Yoga for grief and loss
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. As well as being great for your mental and physical health, it is also a helpful tool for dealing with grief.
Does yoga help with grief?
- Karla Helbert, the author of the book Yoga for Grief and Loss, has spoken of how yoga can allow us to hold opposing thoughts. It allows you to sit with grief and at the same time create a space where you feel connected to the present.
- Yoga is also a great form of self-care. By taking time out of your day to practice yoga you are choosing to spend time looking after yourself, rather than looking after anyone else.
- If you are someone who regularly practiced yoga before the death of a loved one, you might also find that returning to your yoga practice can help you restore a sense of normality.
What are the benefits of yoga for grief?
If you’re returning to exercise after a while, beginner’s yoga can also help to ease you back into physical activity.
After a death, it’s normal to feel stressed and even anxious. One of the benefits of yoga is that it allows us to guide our mind into the present, a useful tool for relieving stress and anxiety.
After someone dies, it can be particularly hard to remember to look after yourself. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to do something you enjoy, such as yoga, can make a big difference.
When you’re grieving it’s important to try to get some gentle exercise. But often leaving the house can feel overwhelming. Luckily, yoga can easily be practiced from the safety of your living room.
Find out more about the benefits of yoga on physical and mental health, and advice on starting out, in this NHS guide.
Grief yoga sequences
You can find a number of grief yoga sequences online:
- Yoga for Grief by Yoga with Adriene
- Yoga poses to help you ‘close your heart’ by Sarah Ezrin in the Yoga Journal
- Guided Savasana for Grief by Kathryn Ashworth in Yoga International
There’s also a range of grief yoga sequences in the book Yoga for Grief and Loss by Karla Helbert.