“Gratitude yoga” is both a state of mind and list of physical poses that encourage the meditation of blessings. As you pursue the practice o thankfulness regularly, you’ll begin to see the gratitude yoga poses flow into your daily life. In fact, if you’ve been neglecting your own well-being, gratitude yoga may be the perfect way to remedy that.
Thankful Yoga Practice For A More Grateful You
Entering a Thankful Frame of Mind
Specific poses and mantras during gratitude yoga sessions come with techniques to help underscore the feeling of being blessed.
Let your expanding moves be filled with the wonder of being able to breathe, to stretch, and to reach out to life. Also, focus in any of the pleasant sensory treats of your surroundings. If you’re doing yoga outside, this could be the sun on your face or even the waves underneath your yoga paddle board! In the studio, notice any pleasant stimuli such as your teacher’s soothing voice, the music in the background, or the scent of candles.
When doing longer poses, try to number your blessings rather than focusing on in-and-out breathing. Name one blessing as you breathe in, and another as you exhale. Don’t be shy about being grateful for your positive traits such as the persistence that enabled you to master that challenging and long pose.
Every movement you make is an opportunity to meditate upon life’s bounties, given the spiritual nature of yoga itself. But some moves, in particular, are recommended for gratitude reflection. These are:
1. Mountain Pose
Standing straight grounds you in nature through your planted feet. It opens you to the elements through your elongated spine and open hands. Hold on to this feeling as you move into other standing moves, such the Tree Pose.
2. Child-in-the-Womb Pose
This fetal move requires you to coil inward upon yourself. As you do so, feel the energy circling within you, and marvel at the beauty of this sensation.
3. Camel Pose
As you arch your back and place your hands behind you, your chest expands while your whole body is towards the heavens. This feeling of expanding your heart and lungs in thankfulness is valuable in gratitude yoga.
4. Corpse Pose
This final relaxation pose is the traditional end of a yoga session. It’s meant to physically and emotionally restore you after the challenging yoga session. It also opens yourself up to a greater energy into which you are sinking. It can help you feel as if you are being enveloped by life’s blessings.
Living Through Gratitude
So many actions you take throughout the day can be an opportunity to express gratitude, which in turn gets you in touch with an ever-deepening consciousness of your blessings. The concept of a gratitude journal has been in the mainstream for several years now. It truly does help you reflect on daily kindnesses and special moments that you might otherwise forget, whether it’s the softness of your slippers after a hard day, or someone calling to check up on you.
Paying those feelings forward by expressing them to others is also crucial. Let the people in your life know what their loving words and actions have meant to you. And beyond literally thanking those who have helped you, pass on your good vibes by pointing out that you’ve noticed a colleague’s accomplishment or the green thumb of your neighbor.
Consider chanting — whether during meditation or at any point throughout the day. One mantra specifically geared to gratitude for your own blessings, and hopes that others may have their own is: “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” –“May all beings everywhere be happy and free.”
Mindvalley shows a video on how to be thankful in all circumstances:
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you’re too distracted during yoga class, or during the mundane tasks of daily life, to keep up your gratitude yoga practice nonstop. After all, it can be difficult to leave behind the culture of grievances and material goods, and fully enter a state of thankfulness. But by starting small, both in and out of your yoga sessions, you’ll soon find that your well-being has more than improved through gratitude yoga.
Have you benefited from gratitude yoga? Let us know how in the comments section below.