Steps to Building Body Gratitude
Affirmations from Sofia Angelina Marcus-Myers, Intuitive Energy Worker and Portrait Photographer
“When you wake up, take several deep belly breaths. During each breath, acknowledge parts of your body. Imagine sending oxygen to your eyes, nose, lips, throat, chest, arms, fingers, waist, legs and toes. Softly say, ‘I am grateful for my eyes. I am grateful for my hands. I am grateful for my heart,’ and so on. Affirmations to try during exercise or any other time: ‘My imperfections are beautiful and connect me to others. My body is good. I am worthy of taking up space.’ Write or type affirmations on a beautiful piece of paper and put them somewhere you’ll see daily.”
Daily Techniques from Personal Trainer Katie Hunt
“Spend three minutes filling a piece of paper with things you love about yourself. Include physical, mental, spiritual and emotional things. The act of writing yourself a mini-love letter every day sets the tone for a day of taking good care of yourself. Listening to the body is a practice. At a minimum, run a daily head-to-toe body scan, taking note of what feels good and what needs extra care.”
Gratitude Yoga Poses from Andrea Stern, Owner of the Satori Yoga Studio
Savasana or final resting pose (lying flat on your back with your arms by your side): “Use support (a rolled blanket or pillow) under the knees or thighs if that feels good. I love adding a body scan, sending breath to each muscle or joint, to my savasana, because it allows me to tap into my body and thank all the parts of me.”
Ardha Uttanasana (half forward bend): “Place both hands on the kitchen counter or waist-high at the wall in front of you. Walk the feet back, folding at the waist. Press the fingertips into the wall or counter keeping the ears in line with the arms. Send energy up and out through the fingertips and down and out through the legs and heels. Keep the core engaged and the thigh muscles firm. You’ll feel this in your hamstrings, upper back and shoulders. Hold for three to five breaths and take a moment to bring gratitude into the present moment.”
A Movement Exercise by Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder of Dancing with Pain
“Get as comfortable as you can—whether lying down, sitting or standing. Scan your body and find both the places that feel constricted and painful, and the places that feel expansive and comfortable. Wave hello to the pain places and let those places know that you’ll give them your full attention in the next 10 minutes, half-hour or hour; however long feels right to you. Then set your intention to focus on the places that feel good.
“Put on some gentle music you love, and fill with that music the places that feel good—even if the only pain-free place in your body is in your mind (imagination). Invite the comfortable parts of your body to move slowly and with a sense of ease when they are ready, moving from the music. Allow your body to make the tiniest of movements and recognize them as valid.
“Be sure to stay within your comfort zones at all times. Keep in mind that you can always move more slowly or gently, with tinier gestures and in different ways. Explore the parameters of your comfort zones and fill them with ease, joy, grace and harmony. If you start to feel pain, back off what you are doing and get curious about how to stay in your comfort zone. As you dance, you may discover that the edges of pain move out farther and farther as you ride the waves of sound and organically expand your happy places until the pain begins melting away as a result of your pleasure.”
Ways to cultivate an appreciation for our bodies to help us stay motivated at maintaining a workout routine and reap the many health benefits of exercise and gratitude. Read More »