November’s Kunga Service Theme: Expressing Gratitude through the Non-Violent Communication Model
The intention of this month’s Kunga theme is to learn to express gratitude using the model for appreciation within the methods of “Nonviolent Communication”. Nonviolent Communication was developed by psychologist Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. The NVC model is a concrete set of tools that help us to manifest mindfulness in our lives. Practicing Nonviolent Communication relates to our Kunga theme of yoga as service because the goal of Nonviolent Communication is to increase understanding, cooperation, and respect in relationships.
Excerpts from Marshall Rosenberg and Jeff Brown
Of Center for Non-Violent Communication
Before beginning the practice, it is helpful to understand the NVC model’s definition of feelings and needs.
Needs and/or values are considered things that we all universally want, for example:
– physical well – being – food, safety
– meaning – growth/integrity
– autonomy – choice
Feelings are categorized as fulfilled feelings or unfulfilled feelings. Examples of fulfilled feelings include feeling:
Examples of unfulfilled feelings include feeling:
Now, let’s incorporate these feelings and needs into our Gratitude Practice from NVC:
The purpose of sharing appreciation in Nonviolent Communication is simply to celebrate when the actions of others have enriched our lives. We refrain from expressing appreciation to “reinforce” the actions of another.
Sharing an NVC appreciation has 3 components:
- Observations – Sharing what actions another person took that made your life more wonderful.
- Feelings – How you feel IN THIS MOMENT (not when it happened).
- Need – The needs of yours that were met by the action.
- Recall something that another person did about which you feel grateful. Imagine you are speaking to them right now, and begin by making an OBSERVATION. Ex: “John, When I recall you doing/saying ________”
- Then reflect or write down your feelings in this moment Ex: “I feel very ________ (your present feeling about what they did or said)
- Last, identify the needs of yours that were met by this person’s action. “Because it met my needs for ____________________”
Ex: John, when I think about how you repaired my broken front door while I was at work, I feel very grateful and happy because you met my need for safety and support.
Three options for guiding your students at the end of your class through this exercise are listed below:
- Ask your students to come into silent meditation, as you guide them through reflection of the above questions and actions, allowing 1 – 2 minutes of silence between each question.
- Journaling – Guide your students through the above fill in the blank questions and actions, allowing 1 – 2 minutes of silent writing time between each question.
- Role Play Co – listening. Ask your students to try sharing what they wrote with one another if they choose, role-playing their gratitude. Guide the following actions for the first participant to speak about, as the listener sits quietly without responding, and then switch.
- Encourage students to try this exercise if they celebrate Thanksgiving with their family.
- Pass out handouts from the CNVC website on gratitude as take-aways.
“Kunga” is a Kenyerwandan word meaning “to serve or help”. The mission of all Kunga Yoga programs is to offer the teachings of yoga as a path of service to the planet, it’s people, and all beings.
The heart of all Kunga Yoga programs is to encourage, inspire, and support healthy living, community building, volunteering, and positive activism. We chose this word in honor of the first group of children that we had the honor of working with, the Mizero orphans of the Rwandan genocide. Our mission is supported by three primary models: Kunga Yoga Teacher Training School: 200 & 500 Hour programs, Kunga Journeys service-based yoga retreats, and Kunga Yoga public classes.
The vision of Kunga Yoga is to connect cultures by inspiring and training individuals to approach their yoga practice and lifestyle choices as an opportunity to serve others, to encourage healthy communities, and to inspire positive activism. Our vision is to connect volunteers, donors, yoga students, and yoga teachers with local and international communities in need.
Check out our schedule to find a Kunga class today!
Interested in using yoga as a path of service to yourself and others? Check out our Kunga Yoga Teacher Trainings!
Want to travel with us to India and visit the Girls at Homes of Hope Orphanage? Join Katie Kennis and Noelle Whittington on our Kunga Journeys India Retreat!
Center for Nonviolent Communication website: