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.

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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.

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