Yin Yoga Sequence for Thanksgiving: Cultivating Gratitude and Relaxation


Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the abundance in our lives and to spend quality time with loved ones. It’s a moment to reflect on the things we cherish most, from the people we hold dear to the simple pleasures that often go unnoticed. While traditional Thanksgiving celebrations are centered around feasting and social gatherings, it’s also essential to take some time to nourish your body and spirit. This Yin Yoga sequence for Thanksgiving is designed to help you slow down, cultivate gratitude, and promote relaxation, creating a harmonious balance during this special holiday.

Yin Yoga and Gratitude

Yin Yoga is a gentle and meditative practice that involves holding postures for an extended period, typically 3-5 minutes or longer. It targets the deep connective tissues in the body and encourages relaxation and release. This practice can be a perfect complement to the Thanksgiving holiday, as it encourages a sense of introspection and gratitude.

Before you begin the sequence, take a moment to set an intention for your practice. Reflect on the things you are thankful for in your life. It can be as simple as appreciating the warmth of your home or the love of your family. Your intention will guide you through the sequence and infuse it with the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Yin Yoga Sequence for Thanksgiving

(1) Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Start your practice in Child’s Pose. Kneel on the floor, bring your big toes together, and sit back on your heels. Extend your arms forward and rest your forehead on the mat. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, focusing on your intention of gratitude. Allow your body to surrender to the earth, symbolizing your willingness to let go and receive.

Hold for 3-5 minutes.

(2) Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Move into Butterfly Pose by sitting on the floor with your feet together and knees bent outward. Allow your feet to come as close to your pelvis as comfortably possible. Gently fold forward, keeping your spine long and your heart open. Breathe deeply and embrace the sensations in your hips and groin.

Hold for 3-5 minutes.

(3) Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana)

Transition to Melting Heart Pose by coming to a tabletop position. Walk your hands forward and lower your chest toward the ground, keeping your hips above your knees. Feel the gentle stretch in your chest and shoulders, and let go of any tension in this area.

Hold for 3-5 minutes.

(4) Sphinx Pose

Lie on your belly and place your forearms on the ground, with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Press your forearms into the mat and lift your chest, allowing your heart to open. Breathe deeply and reflect on your intention of gratitude.

Hold for 3-5 minutes.

(5) Supported Fish Pose

To end your Thanksgiving Yin Yoga sequence, come into Supported Fish Pose. Place a block or a cushion lengthwise along your upper back, just below your shoulder blades. Lie back and open your arms to the sides. Relax in this gentle backbend, breathing deeply and allowing your heart to open even further.

Hold for 3-5 minutes.


As you conclude your Yin Yoga sequence for Thanksgiving, take a few moments to sit in silence and gratitude. Reflect on the positive energy you’ve cultivated during this practice and carry it with you throughout your Thanksgiving celebrations. Whether you practice this sequence on your own or share it with loved ones, it can serve as a beautiful reminder of the true essence of the holiday: giving thanks, nourishing the body and soul, and appreciating the precious moments that life offers.

Also Read: Prenatal Yin Yoga Sequence: A Gentle Practice for Expecting Mothers

Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers

(1) What are the four principles of yin?

The four principles of Yin, commonly associated with Yin Yoga, emphasize a unique approach to yoga and mindfulness.

1. Stillness: In Yin practice, postures are held for an extended duration, often several minutes, encouraging physical stillness. This stillness allows you to explore the subtleties of the pose and delve into deeper layers of your body and mind.

2. Surrender: Embracing the concept of surrender is vital in Yin. You let go of muscular tension and ego-driven efforts. Instead, you surrender to gravity and the sensations in your body, which can lead to profound relaxation.

3. Time: Yin involves holding poses for an extended time, which is essential for the deep, connective tissues to respond and release. Patience is key as you allow your body to open gradually.

4. Edge: Finding your edge in a posture is about discovering the point where you feel a gentle stretch and discomfort without pain. It’s a delicate balance that fosters personal growth and expansion in your practice.

(2) What is Yin theory?

Yin theory is a fundamental concept in various Eastern philosophies, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taoism, and Yin Yoga. It’s the counterpart to Yang and represents the receptive, passive, and cooling aspects of existence. In Yin theory, everything in the universe is seen as a dynamic interplay between Yin and Yang forces, where balance is essential for harmony and well-being.

Yin characteristics include qualities like darkness, stillness, coolness, and receptivity. It’s associated with the moon, rest, and the more hidden, introspective aspects of life. Yin theory emphasizes the importance of finding balance between these opposing forces, as an excess of one can lead to imbalance and disharmony in the body and mind. In Yin Yoga, the practice focuses on targeting the Yin aspects of the body, like connective tissues and joints, to promote balance and enhance overall health and vitality.

(3) What is the symbol of the yin?

The symbol of Yin is often represented by the Yin-Yang symbol, which is a circle divided into two halves, one black (Yin) and one white (Yang), with a small dot of the opposite color in each half. This symbol encapsulates the concept of duality and interdependence in Eastern philosophies like Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In the Yin-Yang symbol, Yin represents the dark, passive, and receptive aspects of existence, while Yang symbolizes the light, active, and assertive qualities. The dot of the opposite color within each half signifies the idea that within each aspect, there exists a seed of the other, demonstrating the interconnected and ever-changing nature of life. This symbol serves as a reminder of the need for balance and harmony between these opposing forces to achieve overall well-being.

Also Read:
Yin Yoga Sequence for the New Year: A Fresh Start for Mind and Body
Basic Yin Yoga Sequence: A Gentle Introduction to Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga Sequence for Fall Equinox: Balancing Energies and Welcoming Autumn
Yin Yoga Sequence for Christmas: Embrace the Joy of Stillness
Chair Yin Yoga Sequence: Finding Balance and Relaxation