Yoga for Thanksgiving – 15 Yoga Asanas for Gratitude

Yoga for Thanksgiving – 15 Asanas for Gratitude

Yoga for Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the abundance in our lives and cultivate a profound sense of gratitude. And what better way to enjoy a gratitude feast than by practicing yoga poses that promote feelings of appreciation and gratitude? Roll out your yoga mat, take a deep breath, and explore these thankfulness-centered asanas if you’re ready to embrace the bounty of this gratitude season.

The benefits of Yoga Asanas for Gratitude

Gratitude yoga is a practice that has numerous benefits. It fosters an optimistic mindset, which improves interpersonal relationships by encouraging appreciation and gratitude. Gratitude yoga effectively reduces stress, leading to improved overall well-being and longevity. By incorporating gratitude into your yoga practice, you can access your inner creativity and reach your full potential. Furthermore, gratitude yoga boosts self-esteem and confidence, allowing you to embrace your unique qualities and contributions to the world.

How to cultivate gratitude with yoga poses

Incorporating specific yoga poses into your yoga sessions can help cultivate a sense of gratitude by opening the heart, releasing negative thoughts, embracing the present moment, creating space for reflection and appreciation, and cultivating balance and inner peace.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana) and Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), for example, encourage a gentle opening of the heart center, allowing us to let go of negative emotions and embrace a grateful mindset. Incorporating mindful breathing techniques into poses such as Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and Tree Pose (Vrksasana) can also deepen our sense of gratitude by bringing our attention to the present moment and the abundance that surrounds us this will help in our life of yoga asanas for gratitude.

Here are the top 15 yoga asanas for gratitude this yoga for Thanksgiving. Include one or more of these in your yoga practice to increase your gratitude and connect with the spirit of thanksgiving.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana is a basic yoga pose that promotes balance, stillness, and grounding. This asana reminds us to be strong and steady like a mountain, even in the face of challenges or distractions. It helps us find our center, both physically and mentally, and to approach each moment with gratitude and appreciation. Mountain pose can help you build a foundation of stability and mindfulness in your yoga practice, cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude for the abundance of the present moment.

2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Vrikshasana is a yoga pose of balancing that represents inner strength, focus, and resilience. As you stand tall on one leg, firmly grounding it into the earth, you embody a tree with deep roots into the abundant earth below. Tree pose teaches us to find stability and balance amid change and movement.

Give thanks for the roots that support you and the stability that grounds you by taking a few slow deep breaths in Anjali Mudra with your hands at your heart center. As you reach your arms overhead, cultivate a sense of expansion and openness to receive life’s abundant blessings.

3. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior II represents the warrior within each of us, ready to face whatever challenges life throws at us. This commanding position symbolizes empowerment, inner strength, courage, and determination. With arms extended out to the sides and gaze focused over the front fingertips, feel the balance between effort and ease, as well as your ability to embrace the present moment while honoring the past and looking forward.

As you flow into this asana, take a moment to express gratitude for the battles you’ve fought and the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Thank you for the experiences that helped shape you into the strong person you are today.

4. Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)

This difficult pose opens your heart and relaxes your upper body, allowing gratitude to flow in. As you hold Reverse Warrior, breathe deeply into the stretch along the side of the torso, allowing your heart to shine with gratitude for all the blessings in your life. Allow the strength and power of your legs to support you as you raise your arms to the sky, representing your gratitude soaring high.

With each inhale, cultivate a sense of expansion and openness within your body, mind, and spirit, cultivating a deep appreciation for the abundance in your life. Expel any negativity, insecurity, or doubt, allowing more gratitude to flow in.

5. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

By stretching wide and reaching toward the sky, the Triangle pose represents expansion, openness, and growth. Allow your body’s reach and expansion to remind you of your vast potential with each inhalation. Feel the stability and strength of this powerful shape as you ground your feet firmly into the earth.

As you extend one arm toward the sky and the other toward the ground, imagine yourself embracing all the abundance and blessings that surround you. Allow a deep sense of gratitude to guide you with each slow, deep breath towards a mindset of infinite potential and a grateful heart.

6. Paschimottanasana (Sitting Forward Bend)

This deep forward bend invites introspection, self-reflection, and inner exploration. As you reach for your toes in Seated Forward Bend, exhale and release any tension or stress in your body and mind. Allow yourself to let go of any worries, anxieties, or negative thoughts and instead concentrate on everything in your life for which you are grateful. Feel the hamstring and lower back stretch as a reminder of your adaptability and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Seated Forward Bend encourages us to turn inward and observe our breath, thoughts, and emotions with curiosity and acceptance. This introspective pose allows us to gain insight into our inner landscape, increasing self-awareness and connecting with ourselves more deeply. Including Seated Forward Bend Yoga incorporates gratitude not only for the external blessings in our lives but also for the richness and beauty that exists within us.

7. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

This heart-opening asana is a powerful way to express gratitude for the abundance and blessings in our lives. Camel pose allows us to create space in the heart center by gracefully arching our backs and reaching our hands towards our feet, allowing us to feel grateful and vulnerable.

Take several deep breaths in this asana to feel your heart space expand, allowing gratitude to fill every corner of your being. With each exhalation, expel any lingering feelings of resistance, resentment, hurt, or negativity. Allow gratitude, compassion, serenity, and love to enter your body with each inhalation.

8. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

This relaxing yoga pose encourages inner peace, grounding, introspection, and gratitude. This gentle forward bend relaxes the back, shoulders, and hips, creating a safe and nurturing environment for introspection and reflection. Allow distractions to pass as you breathe deeply in the Child’s pose and observe your thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment. As you surrender to this gentle pose, feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders, allowing you to fully experience the present moment and reflect on all of your blessings.

9. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandhasana represents the link and bridge between the body and the mind, or between the heart and the spirit. As you lift your hips high, feel yourself coming into alignment with your highest self. As you lift your heart and open your chest, allow yourself to let go of any negativity or stress that is weighing you down. As you hold this pose, allow gratitude to fill every cell of your body, bringing you peace and contentment in your open heart.

10. Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This gentle hip opener allows the body to surrender and let go of any stress and tension in the hips and groin. As you recline back into Bound Angle, be grateful for the earth’s abundance of support. As you sink deeper into this pose, allow your breath to promote vulnerability, openness, and surrender. Allow any resistance and fear to fade as you embrace the wonder and beauty of the present moment. Allow yourself to be open to receiving all of life’s blessings, goodness, and abundance.

11. Knees-to-Chest Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

Pawanamuktasana is a combination of two Sanskrit words: Pawana, which means air or wind, and Mukta, which means to release. It is also referred to as the wind-relieving posture. This asana’s final position aids in the release of trapped gas (air) in the lower digestive tract.

Pawanamuktasana is said to help release unwanted air not only from the digestive tract but also from the body’s joints. This asana is thought to have a positive impact on both the physical and spiritual levels.

There aren’t many Yogic treatises that go into great detail about Pawanamuktasana. However, Swami Satyanand Saraswati’s Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (the most organized text on Hatha Yoga).

12. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

This “ahhhhh”-inducing pose promotes gratitude by allowing you to completely relax and release all tension. Find compassion and gratitude for your journey, for your flaws and strengths. Finally, send out compassion and gratitude to all beings, wishing them health, happiness, and ease on their journeys.

On this Thanksgiving, I invite you to reflect on the benefits of your yoga practice over the years. This will not only get you in the mood for Thanksgiving, but it will also give your practice new meaning and purpose.

13. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

This opens the spine and instills gratitude by teaching you to trust your feet to support you and allow fresh, oxygen-rich blood to flow to your brain for mental clarity. Allow your worries and negativity from the day to cascade down your spine and onto the floor, and feel renewed with gratitude for the good things in your life.

14. Urdhva Hasta Tadasana (Mountain Pose with Raised Hands)

This welcoming, powerful pose inspires gratitude as you open your heart and stand grounded in receptivity. Feel hopeful and grateful for all of your dreams, as well as the unknown future adventures that give you a sense of purpose and openness.

15. Bow to all of Your Gurus

Whether we realize it or not, we all have gurus in our lives. These spiritual teachers can take many different forms. Others take the form of parents or partners, children, global health crises, or civil rights movements, while others take the form of more traditional teachers.

We will never miss a lesson if we consider everyone and everything we encounter on our journeys to be teachers. So give thanks for every challenge, triumph, and setback that has taught you something valuable.


As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it’s time to appreciate the spirit of thanksgiving that pervades the air. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just starting out, these poses will transport you to a state of mindfulness and gratitude, enriching your life in unimaginable ways. As we begin this Thanksgiving season, let us use these poses to ground ourselves in the present moment and cultivate a genuine sense of gratitude that extends far beyond the holiday season.