One of my spiritual teachers once told
me that practicing gratitude is the highest spiritual practice and I believe
it because practicing gratitude can change your life. I wasn’t always used to
acknowledging the abundance that I had in my life my mind tended to focus on
what I lacked in time money friends and love give me a like if you’ve totally
been there my negative and critical mindset shifted after I started a
regular gratitude practice you may have heard of keeping a gratitude journal and
I’ve linked a video above that walks you through how to start a gratitude journal
that you’ll actually keep but in this video you will embody gratitude and this
is how practicing gratitude can change your life just like it did for me when
you combine mindful writing in a gratitude journal with this embodied
restorative yoga for gratitude practice you will immediately feel greater
contentment and joy and experience improved health not a lot of people know
about this combination so I am so excited to share it with you today by
the end of this practice you will feel how practicing gratitude can change your
life consider subscribing to my channel because I post new free yoga videos
every week to help you keep that momentum going this restorative yoga
sequence has three poses and will hold them for longer periods of time so that
you can truly focus on what you’re grateful for the props that you’ll need
for this class are an open wall space a flat and round yoga bolster five to six
blankets two blocks and an eye pillow which is optional gather up your props
and meet me back here on your yoga mat let’s begin in a comfortable seat of
your choice just to check in and observe what’s going on now so that you can see
what shifts have been made at the end of this practice close your eyes if that’s
comfortable and with a tall spine bring the awareness to your head and the
thoughts in the is the mind restless or still cluttered
or clear travel the awareness down to your heart and tune into any emotions
that you’re feeling now or those that you’ve been feeling lately is there an
ease to your emotions or has it been a little like a roller coaster and finally
drop that awareness down into the belly and from here radiate an awareness into
the whole body tracking for any places of tightness or physical tension now
that you’ve made these simple observations open the eyes if they were
closed and let’s start with Mountain Brook you’ll need three blankets and one
round bolster we’ll start with the blankets grab one off your stack and to
form this shape which is a basic fold blanket you’ll fold the blanket three
times from an open blanket fold three times short sides together you’ll end up
with something that looks like this once you’ve got this place it down on your
mat it’s about the size and the width of your mat and take the long side and roll
it up into a nice tight roll this roll is going to be cradling the back of your
neck so place that at one side of your mat where you have open space on both
sides of the mat to accommodate your arms then grab your other two blankets
from that basic fold shape we’ll simply take the long side and fold it over to
the long side until you have a rectangle fold blanket do the same thing with the
second blanket and stack those two together then with that stack you’ll
place it about four to six inches away from your blanket roll finally grab your
round bolster and place that on the other side of your mat widthwise across
this will support your knees so sit in between your round bolster as well as
the blankets for your back and extend your legs over top of the round bolster
so that your knees are hooked into the bolster the heels are on the floor place
your hands behind you inhale and lift up through your spine and with that length
exhale and lower back you can lower to your forearms as you come down and now
you’ll need to make some adjustments so blanket goes underneath your neck and
the tops of the shoulders are resting on the floor but the backs of the shoulder
blades are resting on the blanket so it will feel like your sternum is lifted up
higher your ribs are splaying up higher to the ceiling in this gentle backbend
so adjust as you need until you find that space of effortless holding and
then extend your arms long and wide with the thumbs either facing up or turning
backward palms open now the chin will be slightly tipped up and if that is
uncomfortable you can lower the blanket roll and support the neck even more once
you’ve arrived perhaps apply I pillow here or close the eyes if it’s
comfortable give yourself a few moments to settle
into this feeling of lifted heart relaxed body gratitude is the
appreciation of what is meaningful and valuable to you think of something that
you are grateful for and don’t just stop with the theme but also explain why
you’re grateful for it and place that for this person or this thing or this
being into your heart and as you make these explanations to yourself and you
describe why you’re grateful feel that gratitude arrive in your heart is it
warm light does it feel open and spacious once you’re satisfied with the
first thing that you’re grateful for choose something else and start that
process over choosing what you’re grateful for saying why and deeply
feeling in your heart both the what and the why of your gratitude allow yourself to really fill up and
fully embody the feeling of being grateful choose one last thing or being
repeat the process and let this gratitude permeate every cell of your
being starting with the heart and radiating out through the arms and the
legs stay with the feeling until it’s time to come out of this pose you transition out of
ten brook by first gathering your arms inward resting them on your belly then
bend one knee at a time and place the feet against the round bolster and
simply roll it away from you until your feet can touch the floor take your time
as you open your eyes we’re going into the toes and the fingers choose a side
to roll on to and drop the knees to that side and then slowly use your hands to
push into the floor and come up sideways to a seat this next position is
supported reclining bound angle with ramped bolster the setup is a little
involved but it is so worth it so let’s clear what we have off the mat
and set up for the next position ramp the flat bolster up on to angled yoga
blocks then place a rectangle blanket on top of that bolster followed by a folded
over blanket at the very top of the bolster and this will be for your head
and to support your shoulders then roll up four more blankets starting from the
basic fold take the shortest side and roll it up to the short side place two
along each side of the bolster and then two toward the other end of the mat to
arrive in the pose first sit down on your mat with your back to the ramped
bolster and then lean forward a little bit scoot yourself so that you’re
exactly touching with your back and your hips to the bolster ramp with your knees
bent place the soles of the feet together to touch and the knees will
start to open wide to the sides ensure there’s at least 12 inches of space
maybe even more from your heels to your hips
then grab these rolled blankets and place them underneath the calves as well
as the upper thigh on both sides this will elevate the knees sufficiently so
that there’s absolutely no stretch happening in the legs and if there is
you probably need a higher roll underneath each leg then once these are
comfortably in place ease your way back onto the bolster ramp arrive with the
back of your head lift it against the lip of the top edge of this blanket
that’s highest on the bolster so that the forehead is higher than the chin and
your neck feels fully supported through the natural curvature of your shoulders
resting on the blankets now you’ll take the other two blankets that are rolled
and bring them up to your thighs hands are down with the fingers resting over
the lips of the blankets and the elbows fully supported by the blanket rolls you
can close your eyes from here and allow yourself to let go close your eyes if that’s comfortable
and allow yourself to relax relax your body weight into the props into the
blankets and do one last check in ensuring that the whole body feels
supported and at ease that no part of you is vying for attention so that you
can become very still and very relaxed now enter into the feeling of gratitude
again with quiet smooth continuous breath use the inhales to fill up with
the feeling and the exhales to spread the sensation throughout the whole body finally let even that fall away so that
there’s no effort whatsoever for you to rest here enter the state of being and
release all doing come out of the pose very slowly first
by opening the eyes so that you can see and feel the shape of your body and
simply lift the blankets off the legs to the sides then reach your hands down
toward your legs and use the hands to support your knees up and in as the feet
step flat to the ground you can move the blankets for the legs off to the side
and extend the legs long one at a time and just as slowly exhale push your
hands into the floor tuck your chin in towards your heart and lift up once here
arrived with the heart above the hips come to any cross-legged or other
position that feels good just for a moment
maybe eyes closed with just as much attention to stay in word we’ll start to
move the props and set up for the last posture which is legs up the wall so if
you’re near that open wall space you can simply turn your mat against it
perpendicular and will enter the posture and I’ll show you what that prop setup
looks like now arrange your map perpendicular to your
open wall and place a basic fold blanket up against the wall and across the mat
as well as a square fold blanket at the middle of your mat to support your head
and keep your eye pillow handy as well if you’re going to use it to come in two
legs at the wall sit against the wall with your back to the wall and your feet
away from the mat a hip is on the blanket then lean forward the arm that’s
closest to the mat will stretch underneath the other arm lower to the
forearm and then keep going lower to the shoulder and swing your legs rolling
onto your back as the legs come up the wall you can walk closer or farther away
from the wall from here ensure that your whole back body especially your pelvis
is against the ground so if your hips are lifted then scoot away from the wall
until they come down to the floor readjust the blanket underneath the back
of the head but leave the neck free and then open the legs wide until they are
right underneath the knees which are right underneath the hips relax through
the feet and stretch the arms out to a V with the palms face up
opening them a little bit wider than you think so that their space in the armpits
you might like to apply the eye pillow now or close your eyes and as you feel lightness start to
arrive in the feet and a feeling of rejuvenation entering the legs
recall the feeling of gratitude relax into the legs
relax deeply into the hip sockets and allow yourself to be exactly as you are
nothing to change fix or improve you as you settle into stillness notice that
you have a choice to move but also commit to being still so if there is an
impulse to adjust the body or an itch something that takes your attention
externally away from your heart and away from the feeling of gratitude just
observe that and bring it back into the sensation of you being here exactly as
you are exactly where you need to be you become heavy and at the same time light
feel the sensation of heaviness in the chest lightness in the legs focusing on
gratitude naturally expands that sensation not only in the moment but in
the future moments of your life what you practice now you become you stay here with the sensation of
gratitude in your body until I bring you out you bring your awareness to your toes and
start to move the toes curling opening point through the feet flex through the
ankles and one at a time walk your feet down the wall with your knees toward
your chest arrive in a comfortable space with your feet against the wall your low
back flat against the blanket extend one arm overhead and slowly roll to that
side letting the knees drop down the feet come away from the wall rest for a
moment here and just let your legs become used to the new sensation of
blood flow back into the knees back into the feet and take your time press into your hands
and lift up we’ll come to a simple seat here on the mat for a moment
cross-legged perhaps and with the tall spine and the eyes
closed back in with yourself quality of the mind what sensations are in the heart and has any of the 10
you experienced in your body how’s it released from your physical self now all answers are valid it’s your
experience it’s all here for you as a messenger and a teacher as you open your
eyes and come back into the space thank you so much for practicing this
restorative yoga for gratitude class I’m so curious about your gratitude practice
so leave a comment down below and let me know how this went and don’t forget to
subscribe and click the bell button so that you can get alerted every time I
post a new yoga and meditation video to help you pursue your purpose with more
peace of mind I’m grateful for you and I’ll see you in the next one namaste