yoga for grief

When someone is grieving, they need comfort and help dealing with what has happened. They need a way to find peace. Yoga can help.

Far from being a simple exercise to improve flexibility, yoga is an all-encompassing way to heal and improve. This includes meditation and physical, mental, and spiritual therapy. Here are eight ways yoga can help you cope with grief:

1. Clearing your mind helps connect with your lost loved one

Clearing your mind is not the same as forgetting. It’s a way of decluttering and finding a refuge of calm away from worries. It helps you focus on the essential connection with your lost loved one and cope with their passing.

2. Meditation aspect helps you focus energy and thoughts

You can use this to help you become the person and achieve the goals that your loved one wanted for you. You can be proud of yourself and have them be proud of you.

3. Yoga helps you deal with real-world problems

Even when we’re in mourning and trying to cope with a devastating loss, there will still be real-world problems to deal with. Bills, arrangements, your job—the list goes on—will all still be there. Yoga and meditation help us find our center and our strength, which leaves us better prepared to handle everything else.

4. Yoga helps you be at peace spiritually

Yogic meditation can enhance our spiritual connection with the universe. When we feel we are a part of and at peace with all things, we start to realize that death is just another part of nature and our loved ones are still a part of us and the world. We can find comfort in this knowledge and connection.

5. Yoga and meditation are great ways to regulate your body

Grief is not only painful emotionally, it can take a physiological toll as well. You could lose your appetite or have a hard time sleeping. There can be unbearable sadness mixed with anger, fear, or a loss of emotions altogether.

With yoga, we can direct this energy in a more positive way and cope with grief in a way that keeps us healthy and focused on the blessings we’ve received from the time we had with our loved one.

6. It can help you cope with frustration

During mourning, frustration is common. Yoga can help in myriad ways. You can feel productive simply from the physical improvement you get from the asana, but you can also feel your energy flowing in a positive manner. This ties in with your connection and loving memories of your loved one. They would not want to see you suffering.

7. Yoga provides a sense of community

Yoga is healing when you practice it alone, but it’s even more healing when you’re practicing with others. Sharing your experience with someone else who is also grieving can give solace to everyone. You can multiply the therapeutic essence when you share it.

8. Yoga and meditation can provide a ‘soulful goodbye’

Through meditation, you can find the quiet center that transcends all of the earthly cacophony and allows you to completely and soulfully direct all of your thoughts and love and essence to your loved one and tell them goodbye. You can share the peace of all nature with them.

Author credit: Aadil Palkhivala on Mind Body Green article link


create a yoga retreat at home

In today’s hectic world we could all use a few days dedicated to self-care. While yoga retreats are exciting and designed for self-care, they are also expensive. Every yoga retreat advertises an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Why not feel this same sense of relaxation from the comforts of your home without having to spend any money?

Step 1: Disconnect

If you can, take a few days off. If not, dedicate your weekend to self-care. Make it clear to your friends and family that though you may be in the area, you are not available during your specified retreat time. If you cannot get away with disconnecting for days on end, pick certain hours over the weekend. Whatever time works for you, really make that your retreat time. Turn off the computer, put away the phone, and let that time truly be yours.

Step 2: Create a peaceful space

One of the things that make yoga retreats so alluring are the locations. They whisk you away to these stunning countries and house you in unbelievable spaces, but you don’t have to go thousands of miles across the world to find peace and tranquility. Before your at-home yoga retreat officially starts, create a designated space for your retreat. De-clutter the area and hide anything that makes you think of work and responsibilities. Light candles or put up some peaceful pictures. Make a playlist to add to the atmosphere. Whatever makes the space feel magical to you is perfect.

Step 3: Practice, relax, rejuvenate, and reflect

Now that the space is ready and you’ve designated a set time for your retreat, it’s time to start enjoying it. If you are not confident in your home practice, you can find some great yoga videos on MyYogaWorks MyYogaWorks or consider signing up for an online yoga conference. Decide if you want this to be a retreat about pushing your boundaries and trying something new or a retreat for relaxing and nourishing your body. Then act accordingly and gather the resources to support your retreat intention.

Anyone who has been to a yoga retreat knows the retreat is about so much more than the yoga. It’s about taking time to just be with your body and mind. It’s about discovering what you need and giving that to yourself. It’s a chance to reflect on how you have been living and what changes you want to try.

Step 4: Enjoy the resulting bliss

Whether you create a half-day or a week-long yoga retreat at home, simply giving yourself the time for self-care will have a powerful impact. After the retreat enjoy your refreshed spirit and quiet mind. Feel everything that comes with taking care of yourself. And consider when you can plan another yoga retreat at home again soon.

Author credit: Sarah Dittmore on Yoga Basics link

5 ayurvedic tips for insomnia

Ayurveda agrees with many conventional practices for improving sleep hygiene: establish a bedtime routine; wake up and go to bed at the same time every day; avoid taking stimulants (like caffeine) or eating a large meal before bedtime; exercise vigorously earlier in the day; avoid napping and get adequate exposure to natural light.

But Ayurveda also says that one of the culprits of insomnia is excess vata. one of the three doshas, or subtle energies, that govern our bodies and minds. That’s why Ayurveda also recommends Vata-calming suggestions like these:

—Oil your body daily, especially before bed
—Soak in warm tub
—Practice breathing and relaxation more often than just before bed
—Eat a whole foods diet that emphasizes warm , cooked food with plenty of protein and ample amounts of healthy oil.
—Take herbs that calm and nourish the nervous system

Most health food stores carry natural sleep aids with nerviness—herbs that nourish the brain and nervous system, which are mildly sedating, grounding and stabilizing. Gentle and non-toxic, these herbs usually take effect after 4-6 weeks of use.

Jatamamsi (Indian valerian)

author credit: Carrie Demers on Yoga International     article link