While there is no doubt yoga aids relaxation, there’s new evidence to support it can help reduce anxiety.

When grieving, general anxiety manifests in many ways, such as excessive worry, trouble concentrating, restlessness, sleep disturbance, irritability, social anxiety, and muscle tension.

Kundalini yoga

A new study lead by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine found that ‘kundalini yoga was significantly more effective for generalised anxiety than other stress management techniques’.

The lead author of the study, Naomi M Simon, says the study’s findings demonstrate that yoga can improve anxiety symptoms and could be a valuable tool in an overall treatment plan.

Mind, body and soul relief

Not only does the practice of yoga address mind and body self-care, but it connects with a higher energy source.

Those who practice grief yoga say the regular practice helps them grieve for the loss of their loved ones physical presence yet remain connected spiritually to their love.

Legs on wall yoga pose
yoga child pose
Corpse yoga pose

Three easy yoga positions to treat grief

Grief yoga does not require any previous yoga experience. You can easily practice simple poses at home.

1: Legs up on a wall

In this pose, relax and place your hands by your sides with palms facing up. Focus on slowing your breathing. And with each breath out, release the tension and grief. (Some even find it helpful to recall happy memories of their departed loved one.) Hold this pose for 5 -10 minutes.

2: Child pose

On a yoga mat, gently ease yourself into the child pose extending your arms forward. As you feel your body gently stretch, imagine the grief inside your body flowing out and dissolving into the air. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to five minutes. When done, inhale deeply, imagining healing flowing into every cell in your body.

3: Corpse pose

When grief threatens to overwhelm, lie down on a mat or comfortable surface. Separated your legs and keep them shoulder-width apart. Lay your arms by your side, palms up. Calm and slow your breathing. As you exhale, visualise grief flowing out of your body. Then, as you inhale, feel all the love your departed loved one is sending flowing in. Allow your muscles and mind to relax. Hold this pose and breathing pattern for 20 minutes or until the wave of grief passes.

Take action on grief

Alternatively, active poses like the Mindmill and Camel might suit you better when processing waves of grief.

Similarly, following along using free YouTube sessions may inspire you to make grief yoga part of your daily exercise routine. Or, if you’re feeling isolated in your grief, join a yoga class.

Creating a routine of attending yoga classes and connecting with new people will reduce anxiety and lift your spirits. But regardless of the type of yoga you practice, the discipline of focusing on your body, mind, and soul is a powerful grief support tool.

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