Often students of yoga are focused on personal growth and healing at different points of their journey. Perhaps it is just to slow down or to work through some stiff joints and build flexibility. There are yoga poses that can even help with processing grief in recovery. It is important to recognize each person has a unique reaction to loss. Any yoga pose that reduces emotional and physical suffering is a good one for grief recovery, but here are a few to help get started.
Yoga After Loss
For people practicing yoga, it may help to focus on shifting the asanas in daily practice. It helps to give a person permission to practice what serves the individual in that moment. With the mind of a child, open to play, be curious, and explore a person can challenge themselves while opening up the places that hurt to heal them. Often, in times of loss, it can be hard to return to practice when the world feels topsy turvy.
Restorative yoga poses for grief recovery focus on physical and emotional symptoms. The practice of restorative yoga can begin with blankets and props to support the pose and reduce stress. Each of the following five postures can be practice for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes each:
- Supported Child’s Pose
- Supported Twist
- Supported Bridge
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose
- Legs Up the Wall
Traditional Yoga Poses
Many experiences of grief sit in the heart and lungs, so it helps to have postures to support the Heart (Fourth) Chakra. For someone in deep grief lodged in other parts of the body, it helps to open them up and get energy moving there again. These traditional yoga poses may be helpful:
- Child’s Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Camel Pose
- Eagle Pose
- Warrior 2
The ultimate yoga pose for grief is known as corpse pose. This pose is also the resting pose, ultimately a pose that reduces stress (grief being the greatest stress there is). Savasana will allow the body and mind to integrate into yoga practice. This pose will invite mindful stillness with the only pose necessary is to lie down, take a deep breath, and let the gift of yoga give new life to your journey.
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