By Faye Martins
No matter what kind of a Yoga teacher training course you take, you will never be able to erase grief. The best a Yoga instructor can do is give students the tools to cope during times of intense emotional suffering.
Yoga offers a student several ways to alleviate grief. The emotional devastation of losing someone or something very close to your heart can cause unrelenting sadness, frustration, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The practice of Yoga helps to balance your system and slow you down enough to really feel the grief. When you feel the grief, in its fullness, and allow yourself to cry, the physical and emotional tension begins to release.
Some of the Yoga techniques that help a student to alleviate grief are asanas, pranayama, and mantra. Yoga training routines that emphasize asana practice, help to unwind deep grief that is lodged in the muscle tissues and ligaments. Pranayama practices help to lower anxiety, soothe your mind and balance your endocrine system. Mantras and prayer are also incredibly helpful at shifting your vibration from one of deep sadness to one of more lightness, ease, and well-being.
Very deep grief is literally lodged in the very fibers of our physical beings. The intense muscular contraction or heaviness of grief is a type of holding, of not wanting to let go of what has been lost. Sometimes this physical holding is a way of unconsciously refusing to acknowledge that the loss has actually taken place. Yoga asanas or postures are wonderful tools for slowly, thoroughly, and methodically releasing deep-seated muscular tension. This will leave a practitioner with a feeling of lightness and well-being after a challenging Yoga training session.
The Yogic practice of pranayama or deep breathing is also an invaluable tool for relieving the heaviness, anger, and agitation of grief. When we are very stressed, anxious, or depressed, our breathing becomes very shallow, making us feel even more exhausted and overwhelmed in our grief.
Deep, diaphragmatic breathing helps to soothe the entire body and slow the mind. Alternate nostril breathing will balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the body. This balance will help to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as promoting a feeling of well-being and peace. The Sudarshan Kriya is also a wonderful pranayama technique that helps to release pent-up feelings during times of loss.
Although it is wise to allow your grieving process to unfold naturally, sometimes it is a huge breath of fresh air to have some relief from the sadness. The Yogic practice of chanting or kirtan will very quickly bring that relief. Chanting sacred mantras and devoting time to pray are immediately uplifting. The vibrations of the syllables themselves lift your own vibration to a higher level. As the mantras or prayers penetrate your being, your grief may be brought to the surface. As the waves of grief subside, the heaviness will be cleansed from you and your whole being will be vibrating with divine and compassionate love.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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