This is the seventh class in our yoga for gratitude series and will focus on gratitude for thought. Drawing on book two verse 33 and 34 of the yoga sutras we will focus on cultivating the opposite when our thoughts are filled with self-judgment, criticism, shame and unworthiness. This class is inspired by the gratitude and compassion teachings of Jack Kornfield.
Jack Kornfield points out that it can be quite normal to be overcome with regular, repeated destructive thoughts of self-judgment, criticism, shame and unworthiness as you quiet your thoughts and drop inwards and turn off the noise of the external world with practices of yoga and meditation
Chapter Two Verses 33 and 34 of the Yoga Sutras say:
II: 33 When presented with disquieting thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite, elevated attitude, this is Pratipaksha Bhavana.
II: 34 The desire to act upon unwholesome thoughts or actions or to cause or condone others toward these thoughts or actions is preventable, this is also Pratipaksha Bhavana.
One of the ways we can cultivate the opposite thought is through gratitude. Cultivating gratitude can be an antidote that transform your unhealthy, destructive, negative thoughts. It is a way to change the channel. The new phrases of gratitude can be the healthy and simple phrases.
Jack Kornfield says that gratitude “is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small, an appreciation of the moments of good fortune that sustain our life every day.”
Continue to sit with ease and dignity in your body. Allow yourself to be comfortable, open, and breathe with a free and easy heart. Let your gratitude to begin with yourself, and acknowledge that all these years you have cared for your own life.
Now begin to expand your circle outwards and acknowledge all that has supported you in your own care:
With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.
With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.
I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.
Reflect on how these teachings touch you in your life right now. Form an intention of what you would like to receive from this class. What are you creating, sustaining, releasing or rebirthing in your life right now and how can your yoga practice help you do that?
The yoga postures and asanas in today’s class will release your neck, shoulder and hip joints. They will creates flexibility in your hands, wrists fingers, wrists, and shoulders as all as your ankles, knees and hips.. Our peak postures today will benefit you ankle, knee, hip, wrist and shoulder joints.
We will go through several yoga postures that will alleviates stiffness in your lower back and some kinds of backache. You will stretch your hamstrings, calves, and inner thighs, chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen. Yoga postures will strengthen your spine, firm your glutes and stimulate your abdominal organs.
The postures in this yoga class help to relieve arthritis pain in your knees and hips. They relieve back pain and stiffness between the vertebrae of your spine and can be useful for slipped discs. There are also yoga postures that help to reduce blood pressure.
The yoga postures will help you with balance and strength in your legs and ankles. They will help you to align your pelvis. They will also increase the elasticity of your spine, tone your spinal nerves and improve the overall functioning of your spinal cord.
Overall we will be focusing on yoga postures that will calm your mind to reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga postures for balance, will clear your mind, and create focus. Forward folds and inversion will calm your mind and help you open and balance your intellect, wisdom and intuition as well as help to relieve stress. Final savasana will bring you into a deep, meditative state of rest which will release stress and anxiety and balance vata dosha.
Resources: Nischala Joy Devi: The Secret Power of Yoga
Jack Kornfield: “The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology”
Jack Kornfield: The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
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Question to leave your comments about below: What is one phrase of gratitude that you are offering today? I offer my gratitude for…
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.
If you would like the latest research and most innovative teaching to help you go even deeper with gratitude in thought then we have a meditation group in our membership community. Our meditation group is amazing at supporting each other in our meditation practices. We also have a introduction to meditation series. 🙂
This introduction to meditation will take you step by step through the process of learning to meditate in a non-intimidating environment. The series begins with a short yoga class to prepare your body for seated meditation. Then you will move on to a short class which explains different sitting options for meditation along with a short meditation focused on the sensations in your body. The following classes introduce you to short meditations which focus on your breath and teach you how to be with your thoughts during your meditation. The series concludes with a famous yoga practice called candle-gazing meditation.
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 291 Photos of Yoga Poses