Overcoming grief and loss with yoga

Yoga allows overcoming grief and loss as power to transformation

The most powerful lessons that yoga imparts is the art of surrender, the letting go art. Using yoga to practice helps in surrendering, whether it is psychological challenges or physical sensations. It manifests powerfully beyond our mats. Thus, knowing to let go into the moment can permeate our lives with power to transformation, particularly during grief or deep emotional turmoil.

Fear of losing a person you love or facing mortality may be paralyzing. The fact unfathomable is the ‘not being’ fact that is avoided at all costs. As grief strikes on losing a partner, friend, parent or a child, one is overtaken by sorrow and the absence leaves a deep void, unable to think how to go on.

Considering yoga at such times is a strategy to cope with such times. It helps us to surrender and let go. It teaches release of attachments that we do not require. The fifth Yama in Yoga philosophy commands to release attachment to possessions. This is applicable to title, occupation, accomplishments and certainly to bodies as well.

Yoga instructs to keep your bodies and homes, clean. It speaks on the purity importance and to stay connected with divinity. Thus, with regular yoga practice, one learns to keep the body clean as cleanliness represents a state of impermanence. Body also becomes soiled and the homes also require cleaning, the same is with our minds and hearts.

Yoga for babies

Each time we step on the yoga mat, we offer the Pratyahara practice. This yoga of the fifth limb means withdrawing our senses from the world. The pratyahara state releases our inclination towards the external world and we let go the need to see, touch, feel or hear anything, beyond the true essence. How a pose looks, in this surrender state is not the concern; the only concern is that our hearts are free to open. During pratyahara, we stay connected to our true essence that is unchanging.

It may appear mysterious that physical postures in a series or breath meditation equip one with essential tools to move through death, grief and emotional pain. But, with regularity and over time, practice teaches to surrender, no matter what the moment entails. Thus, performing yoga teaches you to let go of all the aspects of life, that you may have considered it highly valuable.

After losing my own mother to cancer as a teenager, I am deeply entrusted to the power of yoga and how it soothes the soul and allows us to keep on living every moment with full heart and full purpose.

Live in the Moment, following these steps

Live in the Moment, following these steps

Living in the present moment always is not an easy task. It must have come to your notice that sometimes your thoughts are overwhelmed by regrets regarding anxiety, past events or of the future. These thoughts make it hard to be mindful of the present and live every moment. If you find it difficult to live in the moment, you may find simple strategies below that are helpful. There are small things that may be followed throughout the day such as practising meditation, learning the art of mindfulness or by performing acts of kindness randomly. You may learn to live in the moment through these:

1. Begin small. You may be tempted to overhaul your lifestyle completely, but that is not required to start living in this moment. You may begin small by incorporating one new habit at a time. When you feel the habit is mastered, add a new one.
For example:
Meditating for 20 minutes at a stretch is good, but while starting, begin with three minutes a day and gradually increase the meditation time as per your comfort. Avoid talking or texting on the phone without valid reason. Replace this time with positive mindful activities such as yoga or meditation.

2. Notice details of your routine activities. Learn to live in the moment as a part of the routine. Incorporate mindfulness by deliberately noticing details of your routine. Focus on the sound, sight, smell, and feel of your daily routine. Live every moment in your routine. For example: Notice the toothpaste smell, the way it feels and also the brush sound rubbing your teeth.

3. Send your mind back if it wanders. It is normal to wander, but to live in the moment, keep your mind focused to the present moment. If you notice your wandering mind, use redirection gently to focus on the present. Acknowledge the fact that your mind is wandering by itself. So do not get upset, it happens. Accept it took a mental vacation and focus on getting back to the present.

4. Opt for a mindfulness cue. This may be tough to remember to be mindful particularly if you are busy. A mindfulness cue works like a string tied around the wrist or a coin in your shoe that when felt or seen reminds you to be mindful. These cues are for you to live this moment, so immediately stop and observe your surroundings.

Yoga for Babies

Using Mindfulness as a tool to deal with everyday life stress.

Using Mindfulness as a tool to deal with everyday life stress.

 

Mindfulness practice is a tool that helps in dealing with everyday life stress. Training of life skills helps in managing stress and prevents many health problems. Yoga and mindfulness regular practice empowers a person with tools and techniques such that it brings calm to your life. Mindfulness training recognises the symptoms and triggers of stress.

There are many stress sources:

  • Psychological intense emotions
  • Social relationships relating to work, life and personal changes
  • Physical health and environmental problems

Stress can be helpful in short term situations. As stress in our lives is energizing, to a certain level and helps in motivating. However stress becomes problematic on accumulation.  Too much stress leads to potential physical and psychological issues involving immune, nervous and endocrine systems.

Science demonstrates now the Mindfulness practice benefits, both physical and mental, such that it includes:

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety.
  • Preventing depression.
  • Physiological benefits that offers immune support.
  • Balances mood and promotes recovery.

The mindfulness practice involves focusing attention on the present moment sensations. To start, focus on the body’s physical sensations and the breath. You start learning to simply observe, do not react or judge, just sense and accept the fact as it is. Once your mind settles into the existing moment, your thoughts take a form of being one sensation. We fall into a space where the body and mind ‘let go’ and relax, we are at ease in the moment.

With regular practice you may gravitate to awareness and calmness begins to pervade into your daily lives. This awareness acquired from the regular mindfulness practice techniques or what I like to call mindful positive living empowers you to manage responses to stressful situations, experiences and overwhelming emotions.

Allyssa

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