Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and gratitude. To help you prepare for the holiday—or foster gratitude any time of year—we at Two Fit Moms are offering you eight asanas that will help you clear your mind, energize your body, and focus on all you have to be thankful for. Integrate these poses into your practice this week as you make time to reflect on all that is gracious and good.
See also Kathryn Budig’s Heart-Is-Full Flow
From Warrior I, clasp your hands behind your back. Squeeze your palms together and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, bow forward and bring your right shoulder to the inside of your right knee and the crown of your head toward the ground. Enjoy the stretch in your hips, inner thighs, and shoulders. Repeat on the other side.
From Warrior II, rotate the front palm up. As you exhale, slide the back hand down the back thigh. Feel the yummy stretch all the way up the front side of your body. Take the front hand to your heart center to bring more awareness and breath there. Repeat on the other side.
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot in between your hands and drop the left knee down into a Low Lunge. Sink your hips down, scissor the inner thighs and draw in the lower belly. Take any arm variation that helps to center you. Try to close your eyes to help focus on the breath and to sink deeper into the pose. Repeat on the other side.
From Mountain Pose, take your feet as wide as your mat and turn your toes out. Slowly bend your knees and come into the yogi squat, Malasana. Widen your feet or roll up your mat beneath your heels if you cannot bring them to the floor. Bring your hands to heart center and use your elbows to open your inner groin and hips.
From Downward-Facing Dog, shift your weight into the right hand as you roll onto the outside edge of the right foot. Step the ball of the left foot behind the right leg. Lift your hips high and bring the left hand to your heart center. Close your eyes. Feel the stretch through the left side of your body and the energizing effects of the backbend. Repeat on the other side.
From Mountain Pose, come up onto your shins. Make sure your hips stack over your knees. Push forward through the hips as you start to lift up and back through your heart center. Feel free to take any variation of Camel that is right for you. Close your eyes and focus on taking deep breaths in your backbend.
From a Tabletop position on hands and knees, bring your big toes to touch, your knees as wide as your mat and your forehead down. Extend your arms up toward the top of your mat and into Prayer Position. Keeping your elbows rooted, bend your elbows, bringing your hands to your upper back. For a deeper stretch across the shoulders and triceps, rest the backs of your upper arms on two yoga blocks. Stay here, breathe and melt the heart down.
To conclude, take a moment to feel gratitude for yourself and your practice. Focus on your breath, your body, and your heart. If it’s more comfortable for you, you may also conclude with Easy Pose (Sukhasana). Happy Thanksgiving!