My hands are in prayer position. They start at my third eye, graze my nose, pausing at my mouth before landing in front of my heart. Then I place my palms on the floor in front of my feet and bring my knees and forehead down to meet them. After forty rounds of this prostration (as this yoga sequence is called) I’m sweating. Hard. And I’m feeling more connected than I have all day—connected to my body, my spirit, the earth, and just about everyone who inhabits it. Pretty major stuff for a bunch of yoga poses.

There’s something about actually placing my body on the ground that seems to announce my humility. It’s the emotional and spiritual opposite of doing a pose in which I’m standing with my arms open above my head. In that position it’s like I’m shouting: “I surrender! It’s all OK! I’ve let go!” While prostrating, though, it’s like I’m whispering “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

My yoga teacher often opens her class with a vigorous round of prostration, but it’s easy to try an easy, effortless version anywhere, even within eyeshot of an entire office: bow your head and close your eyes. Really feel the power of that motion.

Boom. Instant humility.

How do you let go and give thanks?

— Guest blogger Marisa Lowenstein

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