Restorative Yoga Gratitude Sequence

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Restorative Yoga Gratitude Sequence

restorative yoga gratitude sequence

Restorative Yoga Gratitude Sequence

This month we've been focusing on yoga sequences for gratitude, and this restorative yoga gratitude sequence is our favorite of them all!  Restorative yoga is the perfect practice to tap into that space of gratitude within. 

When practicing restorative yoga, we recommend you stay in the pose for at least 7 minutes.  It's important to take your time getting settled into the posture, and remember to make sure the body is completely supported so the body can totally relax.  Restorative yoga is all about finding the deepest opening, not the greatest sensation.

Yoga Poses in Our Restorative Yoga Gratitude Sequence

We very carefully chose the poses in our restorative yoga gratitude sequence.  You may choose to use different props than those we've suggested, and that's all good. Just make sure that you feel completely supported in the pose, whatever that looks like for you.

Here are the poses in our restorative yoga gratitude sequence:

Supported Heart Opener With Bolster

Reclined Bound Angle Pose With Bolster (optional strap)

Supported Fish Pose

Legs Up the Wall Pose With Bolster

Supported Twist With Bolster

Supported Savasana With Bolster Under Knees

We hope that you will enjoy the restorative yoga gratitude sequence as much as we do!  Let us know how it works out for you once you've had the chance to practice it.  Be sure to save the sequence.  You can screenshot it, download it, practice it, teach it, whatever serves you best!  It's yours to keep.

How Does Restorative Yoga Cultivate Gratitude?

Restorative yoga is a gentle, calming practice that emphasizes relaxation, healing, and introspection. Using props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks, restorative yoga allows participants to stay in poses for extended periods (often 5-10 minutes or longer) without exerting effort. The poses are designed to comfort and support the body, allowing deep relaxation. Within this nurturing environment, several avenues open up for the cultivation of gratitude:

  1. Mindfulness and Presence: Restorative yoga creates a space where practitioners can truly be in the present moment. This state of heightened awareness makes it easier to recognize and appreciate the present — the breath, the support of the props, the serenity of the environment. Being in the moment fosters an appreciation for the "now."

  2. Release of Stress and Tension: As the body relaxes into the supportive props and stress melts away, a natural sense of relief and gratitude can arise. There's a recognition of the body's inherent need for rest and the blessing of having the time, space, and means to provide it.

  3. Emotional Healing: Restorative poses can sometimes release stored emotions. As these emotions surface and are processed, there can be a profound sense of gratitude for the body's wisdom, the healing process, and the journey of self-discovery.

  4. Body Appreciation: By intentionally slowing down and nurturing oneself, there's an opportunity to connect with and appreciate the body on a deep level. Practitioners may feel gratitude for their body's resilience, functionality, and innate wisdom.

  5. Space for Reflection: The prolonged stillness in restorative yoga provides ample time for reflection. In these moments of quietude, practitioners can ponder the many blessings in their lives, cultivating a heart full of gratitude.

  6. Enhanced Prana (Life Force) Flow: As the body relaxes and opens up in supported poses, there can be an enhanced flow of prana or life energy. This rejuvenation might lead to feelings of gratitude for the vitality and aliveness one feels after practice.

  7. Connection with Self: Restorative yoga encourages a deep inward journey. This intimate connection with the self can foster self-love, self-acceptance, and gratitude for one's unique journey and experiences.

  8. Communal Energy: If practiced in a group setting, there's often a collective energy that forms — a shared intention for relaxation and healing. Being a part of this communal energy can elicit feelings of gratitude for the shared human experience and the supportive yoga community.

  9. Grounding: Many restorative poses emphasize grounding and connection to the Earth. This rootedness can cultivate feelings of stability, support, and gratitude for the Earth and its nourishing energy.

  10. Spiritual Connection: For some, the deep relaxation and introspection of restorative yoga can facilitate a connection to something greater — whether that's a higher self, the universe, nature, or a divine entity. This sense of interconnectedness and oneness can be a profound source of gratitude.

In essence, restorative yoga creates a safe and nurturing container where one can drop the usual guards, distractions, and stressors of daily life. In this serene and receptive state, the heart opens, allowing gratitude to flow in effortlessly. Through its gentle and supportive nature, restorative yoga becomes a powerful catalyst for recognizing and cherishing life's many blessings.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga 

Restorative yoga is a practice designed to promote deep relaxation and healing. Unlike more active yoga styles, restorative yoga relies on the use of props and prolonged poses to provide complete support to the body, allowing practitioners to release tension and stress. Here are the key benefits of restorative yoga:

  1. Deep Relaxation: By using props to support the body, restorative yoga allows muscles to relax deeply. This deep relaxation can help shift the body from its often predominant "fight or flight" mode (sympathetic nervous system activation) to "rest and digest" mode (parasympathetic nervous system activation).

  2. Stress Reduction: The gentle nature of restorative yoga helps reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol. This can lead to a more calm and centered state of mind, reducing feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

  3. Enhanced Flexibility: While the poses in restorative yoga aren't designed primarily for stretching, the prolonged hold times in a completely supported state can help increase flexibility and open up tight areas of the body over time.

  4. Improved Capacity for Healing: By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, restorative yoga can support the body's innate healing processes. This is especially beneficial for those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery.

  5. Emotional Release: Restorative poses can provide a safe space for emotional release. The stillness and introspection may allow buried emotions to surface and be processed.

  6. Better Sleep: Many practitioners find that restorative yoga can improve the quality of their sleep, helping them fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

  7. Mindfulness and Presence: The stillness of restorative yoga encourages practitioners to stay present, enhancing mindfulness and cultivating a deeper awareness of the breath, body, and emotions.

  8. Balanced Energy Flow: Restorative yoga can help balance the flow of energy (or prana) in the body, removing blockages and enhancing overall vitality.

  9. Improved Immune Function: By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, restorative yoga may bolster the immune system, making it more effective in warding off illnesses.

  10. Enhanced Respiratory Function: The focus on deep, conscious breathing in restorative yoga can improve respiratory capacity and function.

  11. Decreased Blood Pressure: Regular practice can lead to a reduction in blood pressure, which is particularly beneficial for those with hypertension.

  12. Enhanced Digestion: The shift to the parasympathetic nervous system, or "rest and digest" mode, can improve digestive function.

  13. Grounding: Restorative yoga often emphasizes grounding poses, which can help practitioners feel more connected to the Earth and more centered in their bodies.

  14. Deepened Self-Awareness: The introspective nature of the practice allows individuals to connect more deeply with their inner selves, fostering self-awareness and self-understanding.

  15. Spiritual Growth: For some, the stillness and introspection of restorative yoga provide an opportunity for spiritual exploration and growth.

Restorative yoga serves as a counterbalance to the fast-paced nature of modern life, offering a refuge of calm and relaxation. Whether practiced occasionally as a way to unwind or as a regular part of one's yoga routine, its benefits are manifold, addressing the holistic well-being of the individual on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Join us in our restorative yoga teacher training online to learn more about how to sequence restorative yoga classes.

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