Words to Live By

By: Alanna Zabel – Yoga Instructor
Contributor’s website: Aziam 

Mantra:  I Am Thankful, Exercise:  Camel Pose

In honor of the upcoming year,  let’s cultivate some gratitude while infusing this attribute into our cellular being. Camel pose stretches the front of the body including the chest, abdomen, and quadriceps.  It improves your spinal flexibility, as well as opening your heart center. As we open the heart, fill it with sincere gratitude. Consciously feeling the power of gratitude opens our consciousness to receiving.

1. Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width apart.  Make padding under your knees if they are sensitive.  Your thighs will make a ninety degree angle with the floor in your initial positioning.  Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor as your base anchor.

2. Draw your hands to your lower back, with the bases of your palms on the tops of your buttocks, with your fingers pointing down.  Inhale and lift your heart by pressing the shoulder blades against your back ribs.

3. If you feel enough of a stretch, remain in this position.  If you feel that you need more of a challenge, reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your ankles or heels.

4. Press your hips forward so that they are over your knees.

5. Let your head lift and drop back moderately, opening your throat.

6. Stay in this pose anywhere from thirty seconds to one minute. Feel your heart open and full.  Repeat in your mind “I Am Thankful”.  Count the many reasons in which you are thankful, or simply embrace the essence of gratitude.  To exit, return your hands to your lower back if you have reached further towards your feet. Inhale and lift the head and torso up.  Lead with your heart as you come back to starting position.  Sit back on your heels and rest for a few breaths.

7.  Repeat steps 1-6 once or twice more.

Think of a time when you gave something to someone, and they expressed sincere gratitude for your gift.  Didn’t it make you want to give more?  Now imagine a time when you offered a gift to someone who appeared ungrateful, or even outright rejected your gift.  It probably made you second guess your gift as well as restrain from gifting that person again.

The acts of Giving and Receiving are inseparable.  When you are in a sincere state of gratitude, you are also in a state of acceptance and harmony. You resonate a frequency which will then attract to you the events, conditions, and circumstances that your heart desires.

Today, please count your endless blessings.  Be grateful for your health, whatever state your health is in.  Be grateful for you family, your friends, your work, your hobbies, your pets, your creativity, your unique face, your unique voice, your life experiences, your home, your personal possessions, etc. etc. etc.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  – John F. Kennedy 

Contributor’s website:www.aziam.com

(Photo credit: AZIAM Yoga)

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