A Thankful Yoga Practice

Yoga and the Spirit Summer Scene

My Yoga and the Spirit classes fill a void in my yoga practice by combining my Christian religious beliefs and yoga. This Gratitude Practice highlights appropriate Bible verses and poses which can be incorporated into a special Thanksgiving yoga session at a church.

To begin:

Ephesians 5:20 “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Practicing gratitude can lessen depression and anxiety so that you feel and sleep better. Since yoga also has these benefits, the combination is a match made in heaven! Since the holidays can be stressful and lonely, practicing thankfulness can help.

Easy pose with hands made into a bowl (pinkies and thumbs touch while fingers spread out in a bowl shape). Fill the bowl with gratitude for loved ones and all the challenges in your life that can actually help you grow.

Conscious Breathing: appreciate the very gift of life.

Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your eyes closed. Take deep, slow breaths. Once you feel centered and present, mentally list five things you are grateful for in your life by moving each finger. Say thanks to those people and/or things after thinking of each one.

Psalms 118:24 This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Child’s pose: Can you be like a child in awe of everything?
Think about when we were kids and could curl up and fall asleep anywhere. Be thankful for the ways we feel secure in our lives. Accept and be thankful for the times when we slow down and rest rather than being busy.

Stomach Prayer: Lie down on stomach up on elbows with hands in prayer position for these readings.

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Tadasana: with hands together in prayer position. Take a moment to feel your heart. Breathe with even rhythm. Allow a sense of gratitude to reside within you. Reach your arms up to the sky and acknowlege what is truly possible. Clasp your left wrist with your right hand, step you left foot behind your right foot wide to the side, roll to the outer edge of your left foot, engage and spread your toes, lean into the pose, and stretch the entire left side of your body with power and strength from the foundation up to your hands. Take 5 deep breaths. Switch sides.

Low lunge: Extend your arms out wide to the sides of the body with the palms facing forward. Open the line through your arms and heart.

Revolved Lunge: When we twist, we get to physically look back. Think about the gift of hindsight. 

Psalm 116:17 “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Psalms 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Warrior I: Be grateful for your strength for those tough times we will inevitably face.

Downdog and Fire hydrant: bend your knee and open up the hip and thigh into external rotation. Imagine you are sending  love from your heart into the world as you stretch open.

Wild Thing: with hand on heart instead of extended. Your entire body is an expression of gratitude in your life. Think of the people you love and someone who has helped you.

Half Moon: The world is always changing so appreciate the change of the lunar cycles and seasons.

Tree pose: Tree pose teaches us gratitude for the earth that grounds us and for our ability to grow.

Bridge: open yourself up physically and your mind will wake up.

After savasana:

Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

First Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Dear Lord God,
Simply, thank you. Help me to recognize the goodness around me each day. Give me the strength to keep my body healthy so that my mind will follow. Remind me to find silence each day to and calm my mind to appreciate all your gifts.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

If you would like a Gratitude Yoga Session at your church in the DC metro area, please contact me.

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