Would you think it ironic to read the phrase, “Give yourself the gift of generosity this year?” Give yourself the gift of generosity? It seems to be common knowledge for most that generosity makes us feel good…but it goes much further than that.
Studies are actually finding that generosity gives us benefits so great that it may be one of the major keys to living a happy and healthy life. On a physical level, generous living enhances our physical health, lowers blood pressure, fights depression, reduces stress and even enhances our lifespan! On an emotional (& mental health) level, it helps us connect to our purpose, helps us feel better about ourselves, boosts our confidence and combats tendencies towards self-hatred and/or self-sabotage. Socially it provides a sense of connection and well-being, it enhances relationships, allows us to love those we serve even more than before, encourages us to see the best in others and allows us to bask in a sense of community.
What’s encouraging is that we don’t have to go into generosity “hyperdrive” in order to experience these benefits. We can do simple acts, such as smiling at someone, making someone cookies, giving up our seat, visit someone who is lonely, or do any other number of small actions. As long as our brain and heart are active in planning and carrying out generous acts, we benefit….and it’s the ultimate gift because it causes a ripple effect.
People are more likely to serve others once they’ve experienced some type of generosity, their feelings of love increase for the person who serves them, and literally helps us “spread sunshine” everywhere we go.
We love partner yoga as a representation of how powerful generosity is. With partner poses, we learn that giving by committing more deeply to the pose actually creates greater stability for us and the person we are partnering with. It is a great reminder that when we are more isolated, working on our own poses we must be much more tuned inward to focus on balance and technique. And certainly individual practice is beautiful, relaxing and benefits personal meditation practices. But partner yoga enhances connection, fun, and stability as we allow ourselves to learn the fine art of giving and receiving.
We’d love to hear how your practice of partner yoga has taught you lessons about generosity you are able to carry into other areas of your life.