Thursday, 17 November 2016

Yoga for an attitude of gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends who will be celebrating their blessings next Thursday.  We have so many blessings in our lives - our family and friends, our homes, our food etc it is good for us all to be grateful for them not just at Thanksgiving but every day of the year.

Our featured post 'It's Thanksgiving, be grateful' is on how yoga can help us open up to gratitude.  There is also a yoga video to help you cultivate gratitude.  Please see http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-year-was-1621.html

On the wellness blog, 40plusandalliswell you can read about the health benefits of being grateful.  Please see 'Glow with Gratitude' https://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/glow-with-gratitude.html

Try the following sequence to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Tadasana with Anjali mudra - stand with the feet together with the outside edges of the feet parallel (for most of us this willl mean separating the heels). Lift your kneecaps to engage your thigh muscles.  Lengthen your tail bone down towards the floor to create space in the spine, lift your chest and roll your shoulder blades back and down.  Your chin should be level with the floor, the crown of your head reaching for the ceiling.  Bring your hands into prayer with your thumbs lightly pressing into your chest and either gently close your eyes or gaze at the floor. As you connect with your heart space think of three things that you are grateful for in this moment.  When you are ready take a breath in, breathe out bring your chin to your chest, breathe in bring your chin level with the floor and gently open your eyes. Come to the top of your mat, inhale take your arms out and up, exhale taking your hands out and down then to the mat, bending your knees if you need to.  Breathe in and as you breathe out step back to Downward Facing Dog. 



Pigeon variation - from Downward Facing Dog, inhale bring your right knee towards your right wrist, exhale drop your back knee.  Place a block under your right buttock if you need to. Level up your hips.  Lift through your chest and for a deeper opening of your heart space reach round with your left hand for your left foot.  Open your heart to recognise all life's blessings.  To come out of the pose, release your left foot, bring your left hand back to the mat and on an exhale step back to Downward Facing Dog.  Repeat second side then take a Child's Pose.



Crescent Moon Pose variation - when you are ready to continue inhale come onto all fours, exhale come to Downward Facing Dog.  From here inhale bring your right foot forward, exhale lower your back knee.  Interlace your fingers behind your back, inhale lift your chest take your arms up and back.  Breathe out release your hands to the mat, step back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat on the second side.  From second side, release your hands to the mat, lift your back knee and step your back foot forward.  Take hold of your elbows and slowly roll up.



Warrior 1 variation with Lotus Mudra - from the top of your mat step your left foot back, turn out your left toes and level up your hips.  Breathe out and bend your right knee. Take your hands into Lotus mudra with thumbs and little fingers touching and the other fingers spread and open.  Breathe in and take your hands up, give thanks to the universe for the blessings you have been given.  To come out of the pose exhale lower your hands to your hips, inhale step the back foot forward. Repeat second side.
  

Camel variation - come to the top of your mat, inhale take your arms out and up, exhale taking your hands out and down then to the mat, bending your knees if you need to.  Breathe in and as you breathe out step back to Downward Facing Dog. Inhale drop your knees and come to kneeling, folding your mat over to pad your knees if your knees are delicate.  Bring your right foot forward, inhale and raise your right arm as you curl back and reach back for your left heel.  To modify tuck your left toes to raise your heel or take your left hand into the small of your back and curl back.  Open your heart space to life's blessings. Repeat second side then take a Child's Pose.



Rest in Savasana

Peace and blessings





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