As we move into the holidays, many people find it difficult to connect with the spirit of the season due to grief. Grief is not always about death. We all have experienced grief, from failed love to the loss of a job, a friendship, or a valued material possession. In addition to the emotions experienced, grief can manifest itself in a variety of physical forms such as poor posture, insomnia, lack of energy, shortness of breath, and even physical pain.
While on a yoga retreat recently, I was privileged to attend a three-day workshop with Antonia Sausys, a psychologist and yoga therapist specializing in grief therapy.
Antonio’s grief relief protocol centers around a physical and spiritual routine called ‘Yoga Sadhana’. Included are six elements of yoga: Pranayama, Asana, Shatkarma, Relaxation, Sankalpa and Meditation. Pranyayama are breath exercises that restore a sense of calm and control and reconnect our conscious and unconscious selves. Asanas are physical poses that address physical symptoms of grief. Shatkarma are yogic cleansing techniques releasing suppressed emotions and thoughts. Relaxation practices, including Shavasana, reduce stress levels. Sankalps resets the mind so the body can manifest your deepest inner wishes. Breath meditation helps calm the body and mind.
If you are currently working through grief, you may want to try some yoga therapy during the holidays. Or if you are simply feeling the stress of shopping and the long lines that the holidays bring, you may want to try this mindfulness practice to remember to treat yourself with loving kindess.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and much gratitude to our readers!