


Form, Flow and Grace

Simon Vigneault's Blog

The Infinite Living Room


Just another site


Meet, Create & Share

Witchy Quirks

Witchy Misadventures in Northern California

Simple Pleasures

Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes

soul patterns

light and matter intersections

Lila's Twist

writing stories, bit by bit


Conjuring the Magic

Caravan Dreams༻

The travels & adventures of Desert Flower

Druid Life

Pagan reflections from a Druid author - life, community, inspiration, health, hope, and radical change

The Blog of Litwits

I read. I blog.

ReviewsbyLola's Blog

A blog about books

An Unfettered Mind

The Search for Truth in an Uncertain World

Life Medicine and Life Doctoring

counselling for serious or chronic illnesss


a forum for all those interested in The New Yoga of Awareness

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Mused by Magdalene

Updates, events, hints, odd thoughts and an occasional poem

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Official blog of the editorial team

Putting the life back in science fiction

Just another weblog

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Reviews of Vintage Science Fiction (1950s to mid-1980s)

Sf-Fandom's Wordpress Blog

Science Fiction & Fantasy News and Information from

Indian SF

Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

Beamer Books

The official blogsite of the Beam Me Up Science Fiction Book Club

The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World


Dharmic Adventures for those with Grid Aversion Syndrome

How to Lucid Dream Tonight

A topnotch site

Buddhist Art News

News on Buddhist art, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, and academia.

Zen Flash

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

ann e michael

Poetry, nature, books, & speculative philosophical musings

Transition Consciousness

Making the transition to a better world

NASEP blog

Official Blog of The North American Society For Early Phenomenology

The Great Conversation

Literature, Philosophy, Art, Music, Drama

Nightwolf A.D.E.

Art, Design, Editing, and the Nuances of Storytelling According to Kisa Whipkey

Patrick Watts

unity & whole

In Sanity

Some alternative angles on mental wellness from the perspective of a creative arts therapist and psychiatric survivor.

%d bloggers like this: