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Bowing Down: 7 Yoga Poses Embodying Gratitude

Yoga | Yoga Poses

I’ve always turned to yoga because it helps me to express what I can’t put into words. These seven poses help cultivate gratitude for ourselves and for those around us. Use these poses to bring forth all there is to be thankful for in your lives.

7 Yoga Poses Embodying Gratitude

1. Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana)

Get into it: From Warrior 1, interlace your fingers behind your back and slide your knuckles down the back of your leg – opening up your chest and heart. Bow down over your front leg, bringing your shoulder to the inside of your front knee.

Feel: Bow down and surrender. Let go of things that are not serving you.

2. Intense Side Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Get into it: From Warrior 1, hop your back foot into a slightly shorter, comfortable stance. Slightly twist your torso toward your front leg, and bow down over that leg.

Feel: Allow your worries and junk from the day to roll down your spine and pour onto the floor. Leave the negativity outside of your body, and feel renewed with gratitude for the positivity in your life.

3. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Get into it: Step your feet outside your mat (or slightly wider than hip-width) and come into a deep squat. Keep your chest up and try to align your shoulders over your hips.

Variation: Bring your feet together, but maintain the space for your torso. Fold forward, bowing your head down toward the ground. Bring your hands behind your feet.

Feel: Feel connected with your heart center and recognize things in your life that you are thankful for.

4. Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

 Credit: Julia Lee

Get into it: From table top, come down onto your forearms and extend your arms long. Keeping your hips over your knees, walk your hands forward. Arms stay engaged.

Feel: Melt your heart down into the floor, pour out your gratitude.

5. Knees-to-Chest (Apanasana)  

 Credit: Meagan McCrary

Get into it: Lying down, draw your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your shins.

Feel: Take a moment to feel gratitude for yourself. Hug yourself and accept who and where you are.

6. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

 Credit: Meagan McCrary

Get into it: Plant your feet next to each other on the ground. Let your knees fall out to the sides of your mat, bringing the soles of your feet together. Place one hand on your belly, and one on your heart.

Feel: Feel the gratitude for yourself and those around you radiating out from your heart center.

 7. Belly Savasana

Get into it: On your belly, bring your toes together, and let your heels fall away from one another. Rest either cheek on the mat. Arms can go wherever is most comfortable for you: in a T position, cactus arms, down by your sides – palms facing up or down, or supporting your head.

Feel: As your body presses into the earth, feel the earth lifting you back up, and supporting you. Feel gratitude for having a solid space under you. Recognize and feel gratitude for other areas in your life where you have solid support from someone or something.

Take the time in these poses to truly embody gratitude and feel its powerful energy move throughout you, both physically and mentally. Allow yourself to feel fully and deeply, and ask yourself: what are you most grateful for?

Image credit: Odette Hughes

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