Yoga heals grief by helping you to recognize those parts of your body and soul which hold stress and heaviness while teaching you to breathe into those spaces to release tension – so says Mandy Ingber, a celebrity yoga teacher who has trained Hollywood stars like Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Aniston.Practicing yoga is especially beneficial for anyone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, is in a life crisis of some sort or needs comfort and peace of mind to deal with the present situation.
How does yoga help?
Yoga helps in uncluttering the mind of thoughts and feelings of overwhelming sadness, insecurity, worry, anxiety and so on, which often present themselves with the passing of a dear one and during other such serious life crises including serious health conditions, accidents, separations and the like. Research by J Palliative Care in India reported cancer patients experiencing an uplift in quality of life with increased appetite, improved bowel function, improved sleep with a sense of peace, and calmness after undergoing yoga therapy. The yogic postures or ‘asanas’ work in a subtle manner in healing grief, which is not just lodged in one’s soul but also, the body. Bitterness, fear, worry and such feelings implant themselves in every corner of the body, manifesting through recurring headaches, sleeplessness, loss of appetite or overeating, fatigue, heart issues etc. Yoga helps in releasing these tensions through stretching and relaxing postures and breathing exercises which bring awareness to various body parts, gradually inducing positive changes on a cellular level.
Some asanas to heal grief
Child’s pose is an effective yoga posture which, when practiced on a regular basis, helps release grief gradually. This deeply introspective pose allows self-reflection while bringing awareness to the spine, letting you release trauma from kidneys and base of the spine as you breathe in and out rhythmically. Equally helpful is the Upward Facing Dog pose which opens the shoulders and chest and strengthens legs as you stretch to bend your back and maintain a skyward gaze. This pose helps in releasing throat blockages which are caused by vocally unexpressed painful thoughts and feelings. The Double Block pose, on the other hand, heals heart chakra or the chest energy center by passively opening it as you put a light weight, such as a pair of bolsters or blocks, underneath the head and under the upper chest, exposing the front body. This pose releases sadness and grief held in your heart.
So, as you can see, yoga is not just a simple exercise regimen to improve physical health and flexibility. It is an all-encompassing holistic therapy that treats the distressed soul, helps you accept the situation, teaches you to love yourself and fills you with mental strength and positivity, eventually transforming you into a joyful and peaceful being.