A Yoga Practice for Grief

So, have you ever felt your heart break? Just right open? You know that sensation you feel. Physically. Is it sharp or dull? Does it run deep towards the pit of your stomach or high up in your throat making it so that you can’t breathe?

I’ve felt it before. I’ve seen people suffer physical consequences of the emotional trauma. Working with Deborah Heart and Lung and fifteen years in the long term care industry, one becomes quite acquainted with death and grief. Never enough to prepare me for my own mother’s death of course, but definitely a deeper understanding of the process of life. I’ve sat with many people as they passed. It was an incredible comfort to have been able to do so. Today I went through a few photos of my Mom and the people surrounding her as she left this world. They are so beautiful. If you’re dealing with grief at the moment I can recommend a few things for you:

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

and

Elizabeth Keubler Ross’s 

So What do you do with the grief?

 

MokshaI’ve been figuring that one out. I still am. Thanks to some of the incredible teachers in my life ~ Sudha, Melissa, Trish, Jennifer ~ among many others, I’m learning to walk this path with as much grace as I can muster and I try to create a life of compassion and integrity, truth and beauty. They inspire me to keep working at it. The more I heal the more I can serve. So Thank you <3.

Below I’m sharing a yoga class and some inspiration for dealing with grief. I hope it helps. If you have questions about it please feel free to connect with me via Facebook or email.

Heart Chakra Class for Grief

Environment/ Visualizations

Rose Oil

The color green for the heart chakra

Think warm and grounding – provide blankets, pillows, nourishment

Music ~

Pranayama

Deerga Pranayama. Then deerga layered with ujjayi.

Mudra & Sound

Vajrapradama mudra. Affects manomaya kosha. Good for depression low self esteem. Stimulates thymus gland , heart chakra.  Chant the seed sound Yum.

Philosophy 

Pratyahara – Return to oneself. Withdraw the senses inward. Listen to the sound of your heart.

Santosha – Practice contentment.

Cultivate the boundless states of loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity manifest as forces of purification which transform the turbulent heart into a refuge of calm focused awareness.

There is in this city of Brahman an abode, the small lotus of the Heart, within it is a small space. Now what exists with that small space, that is to be sought after, that is what one should desire to understand.
— Chandogya Upanishad

Just Let Go

Breathe in Love

Breathe out Pain

Breathe in Peace

Breathe out Heartache

Breathe in Peace

Breathe out Peace

Breathe in until you’re completely full

Breathe out until you’re completely empty

Dance between these places, notice the space between the inhalation and the exhalation, gently release the space just letting one breath flow into another.

From the Radiance Sutras:

The life essence carries on its play
through the pulsing rhythm
of outward and inward movement.
This is the ceaseless throb, the rhythm of life –
terrifying in its eternity, exquisite in its constancy.The inhalation, the return movement of breath,
sustains life.
The outgoing breath
purifies life.
We breathe out the old air, the old thoughts, the old feelings.

These are the two poles
between which respiration goes on unceasingly.
Between them is every quality you could ever desire.

As the breath turns from in to out,
and again as the breath
curves from out to in –
through both these turns, absorb intensity.

Enter these turning points
In the play of respiration and expiration,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.

Breath flows in, then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.

Breath flows out, emptying, emptying,
Offering itself to infinity.

Cherishing these moments,
Mind dissolves into heart,
Heart dissolves into space,
Body becomes a shimmering field
Pulsating between emptiness and fullness..

Asana

Supta Badokasana

Restorative heart openers

Yin Hip Openers – Eka Pada Rajokapotasana, Agnistambasana, etc.

Grounding postures such salambasana, balasana, Utkata Konasana,  Utkatasana

Yoga Nidra

Meditation

1. The flame within the heart

2. Opening of a flower

3. The four chambers of the heart

 

Namaste,

Jeanette