Gratitude Yoga Flow: Mudras, Mantras, and Meditations for Gratitude
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
gratitude yoga flow, gratitude yoga practice
There is so much beauty and goodness in this world, but how often do we take the time to pause and appreciate it? The wisdom of gratitude practices reminds us to take these small moments to appreciate all that we have in our lives, even when things seem a bit bleak. Practicing gratitude in your yoga practice through a gratitude yoga sequence can help you genuinely embody these teachings and delve into a deep well of love, compassion, and presence within.
In this article, we will explore how you can bring gratitude into your yoga practice through yoga asanas, mudras, mantras, and meditations for gratitude. These practices are tailored for a thanksgiving yoga practice, but you can bring gratitude yoga sequences into your life at any time of the year!
The Importance of Gratitude
These days, it seems that every time you turn on the news, there is a new catastrophe or something terrible happening in the world. While it is undoubtedly important to be aware of what is happening in the world, it is also essential to focus on the positive to remind ourselves of goodness and see the silver linings of life.
Gratitude helps us to remember the good that we have in our lives and to take a moment to express thanks for all that we have. We all struggle with feeling gratitude at times. However, by starting small and expressing gratitude for even something as simple as your breath, you can remind yourself of all the tiny, beautiful things around you and begin to shift your awareness to see the world through a different lens.
Yoga Sequence for Gratitude
Yoga asanas or yoga poses are an excellent way to embody the teachings of gratitude and experience gratitude in every movement. Practicing a gratitude yoga sequence is less about the specific poses and more about how you feel and what you focus on while in each yoga pose. That being said, it can also be wonderfully supportive for a gratitude yoga sequence to focus on specific yoga postures that open your heart, invite deep presence, and support you in grounding and letting go of what is no longer serving you.
To help get you started in practicing gratitude yoga, check out our yoga sequence for gratitude below! This gratitude yoga sequence is an excellent thanksgiving yoga sequence, and it can also be practiced at any time of the year when you want a gratitude-themed yoga class.
Gratitude Yoga Sequence:
· Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
· Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)
· Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
· Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar A)
· Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
· Warrior 2 Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
· Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)
· Garland Pose (Malasana)
· Child’s Pose (Balasana)
· Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosasana)
· Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
· Child’s Pose (Balasana)
· Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
· Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
· Wind-Releasing Pose (Apanasana)
· Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
· Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This gratitude yoga sequence utilizes a combination of heart-opening postures to unleash the love and compassion from within, forward-bending poses to calm the nervous system and embody surrender, inversions to gain a different perspective, and profound relaxation to shift into a deeper state of inner peace and awareness. Try to make every pose an offering of gratitude to something greater than yourself, inspiring deep reverence in your heart in every moment and in every breath.
Mudras are hand gestures that influence the flow of energy in the body and can represent a more profound embodied expression of consciousness. One of the most basic hand mudras for gratitude is the anjali mudra, also often called the prayer hand position.
You may be familiar with this mudra as the hand gesture that commonly accompanies the “Namaste” at the end of a yoga class. But beyond this use, Anjali mudra is the universal gesture of deep reverence and gratitude. It is a hand gesture that honors the divinity within yourself, in others, and in the universe at large.
Another excellent mudra to embody gratitude is the lotus mudra or padma mudra. The lotus mudra connects you to the heart space and represents the purity of divine love and compassion. The lotus flower teaches us how even out of mud, beauty can grow and form into something spectacular. Similarly, even in the darkest of times, gratitude can remind us of the goodness that is always present in some small way.
Finally, the pushpaputa mudra is another excellent mudra for gratitude. The word pushpaputa means “handful of flowers,” and it is a hand gesture that is often used when making an offering to a deity. This mudra represents the divine practice of surrender or ishwara pranidhana and being grateful for all the goodness that the universe provides you in each moment.
Mantras for Gratitude
Mantras are another powerful yoga practice that can help tap into the deeper realms of the heart and harmonize with the powerful vibrations of the universe. Mantras can also be used similarly to a prayer and can serve as an offering of gratitude when chanted aloud or spoken to others. Mantra chanting is a powerful spiritual practice that can help you deepen into the philosophical concepts of yoga and walk in the footsteps of the many yoga masters that came before us.
One of the most famous mantras for gratitude is the shanti mantra “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” This mantra roughly translates to mean, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering.” Essentially, this mantra is a prayer of compassion and goodness for the world, sending out a wish of happiness and peace for all beings. Compassion and gratitude are deeply interconnected, and by deepening into compassion, you will inevitably deepen into gratitude as well.
Some other excellent Sanskrit mantras for building gratitude in your heart include:
· Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
· Om Mani Padme Hum
· Om Namah Shivaya
· Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwarah, Gurur Saakshaat Para-Brahma, Tasmai Shri Guruve Namaha BRAHMA,
· Hari Om Tat Sat
· Gayatri Mantra
In addition to these mantras, you might also consider exploring various affirmations for gratitude. Some wonderful gratitude affirmations are:
· I am open to receiving gifts from the universe.
· I am grateful for the beautiful life I have.
· I am thankful for the wonders of each moment.
· I appreciate all the good things in my life.
· I am grateful for every breath and every moment.
Meditations for Gratitude
Meditation can also help you deepen into the heart space and access a profound well of gratitude within. Whether you work with meditation techniques through the breath, mantra, visualization, or any other style, these methods can help bring you into a deeper connection with your inner self and express gratitude to both your inner being and your connection with the divinity all around us.
As an obvious recommendation, gratitude meditation techniques are the best way to tap into deeper gratitude. Gratitude meditation might involve visualizing people, places, or things that you are grateful for and offering your thanks to them. Gratitude meditation can also be as simple as offering thanks to your body and your breath. There are many different ways to practice gratitude meditation and to contemplate on the inner and outer experience of gratitude in your life.
In addition to gratitude meditation, loving-kindness meditation can also help you connect to gratitude. Loving-kindness meditation enables you to connect to an offer of compassion to yourself and others, allowing you to access the deepness of your heart and let the love flow out from within.
Why Should We Practice Gratitude-Themed Yoga?
Gratitude is an important value to build in your life, both towards yourself and others. When we learn how to express gratitude, it can transform our relationships and help us tap into a deeper vibration of love and compassion for all that we have in life. Gratitude-themed yoga helps bring all of these concepts together into a truly embodied practice so that you can work with this material both on and off the mat.
Gratitude-themed yoga classes are most popular over the holiday thanksgiving. But you can practice gratitude-themed yoga classes at any time of year to connect with the experience of gratitude in your daily life. Even if you don’t weave gratitude into your yoga practice, you might consider a daily gratitude journal to help remind you of the goodness in your life and stay grounded when things become challenging.
Thanksgiving Yoga – Diving into the Well of Gratitude Within
Gratitude isn’t just something we offer to others; it is also a gift to ourselves. How often do you express gratitude for your body, breath, and inner consciousness? If we can learn how to express gratitude for all the small things in our lives, it has the potential to transform how we see the world. Thanksgiving yoga practice is an excellent time to remind ourselves of the importance of gratitude and how to bring gratitude-themed yoga into our everyday practice.
If you are interested in learning more about yoga or diving into mudras, mantras, and meditation, then make sure to check out our online yoga teacher training courses! We have a wide range of online continuing education programs and foundational teacher training courses to give you all the tools you need to provide these transformational practices to your students. Reach out to us for more information on how you can deepen into these beautiful yoga practices both on and off the mat!
Be sure to watch our gratitude flow below, and if you enjoy it, join us in our Virtual Yoga Studio for regular practice.