Yoga Middlesbrough – How Yoga and Meditation can help with bereavement and grief….
Losing a loved one is never easy. My father recently passed away after a long fight with cancer. The emotions, shock and myriad of other emotions stirred up within us and family/friends are difficult to process. As well as having our own emotions to process and work through, we support others through this period of mourning too.
My Dad is, was and always will be very loved. He was a true family man and was a pillar of the local community, as well as a loved colleague by those he worked with. My brother, sister, mum and I were at his side when he passed.
I have never experienced heartbreak like it, seeing my family go through that same anguish is also heart-breaking.
I have found a lot of peace and solace in my practice, especially focusing on the breath and being still. It brings a lot of peace and clarity to the mind.
– Grief is natural –
Unfortunately, grief is something we all have to experience some time in life. Grief can be physical as well as emotional. Especially a really strong sense of tiredness and fatigue. This is how I have felt since my father passed.
Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to process grief.
Symptoms of grief…
A few common symptoms people experience when processing a bereavement are:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Longing and pining
- Appetite changes – loss or comfort eating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty doing day-to-day things
- Aches and pains
- Lack of focus
Although this list does not describe everyone’s experience and some may experience other symptoms when grieving.
People can also worry that they are becoming mentally unwell, or that they are starting to overcome the grief. However, often ‘grief intrusion’ can occur, where someone or something triggers a memory, where they feel like they have returned back to the beginning stages of grief. This is normal, as grief is not a linear process.
Grief intrusion can happen when shopping, or when practicing. Basically at anytime of the day. It can catch us off-guard, but this is a part of the grieving process.
How Yoga and Meditation can help us process grief and bereavements.
Grief can become very overwhelming. A regular Yoga and Meditation practice can help us work through and explore feelings that arise when grieving. From gentle movement and stretching in Asana practice, a focus on the breath and practicing stillness and a sense of community within the Yoga and Meditation world, we can start to work through our grief.
– Choosing to look after ourselves –
By practicing even for 15 minutes a day, you can free up some of your physical and emotional energy. This helps the body and mind relax and recuperate. Giving ourselves time to process grief is really important and the time we get in Yoga and Meditation sessions really has a positive impact. Also, when we dedicate time to our practice, we naturally start to slow down and this starts to reflect off the mat too.
– Creating space in our lives –
As well as time, we need space. I found that I needed to give myself space daily to process things and reflect. When I had too much planned, or had too much work on, I felt overwhelmed very easily. One of the main signs of grief that isn’t talked about much is exhaustion of the body and mind. Its something that can take months to pass, so it is so important to give ourselves this time. Even if it is doing something we enjoy, like a gentle walk with music, or reading a book. This time is essential.
– Gentle exercise and movement is good for the body and soul –
– More resilience –
Research shows that asana (posture) and gentle breathwork can improve our mood and soothe our nervous system. It helps us operate in the parasympathetic nervous system (a state of relaxation) , rather than the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode) . When we practice this regularly, it helps us happier and calmer, and therefore more resilient during a bereavement. It also helps us look after our physical well-being.
Sometimes, the gym or strenuous exercise can seem daunting at this time, but gentle yoga can help us stay mobile, active and help us improve our flexibility, whilst soothing the mind.
– Meditation helps us process grief –
It can be difficult to accept that a person has gone, but they wouldn’t want us to remain sad and upset and continue to suffer. They would want us to continue living life to the fullest and remember good times, happy memories and celebrate their life.
There can be a period where it seems we cannot move on, or find a resolution. Meditation allows us to sit with our feeling and emotions and process them. It allows us to practice forgiveness, send loving kindness to ourselves and others and to find peace and clarity with the situation. it gives us space and time to process grief.
Some good meditations to try…
I am a massive fan of Burgs and his work. He does a series of free meditations on his YouTube channel.
This meditation is wonderful to do in bed or lying down, when feeling exhausted.
Cruse Bereavement are a wonderful charity to contact to seek support if you are having challenges processing grief.
I hope some of the advice here helps you to process grief and bereavement.
Do you have any advice for people? I’d love to hear from you.
About The author:
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Chair Based Yoga and Exercise Teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com