Backbend Yoga Sequence | Gratitude Series | Yoga with Dr. Melissa West 289

by Melissa West on


Yoga-for-Gratitude-episode-289: We know from Namaste Yoga, that the stories of the Hindu pantheon and Hindu mythology are no strangers to gratitude and spirituality. When Ganesh was challenged by his brother to a race around the universe, instead he showed his devotion to his parents by circling them, saying, you are my entire universe.

Hanuman lived his life in gratitude to Ram. His attitude of devotion is another example of gratitude.  On our mala beads, there are 109 beads, for chanting mantra 108 times, on the 109th bead, you stop and take a moment to thank your teacher.

Today I am going to share with you a story of Shabari, a female saint who was a devotee to Rama. I learned this story from my friend Indie, you can find her at her website here and her YouTube channel here.

Shabari was the daughter of a hunter who was supposed to be married. The tribe she belonged to had gathered sacrificial animals to be sacrificed at her wedding. She was filled with such compassion for the animals that she decided to flee her tribe to avoid their killing and went to live a life of devotion to Rama. She eventually grew old, with only one desire to meet her beloved Rama.

One day, she found out that Rama would be coming to grant her wish. She began collecting fruits to offer her beloved. In order to select the most sweet fruit for Rama, she took a bit of each one, setting aside only the best for Rama. According to the rules of prasadam (offering food) it is definitely not ok to offer food that has been tasted!

Shabari was so intention on finding the best, most sweet fruit for Rama, that she totally forgot. When Rama arrived with his brother, Lakshmana, Lakshmana was appalled at the sight of all the half eaten fruit for Rama!

Rama on the other hand recognized the purity in Shabari’s actions, he was filled with gratitude for her act of devotion. He said that one devotee like Shabari is better than millions of others who simply pray to him for personal gain and materialistic motives.

Rama was filled with gratitude for Shabari’s devotion. He looked deep into the heart of his devotee Shabari and not at the superficial details of the food that she was offering. In this story Rama shows us that as long as our intentions and hearts are filled with love, that is all that really matters.

Today we will practice poses that will open our hearts and fill us with gratitude.

Yoga Postures/Asanas: Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Table to Child’s to Downward Facing Dog Flow or Balasana to Adho Mukha Svanasana Vinyasa, Hridya Mudra in Easy Pose, Dancer Pose or Natarajasana, Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold or Prasarita Padottanasana, Dhanurasana or Bow Pose, Dying Warrior, Revolved Head Beyond Knee Pose or Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose

Yoga Props: yoga blocks, meditation cushion, folded blanket or chair, yoga strap, bolster

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Question to leave your comments about below: What fruits of gratitude are you offering to another this week?

You can show your appreciation for this series of classes on gratitude which is going to take us on a journey towards feeling better about your life, more optimistic, more energized, more joyful, less anxious, being less sick, getting more sleep, and even being more organized with a donation or you can like, subscribe or leave a comment.

Thank you Cinda Smith for your donation this past week.

If you are looking for help with shoulder mobility as I mentioned in the class,

Why 10 short 20-30 minute classes for your shoulders? Fine motor movement of your hands such as working on your computer or texting causes your arms to move less and your shoulder girdle to stabilize. If not countered with movements that put your arms and shoulders through a full range of motion (like in these videos), this means stiff shoulders. Your shoulders are all about shouldering a lot of responsibility from work, children, aging parents. We all have more duties and obligations weighing us down. Again, yoga to free up our shoulder girdle can help you to release the somatic emotional burden of responsibility. Sitting at computers, long commutes and pouring over electronic devices can cause our postures to become slouched. Slouched posture with rounded shoulders overstretch and strain your upper back and neck and weaken the muscles between your shoulder blades. Habitual slouching collapses your chest, compresses your thoracic diaphragm and lead to stress injuries and dysfunction in your shoulder joints. This series focuses on releasing your neck and mobilizing your shoulder girdle. Shoulder shorts is filled with many more unique, new, and innovative yoga movements designed to bring freedom and ease back into your shoulder girdle.

Members Shoulder Short Videos

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Sending you much love from beautiful British Columbia
May you experience the strength of our mountains
May you be as rooted as the trees in our forest
May your joy be as deep as our Pacific Ocean

Yoga with Melissa 289 Photos of Yoga Poses


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