Meditation Techniques to Practice Gratitude

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If I can help those of you that really feel overwhelmed with everyday life or those of you that feel like your world is caving in all around you, try to take time for yourself and RELAX.  Make time for yourself so that you can recover from the happenings around you and you can learn to reconnect from within.

Finding peace and gratitude is a good start.  So I encourage you to make time to try these techniques so that you can find your way back to that place that makes you feel extra special and at peace.

1. Walking meditation.

If you find yourself feeling anxious, rushed, or over-extended, give yourself a gift of 10 to 15 minutes. Wherever you are, find a quiet escape away from the noice to walk in silence.

There is a simple experience that comes with walking by alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state which helps you in becoming more present and grounded. Be mindful of each step and keep in touch with each step. Allow yourself to notice your surroundings, such as grass, trees, chirping birds, and the sun on your face.                           To end the walking meditation, gradually come to a stop, and be aware of the feeling of standing still again. Identify with how you feel now, compared to how you felt when you started. Take your newfound awareness and calmness with you when you enter back to your surroundings.

2. Prayer twisting.

Twisting helps to detoxify our bodies by stimulating our liver and stimulating peristalsis. From crescent pose, rotate your torso, bringing the left elbow on the outside of your right knee.

Bring your palms together in a prayer position and press into them towards the floor, rotating your right shoulder up and back while twisting your upper back. Look towards the ceiling. Keep your right knee bent and keep the hips sinking down towards the floor.    If you feel like challenging yourself reach hand closest to the floor down on either the big toe or little toe side of the foot and raise your hand aligned with your shoulder and with the hand touching the floor.                                        Hold for 5 to 8 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.

3. Bow pose.

Laying on your front side helps to bring blood-flow to your digestive organs, aiding in better digestion and assimilation of your food. Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms along the sides of your body. Bend your knees and hold your ankles. Breathing in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back. Look straight ahead, preferably with a smile on your face. After 5-8 deep breaths, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release your ankles and relax. Repeat two more times.

4. Concentrated yogi bicycles.

Lie on your back. Lace your fingers behind your head. Keep your knees bent together above your hips.
Keeping your knees bend, sit up slightly. This is your inhale position.
As you exhale, try to touch the outside of your right arm to the outside of your left thigh while straightening your right leg.  As you inhale, straighten your core and bring your knee back above your hips.
Repeat on the other side.
Repeat 10 times, slowly, on each side.
Finish with concentrated bicycles: 1) Twice as fast in speed and 2) half the extension in your legs. Ex: Instead of extending the opposite leg while twisting, simply touch the toes of that foot to the floor or mat, keeping the knee bend. Repeat 20 times each side.
5. Gratitude meditation.

Cultivating and practicing gratitude can reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety, resulting in a better mood and restful sleep. Practicing gratitude can also lead to increases in optimism, vitality, happiness, a sense of wellbeing, and a greater satisfaction with life and relationships.

Practicing thankfulness (even in times of adversity) helps one to seek and find a “silver lining” in all of their experiences. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your eyes closed. Take deep, slow breaths. Once you feel centered and present, mentally list five things you are grateful for in your life and give your thankfulness to those people and/or things.

As you give thanks and gratitude bring this to your inner meditative thoughts and give thanks to self and be grateful to self.  This is so important in finding and feeling that inner peace that we  so need in our lives and that we search for in times where we are overwhelmed with our surroundings.

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