Yoga and Grief, Part One

Yoga and GriefGrief is a response to change. And, all changes, whether positive or negative, involve loss, explained Jennilu King. As a grief counselor, Jennilu helps others deal with loss and has her own insights and wisdom on the subject.

“Grief is the heart’s natural healing process,” she told me as we sat at Panera recently talking over breakfast and coffee. “It needs space, time, care, and attention in the same way as when you have open heart surgery. After surgery you come home with support in place, information about diet, and therapy appointments. You rest. All of this is part of the recuperation process that is about healing from physical trauma. Our heart needs these same things to heal from loss.”

Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t give people space and time to heal from loss. Not meaning harm, a concerned friend or relative may tell someone experiencing loss, “you need to get on with YOUR life,” as if there is only a designated time to grieve and then it is time to move on.

Those who are grieving, however, need to take time to nurture, nourish, and accept themselves and their lives. Yoga creates this time and space.

Yoga is about healing from suffering. The purpose of yoga, according to the yoga master TKV Desikachar, is “to reduce disturbance and return an individual to his or her inherent peace and power.” For those suffering loss, the physical postures of yoga help ease the physical effects of grief and improve energy. Breathing techniques support the connection between body and mind and help create a sense of calm. Sound and meditation support focus, healing, and the movement to a space of peace.

In the context of the yoga class to support those who are grieving, the tools of yoga offer techniques to help participants cope with grief, find compassion for the journey they are on, and honor their loss. All of the practices help to create space and balance in the body, breath, mind, and emotions.

If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one and would like to explore the healing potential of yoga, please contact me. A five week “Yoga for Life, support for those who are grieving” session begins Thursday, September 5th.


3 thoughts on “Yoga and Grief, Part One

  • August 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I can almost visualize now how yoga connects to every aspect of our lives and is definately a healing for us that can help with gaining new balance and stability in life.
    It doesan’t matter where your journey starts or stops it is never to late to learn and adapt it to whatever stage in life your at.

    I’m really glad I called you and didn’t pass up another beautiful opportunity to connect with yoga again

    take care

    thanks for sending me this info

  • August 14, 2013 at 2:47 am

    I found this blog so powerful as I sit with my own
    sadness and grief for the child who is no longer a child,
    but a man preparing to depart and begin his new adventure.
    The grief isn’t so much for myself feeling the change of my near
    future, but more for the opportunities lost by others who didn’t care
    for him as deeply as he would have hoped for, as their son.

    Grief is a response to change. Thank you for helping me to understand
    what I was feeling, but couldn’t articulate. Tonight I allow myself to sit with
    my grief and feel it.

  • August 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for this blog, Elizabeth.

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