I don’t call this practice Yoga For Grief because “for” makes it seem like grief is something that needs fixing, like back pain or stress.
Grief doesn’t need fixing. Grief needs welcoming.
Yoga invites grief to take up space. To surge. To recede. To flow. To be.
Through the doorway of the body we approach grief with the utmost respect, as one would approach the ocean. It’s powerful. It can paralyze us. It can scare us.
And it can hold us.
This practice has been curated by pulling from both Western and Eastern beliefs on how the body holds grief, applying both old and new traditions of yoga, and offering these tools within the framework of trauma-sensitive teaching.
While grief initially often takes an mind-to-body path, through yoga we take the body-to-mind path, practicing finding resources in our bodies to anchor our attention to so we can move and be moved without fear of becoming overwhelmed with sensation or emotion. (I explain this concept a bit more here.)
Through movement and stillness practices we visit the same places in the body grief visits, sometimes countering the effects of grief, sometimes sitting with the effects of grief.
The intention is not to fix, but to create space and awareness for grief to move in and to move out. To find the pockets of love hiding behind the hurt. To nurture a harmonious sense of being full of life and full of loss.
This grief practice is held at Hospice of the North Coast and is scheduled in 6-week sessions, although students are welcome to attend multiple sessions and often do. It’s also available one-on-one or in a group setting. If you or the people you serve would benefit from it, please reach out to me at yogalacosta@gmail. Find my Huffington Post piece on how and why bereavement yoga works here.
in love & in loss,
ps. looking for my qualifications? I’m an RYT-200, with additional training to teach trauma-informed yoga, extensive continuing education in body biomechanics and am also a Reiki Master.