Attitude for Gratitude: Small Talk

Do you hate small talk? A lot of people tell me that. I used to hate it, too, to have a conversation about the weather. It seems so mundane because it is obvious – why comment that it’s raining when I walked through the rain to get here? I don’t gain any new knowledge or insight by commenting on how windy it is out there. However, what discussing the weather does give me is a chance to connect with other people on a basic level. Everyone in an area experiences the same weather. They might have different experiences – I hate the rain, others love it – but everyone feels the raindrops.

Yoga means “to yoke,” so looking for ways to increase connection with others and within myself are important to my practice. Appreciating small talk was a reminder that the simple yoga poses that have come to feel mundane and even boring are invitations to connect: with my body, myself, and the experiences of other students. Triangle pose feels different for different people, but we are all aiming for a similar shape. I find that so beautiful.

One of the most fundamental experiences we share is the act of breathing. My breath is so ordinary that I have to make a special effort to even notice it. Yet, bringing attention to my breath creates the opportunity to connect to my body in a way that can be powerfully calming and meditative. It is a conversation happening within me which tells me if I am feeling stressed, or relaxed, or if I am working hard. I am grateful for the way that this simple action creates a kind of “small talk” with myself to foster a deeper connection.

Questions for reflection:
What feels mundane to you today?
How can that mundane activity offer an opportunity for connection to yourself or others?
Bring your attention to your breath. What is it telling you right now? How can you use your breath in this moment to create connection?

This article was provided by Katie Pizziketti as part of a new monthly series, Attitude for Gratitude, in which Katie will explore using gratitude to cultivate a mindful and positive active lifestyle. Join Katie for practice on Sundays at 12:30pm. 

About Katie:
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.

Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!

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