The Gratitude Asana Practice
HEY, EVERYONE! JOIN ME IN THIS 8-MINUTE GRATITUDE PRACTICE. JUST A FEW MINUTES TO GET YOU GROUNDED AND READY FOR YOUR DAY, OR NIGHT.
One of my favorite practices to do to help keep me focused is a gratitude practice. I’m going to share with you a few poses that open your heart to gratitude.
Let’s start by taking a comfortable seat on our mat. A comfortable seat means anything that feels good on your body, so I happen to be sitting on a meditation cushion cross-legged. You do what works for you.
I have my handy-dandy trusty blocks close by. I usually have a couple of blankets but for this particular practice, I’m not going to need one because I have just a really thick beautiful mat, which is good for my knees.
If you have sensitive knees, I’m going to invite you to grab a blanket to put underneath your knees and if you have any old yoga mats laying around. I would cut them up into strips to use underneath your mat to help pad your knees, or if you go to the dollar store, they have these gardening pads. They’re just a little foam mats that you can use for kneeling on. I find that those are helpful for some of my students. So we’re going to do a heart opening practice that going to about 3 to 5 minutes and I’m going to lead you through it very slowly.
So one of the things I have been exercising my life is gratitude. Gratitude helps make everything more available. Gratitude opens up your life to possibilities and being grateful for the most difficult situations is a way to learn to overcome challenges.
So let’s start by taking a few deep breaths. So in through the nose and out through the mouth for the first couple of breath just to get into a rhythm and to connect with your body and then when you’re ready you just simply close your lips and breath through your nostrils only.
And as your inhaling think of some of the things that make you grateful. Lately, I have been directing my gratitude towards my body. Being grateful for the skin that I am in and being grateful for my community who supports me my work.
So that’s number one for some of the things on my gratitude list. And on your next breath in through the nose and reach all the way up, eyes to the sky, eyes to the fingertips, exhale brings your hands to your heart, a second time, inhale reach up, exhale hands to your heart center, two more.
One more. Good, Inhale. Bring your arms out wide, and now bend your right elbow and bring your left elbow underneath and bring your forearms together. If this doesn’t work then give yourself a hug, thankful to be in the body that you’re in and to be able to do Yoga with me this morning.
So option one, option two. Inhale arms out wide, exhale so now we’re going to wrap the right arm underneath the left and bring the forearms together, if your palms come together that’s great, just do what works for you.
Beautiful, Inhale arms out nice and wide. Place the fingertips low behind the back, pull the elbow towards each other and open the chest. So gratitude starts with an open heart and pull the fingers down toward the floor.
Do the best that you can. This is option one, if this doesn’t work, option two is hands on the waist. Good and on your next breath come forward as we unclasp the hands, and we’ll do a few poses, that will open our hips and open our heart.
Coming on your hands and knees let’s a few cat-cows. So knees are behind the hips. Fingertips are spread out nice and wide. Good and push out through the knuckles of the hands Beautiful and then let’s do a little rock back and forth as we begin to warm up our body.
And then I’m going to walk my fingertips back towards my knees, inhale reach my fingertips up towards the sky and bring my right hand towards my right ankle and if that doesn’t work I’ll take it to my waist.
Opening my chest. Let’s do the other side. The hand can come to the waist or the ankle, to the heel. Good, both hands to the floor. Step your left foot forward, curl your back toes under, inhale reach your arms up, hips and chest open.
Beautiful, exhale, back to table-top position. Let’s go to the other side. Right foot forward, inhale reach up. Good, big stretch and release. Come back to table-top position. Inhale plant, the hands lift the hips up and back, rock your feet and little further apart, lift and spread your toes.
Look down towards your feet, roll your heels back, hug your arms together, breath. Inhaling and exhaling. Opening the chest, stretching the back. Now inhale, lower your knees down, lower your chest down and hug your legs together and now lengthen of the sides of the waist.
Pull the head of your arms bones back, lift the chest up a little bit and lower. Pressing the hands, lift up a little bit more and lower. One more time, lift up a little bit more and lower. Push back into table-top position and back into a downward dog and just pedal your feet up here a little bit.
Good now squeeze in between the shoulder blades. Now the heart down to the earth and lower your knees down. Left foot forward between the hands. Bring your arms out wide to the side, squeeze between the shoulder blade and lift the heart.
This is my gratitude stance. I’m happy and then your reach your arms up to receive more and be grateful for what I have. Exhale release down, hands and knees. Other side, right foot forward. Inhale reach up, bend the elbows out wide to the side, tips of shoulder blades come together, the heart is open.
Beautiful, Inhale reach. Exhale touch the floor. Step back to down dog, table-top works here too. Down dog, breath. Good inhale forward. Top of a push-up, lower your knees down. Chest down, hug your elbows into your rib cage.Hug your legs together. Pull your pelvis in ad up, lift your chest.
You can come up a little bit, or you can come up a lot whatever feel good. But if you find that you’re jamming your back. Hug your legs together and pull your pelvis up and don’t lift up as high.
Good. Push back into table-top position and come to seated. This is my personal gratitude practice that I like to do when I want to live my life from a place of an open heart. Namaste!