Top 9 Yoga Poses for Gratitude

Yoga is a great way to cultivate gratitude and bring a sense of thankfulness into your practice. Practicing gratitude can be difficult in our busy day-to-day lives but Yoga can help us shift our minds into gratitude.

Top 9 yoga Poses for Gratitude:

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Gratitude
Top 9 Yoga Poses for Gratitude

1_Cobra Pose:

Cobra Pose also known as the Bhujangasana is a popular yoga pose that is commonly performed in a cycle of asanas in Surya Namaskar as an alternative to the Upward Dog Pose. This pose is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.

How to Practice Cobra Pose:
  • Lie on your stomach with your toes pointing straight back and your hands underneath your shoulders and elbows close to the body.
  • Engage your legs and pull your belly in and up.
  • As you inhale, lift your chest from the back of your heart. Roll the collarbones up and firm the shoulder blades into the upper back and  slightly down along the spine.
  • Lift your head last. Open your heart, with no weight in the hands yet. Extend out through the toes.
  • Come down again as you exhale. Repeat that two times.
  • The third time you come up use your hands to find your full expression of the pose. Lift your chest from the back of your heart and head follows. Come all the way up to a point where it feels good to you can still maintaining a connection from the pelvis to the legs.
  • Bring the side ribs forward and draw the upper arm bones back and lengthen the neck.
  • Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • To come out lower the body down on as you exhale and take a rest lying on your belly or in Child’s pose.
Benefits of Cobra Pose:
  • Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and relish good experiences and deal with adversity. It can lead to a reduction in anxiety an improvement in mood and decreased stress hormones.
  • Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of inflammation. Gratitude is associated with improved overall health by increasing energy and better exercise.
  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships and can lead to improved social support and prosocial behavior. It can make others more likely to extend their help towards you by making mentorships easier to find and maintain.
  • Gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel more positive emotions and relish good experiences.

2_Camel Pose:

Camel Pose also known as the Ustrasana is a backbend that stretches the whole front of the body. It is performed on the knees and is often used as preparation for deeper backbends.

How to Practice Camel Pose:
  • Kneel on the floor or a yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart and your thighs perpendicular to the floor.
  • Place your palms on your hips and keep your outer hips as soft as possible. Make sure your soles face upward and your toes are touching the floor. Your back should be straight, and you should feel a slight stretch in your back muscles.
  •  As you inhale engage your lower belly and lift your gaze by beginning to bend backward.
  •  Gently arch your back by lifting your chest and shoulders toward the ceiling. Keep your neck neutral or slightly bent and avoid straining your neck or tightening your throat.
  • Maintain the pose for 30 seconds to a minute by breathing deeply and calmly .
  • As you exhale slowly come out of the pose by lowering your chest and head back to the starting position.
Benefits of Camel Pose:
  • Camel Pose stretches the ankles, thighs, groins, abdomen, chest and throat
  • It can also stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas).
  • Camel Pose strengthens the back muscles, the back of the thighs and the buttocks (glutes).
  • Practicing Camel Pose can help improve posture by opening up the chest and shoulders.
  • Camel Pose stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck by improving digestion and respiration.
  • Practicing Camel Pose daily can be a great way to relieve neck and back pain caused by slouching in front of a computer or driving.

3_Puppy Pose:

Puppy Pose also known as the Anahatasana is a relaxing backbend that is a cross between Downward Facing Dog and Child’s Pose.

How to Practice Puppy Pose:
  • Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with shoulders stacked over wrists and hips over knees.
  • Walk your hands forward and begin lowering your chest toward the ground by keeping your hips lifted over your knees.
  • Lower your forehead to the mat and if comfortable you can come up onto your chin and look forward.
  • Activate your arms by pressing your palms down into the mat and lifting elbows and forearms up off the ground.
  • Draw your shoulder blades towards each other and extend hips up toward the sky.
Benefits of Puppy Pose:
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, upper back, arms and abdominal muscles.
  • As a slight inversion it can foster a sense of calmness in the body by relieving stress and anxiety.
  • Releases tension in the upper arms, shoulders and neck.
  • Expands the chest and opens up the hips.
  • Good preparation for backbends.
  • Can help to alleviate neck, shoulder and lower back pain.

4_Garland Pose:

Garland Pose also known as the Malasana is a deep squat that stretches the hips, groin, ankles and torso.

How to Practice Garland Pose:
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the floor.
  3. Bring your hands to your heart in prayer position.
  4. Press your elbows into your inner thighs and use your arms to gently push your knees apart.
  5. Lengthen your spine and keep your chest lifted.
  6. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths and then release and come back to the Mountain Pose.
Benefits of Garland Pose:
  •  Garland Pose is an excellent hip-opener that stretches the hips and groin.
  • Practicing Garland Pose strengthens the feet, ankles, and legs.
  • Garland Pose can help improve digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs.
  • Practicing Garland Pose can help relieve lower back pain by stretching the lower back muscles.
  • Garland Pose is a grounding pose that can help calm the mind and reduce stress.
  • Garland Pose is an excellent facilitator of good pelvic floor health.

5_Boat Pose:

Boat Pose also known as the Paripurna Navasana is a yoga posture that offers a range of physical and mental benefits. 

How to Practice Boat Pose:
  • Sit seated with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Sit up tall to lengthen your spine and then slowly lean back while bending your knees.
  • Lift your feet off the floor and flex your feet to keep your legs activated.
  • Hold the posture while taking deep breaths by engaging your abdominal muscles with each exhale.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 20 breaths.
Benefits of Boat Pose:
  • Boat Pose primarily targets the core muscles by including the abdomen, pelvis and lower back, which are essential for stability and balance.
  •  This pose also engages the arms and legs by specifically the upper arms (biceps and triceps) and hamstrings by gradually toning these muscle groups over time.
  •  Practicing Boat Pose fosters a heightened awareness of the entire body by promoting mindfulness and body-mind connection.
  • Engaging the abdomen and improving air circulation through the diaphragm can activate the muscles around the abs and pelvis by potentially improving digestive health.
  •  Boat Pose also helps strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles while also decreasing the workload of the lumbar spine and allowing for a wider range of motion.
  •  Boat Pose can improve balance, posture and body alignment by making it beneficial for activities like running or rock climbing.
  •  Practicing Boat Pose can boost energy levels, fight fatigue and enhance mental focus by contributing to a sense of empowerment and confidence.

6_Flying Fish Pose:

The Flying Fish Pose also known as the Uttana Padasana is a variation of the Fish Pose in yoga.

How to Practice Flying Fish Pose:
  • Start in the Fish Pose by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting alongside your body.
  • From the Fish Pose and extend your arms forward with palms touching in prayer position and lift your legs by engaging your toes.
  • The gaze can also be directed either up toward the sky or to the back.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths by maintaining engagement in the entire body.
  • To release gently lower your legs and return to the starting position.
Benefits of Flying Fish Pose:
  • The Flying Fish Pose strengthens and stretches various muscle groups including the upper chest, middle chest, lower abs, transverse abdominis, traps (neck), lats (back), glute max, hip flexors, adductors, quads, lower back, rhomboids, side shoulders, front shoulders, triceps, biceps, upper abs and hamstrings.
  • Like the traditional Fish Pose the Flying Fish Pose is a heart-opening asana that can help open and stretch the chest and shoulders.
  • The Flying Fish Pose can be taught as a restorative posture with bolsters or a blanket under the shoulder blades by offering spaciousness and support without excessive effort.
  • This pose can also stretch and open the throat by providing a gentle stretch to the neck and the throat area.
  •  When practiced with a block under the shoulder blades and the head resting on a blanket
  • The Flying Fish Pose can also offer support and a glorious opening for breath and expression.

7_Reclined Bound Angle:

Reclined Bound Angle Pose also known as Supta Baddha Konasana is a restorative yoga pose that is deeply relaxing and recommended for practitioners of all levels. It is a hip-opening asana that instills a sense of deep relaxation. 

How to Practice Reclined Bound Angle Pose:
  • Lie straight and flat on the ground.
  • Bend your knees to bring the soles of your feet together to touch.
  • Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Stay in the pose for up to a minute, breathing deeply and slowly.
Benefits of Reclined Bound Angle Pose:
  • Lowered blood pressure.
  • Decreased heart rate.
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Relief from fatigue and insomnia.
  • Reduce nervous tension and stress.

8_Tree Pose:

Tree Pose also known as Vrksasana is a balancing asana that challenges your balance and stability while strengthening your legs, glutes, core and back.

How to Practice Tree Pose:
  • Begin in Mountain Pose  with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • .Shift your weight onto your left leg and ground through the four corners of your left foot
  • Bend your right knee and reach down with your right hand and clasp your ankle.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint with your knee pointing out to the side.
  •  Press your foot against your inner thigh and your inner thigh back into your foot.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged and firm your left hip, lengthen your spine, soften your shoulders and tuck your chin slightly in and back.
  • Bring your hands in front of your heart in prayer position or lift your arms up to the ceiling. Hands can remain shoulder-width apart.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute by maintaining your balance and focus.
  • Lower your leg and arms down as you exhale and take a moment in Tadasana.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side by placing your left foot on the inside of your right leg.
Benefits of Tree Pose:
  • Tree Pose helps improve balance and coordination by making it easier to perform other standing poses.
  • Tree Pose strengthens the legs, ankles and spine by helping to improve overall stability and posture.
  • Practicing Tree Pose can help open the hips by promoting flexibility and mobility in the hip joints.
  • Tree Pose requires focus and concentration which can help improve mental clarity and mindfulness.
  • Tree Pose can also help stretch and strengthen the ligaments and tendons in the feet as well as gently stretch the entire thigh and buttocks on the lifted leg

9_Standing Forward Fold :

Standing Forward Fold also known as the Uttanasana is a calming yoga pose that stretches and rejuvenates the whole body. It is an essential element of Sun Salutations and helps prepare the body for deeper forward bends.

How to Practice Standing Forward Fold:
  • Begin in Mountain Pose  with your hands on your hips.
  • Exhale as you bend forward at the hips by lengthening the front of your torso.
  • Place your hands on the floor beside your feet or on your shins, or hold onto the backs of your ankles.
  • Inhale and extend your chest to lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale and fold deeper by bringing your belly closer to your thighs and your forehead toward your shins.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths and then inhale as you lift your torso back to an upright position.
Benefits of Standing Forward Pose:
  • Calms the mind and relieves stress, anxiety and headaches.
  • It stretches and rejuvenates the entire body.
  • Combines the benefits of forward folds and inversions by promoting relaxation and improved body awareness.
  • Helps to relieve lower back pain and improve circulation.
  • Can be modified for pregnant women and individuals with back injuries.

 

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