October 22, 2023
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, savor delicious meals, and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. It’s a holiday that celebrates appreciation, family, and reflection. As you prepare to give thanks, consider incorporating some yoga practices into your Thanksgiving festivities to ease out the stress that comes with it. In this blog, we’ll explore yoga sequences that focus on gratitude and mindfulness, aligning perfectly with the spirit of Thanksgiving.
Let your Thanksgiving celebration commence with a mindful breathwork session. Find a serene corner, sit in a comfortable posture, and gently close your eyes. Inhale deeply, feeling your chest and abdomen expand, and exhale slowly, releasing pent-up tension. Continue this rhythmic breathing for a few minutes, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the present moment.
Begin your asana practice with a few rounds of Surya Namaskar सूर्य नमस्कार (Sun Salutations). As you gracefully transition through each pose, reflect upon the radiance and warmth that the sun brings to your life – mirroring the warmth and light of gratitude in your heart.
Balance is a fundamental aspect of yoga and life. Practicing Vrikshasana वृक्षासन (Tree Pose) helps calm the central nervous system and fosters equilibrium and steadiness, serving as a gentle reminder to stand tall, grounded, and deeply rooted in gratitude.
Thanksgiving is all about opening your heart to gratitude. Incorporate heart-opening yoga postures like Bhujangasana भुजंगासन (Cobra Pose), Ustrasana उष्ट्रासन (Camel Pose), or Setu Bandhasana सेतुबंधासन (Bridge Pose) into your yoga practice. These poses help you elevate the mood and embrace feelings of love and thankfulness.
Take a moment in Balasana बालासन (Child’s Pose) to surrender and release any stress or negativity. This pose symbolizes humility and the willingness to embrace the present moment with gratitude, much like the act of giving thanks.
Throughout your yoga practice, set intentions rooted in gratitude. Concentrate your mind on the things you hold dear – family, friends, health, and the myriad of opportunities that life has bestowed upon you. Allow these intentions to guide your practice.
If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with family or friends, consider engaging in partner yoga poses. These poses foster connection, trust, and mutual appreciation, strengthening the bonds of gratitude and love.
At Coquihalla, we specialize in creating wellness experiences that nourish the soul and promote harmony within. Partner yoga, also known as acro-yoga or duo yoga, aligns perfectly with our mission. It combines traditional yoga poses with the dynamics of trust, communication, and cooperation between partners. It offers a unique opportunity to share the joys of yoga and mindfulness with someone else, whether it’s a family member, friend, or significant other.
Pose 1: Double Tree Pose (Vrikshasana वृक्षासन):
Steps: Stand facing your partner and both lift one leg into the classic Tree Pose, with the sole of your foot resting against your inner thigh. Hold hands for support and balance.
Benefits: This pose enhances balance, focus, and communication between partners.
Pose 2: Partner Boat Pose (Navasana नावासन):
Steps: Sit facing your partner, knees bent, and feet touching. Hold hands and simultaneously lean back, balancing on your sitting bones while lifting your feet off the ground. Hold each other’s hands for support.
Benefits: Partner Boat Pose strengthens the core and requires teamwork and synchronization.
Pose 3: Double Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana अधो मुख श्वानासन):
Steps: One partner assumes a regular Downward Dog pose, and the other stands in front, placing their hands at the bottom of the spine and pushing down to stretch the hamstrings while opening up the shoulders.
Benefits: This pose stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings while building trust and communication.
Pose 4: Partner Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana अर्ध मत्स्येन्द्रासन):
Steps: Sit back-to-back with your partner, cross your legs, and place your one hand on your opposite knee, and your other hand on your partner’s same knee. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale while twisting gently to the side.
Benefits: Seated Twist enhances spinal flexibility and massages abdominal organs.
Pose 5: Partner Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana सर्वांगासन):
Steps: One partner lies on their back with their legs lifted towards the ceiling. The other partner stands at their head and holds their ankles, supporting them in a shoulder stand.
Benefits: This pose enhances balance, flexibility, and trust between partners.
Pose 6: Partner Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana नटराजासन):
Steps: Stand facing your partner, each holding one hand and extending your opposite leg behind you while arching backward.
Benefits: Partner Dancer’s Pose enhances balance, flexibility, and a sense of connection.
Conclude your Thanksgiving gratitude flow with a peaceful Shavasana शवासन (Corpse Pose) followed by a guided meditation. Reflect upon the day and express gratitude for the love, laughter, and moments shared with your loved ones.
Thanksgiving dinner stands as the quintessential centerpiece of this holiday. Prior to indulging in your meal, practice a mindful eating meditation. Bless the hands that prepared the food, and pay meticulous attention to the colors, textures, and flavors of your food. Savor each bite with deep awareness and express gratitude for the nourishment it bestows.
After your practice and meal, take a contemplative moment to write down your feelings of gratitude in a journal. Chronicle the elements of your life that inspire thankfulness on this Thanksgiving day. Maintain a gratitude journal throughout the holiday season to continue the spirit of appreciation.
Lastly, take a moment to express your gratitude to those around you. A heartfelt “thank you” can illuminate hearts and nurture bonds. Let your loved ones know just how much their presence enriches your life.
Thanksgiving is more than a delicious meal; it’s a time to deepen our connection with gratitude. Integrating these yoga practices into your Thanksgiving festivities can empower you to cultivate a heightened sense of appreciation and mindfulness. At Coquihalla, we are committed to supporting your wellness journey, and the essence of gratitude and mindfulness is central to all our Retreats.
As you gather with loved ones and reflect on the blessings in your life this Thanksgiving, remember that yoga can be a powerful tool to enhance your sense of gratitude. May your holiday be filled with warmth, love, and an abundance of thanks!
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