A gratitude exercise and gratitude yoga sequence

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My heart is full.

As many of you know, I teach a virtual yoga class every Monday night at 8:30pm via DanceFIT Studio. I’ve been teaching in this time slot for a few (four?!) years now, and anytime I think about giving it up… I immediately get a pit in my stomach. This group of yogis makes being an instructor — even at 8:30pm after a long Monday — so worth it.

Why?

Each and every yogi is always grateful for class. I don’t mean they say, “Thank you,” at the end. I mean that they have a deep understanding of why they need their yoga practice — they understand motivates them to sign up. Hint: It’s not me. It’s the way yoga makes them feel physically, mentally and emotionally.

Every couple of months, I lead a gratitude yoga class for my DanceFIT Studio virtual crew. Class begins with a short journaling exercise. We list things we are grateful for — material items, physical things, people, places, work, and deeply personal or emotional things. We end by circling the three we are most grateful for.

Try it

  • Create a long gratitude list: Grab a journal, piece of paper or even a notes app on your cell phone. Sit and list anything and everything that comes to mind when you ask, “What am I grateful for today?” Take 1-2 minutes to complete this exercise.
  • Commit to movement: Go for a run, do your favorite virtual class or dance around — just find a way to move and warm your body. As you move, focus on your breath. Feel grateful for that breath and your ability to move the way you do. No time to sweat? Or maybe you aren’t feeling it? Try these yoga poses: Child’s pose, cat/cow rocks, sun salutation A, forward fold, half pigeon, happy baby.
  • Sit again and prioritize:  After you move, make your way to a comfortable seat. Grab your journal and re-read your list. Circle three things you are most grateful for in that list. Next to each (or below your list), write a couple sentences about why you are grateful for each of those things.

Class is full of busy, bad*ss women — mostly moms. I love seeing and hearing their honest responses. This simple exercise is always a great reminder of what’s most important: our health, the people around us and the space we hold.

Here is a workout to try at home! Check out the rest of my YouTube channel for inspiration.

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