We don’t get over our grief, we change our relationship to it.- Lyn Prashant
Life is suffering, the Buddha says, and even if you’re not given to abstractions it’s easy to see that life can be hard. The added strain of a major loss can make your world unremittingly bleak.
Over the weekend my friend/co-worker/leader Perry died.
Perry had a very short battle with an aggressive cancer. His passing is a huge loss to my team, my company, his family and friends, and frankly, the world.
Perry had a huge and amazing presence. He stuck up for his team always. He was smart and caring.
I look to my friends/co-workers for support and love. But I also look to yoga to help me in this grief.
I agree with what this Yoga Journal article, which says, It’s in precisely these situations that the wisdom of the yoga tradition can be enormously helpful. Asana, breathwork, meditation—and, especially, the perspective on loss and death taught by the ancient yogis and sages of the East—can not only mitigate pain and expedite the grief process but also transform your experience of life after loss.
I did research to find specific poses or practice to help with grief.
Karla Helbert lost her son when he was just a baby. She says, I know how hard it is when someone you love has died. Your journey is unique, but know that you are not alone.
In an article called Yoga for Grief and Loss written by Karla Helbert, she has some great suggestions on various poses, breathing and meditation to help you move through your grief.
Here is a simple practice:
A Short Yoga Flow to Help With Stress & Tension
- Begin on the floor on your knees, sitting back on your heels Bring your hands to your heart center (Namaste) (If you can’t sit this way, sit comfortably)
- Take 3-4 cleansing breaths (Make sure your inhale and exhale are the same length. Exhale should be same length as inhale or longer.)
- Inhale arms up to “standing” on your knees (think Catholic kneeling), arms reaching upward Exhale into Child’s Pose
- Come to a table top position (hands and knees, neck neutral–on all fours) Inhale Cow
- Exhale into Downward Facing Dog
- Inhale back to Cow pose
- Exhale to Child’s Pose
- Inhale up to knees, arms reaching upward
- Exhale back onto your heels
- Repeat 2-3 times as desired
- Hands return to Namaste at the end of your flow (Knees, child, cow, dog, cow, child, knees)
The article has a whole list of suggested Yoga Asanas and Practices for the Relief and Release of Grief with breathing, asanas (poses), Restorative poses and meditation. They start on Page 4.
I believe we all deal with grief in different ways. But for me what works best is to be sad and have any other feelings when I need to. I need to talk about that person and tell all kinds of stories. I believe my yoga practice helps me deal with the grief as well.
Perry, I hope you have found peace. You will be missed terribly. Thank you for being an amazing friend, co-worker and leader. And I will always be grateful for those times you went to bat for me. You will ALWAYS have a place in my heart.