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Grief is not something you can plan for or rehearse. The grief process is different for everyone, and it follows no specific timeline. One of the biggest struggles for those journeying through grief is how to recover the normal they once had before losing their loved one. Although the effects of grief vary from person to person, stress is generally a common factor. It can disrupt daily life and lead to physical ailments such as headaches, irritability, and exhaustion.
Many people turn to mindful exercise for minimizing grief-related stress. Yoga is a great option to consider because it promotes serenity and introduces coping mechanisms for those who have just suffered a loss. Accumulating stressors caused by grief can physically manifest in a variety of ways, and some of them, such as holding your breath or clenching your teeth, might even go unnoticed. These seemingly minor symptoms can have a negative impact on the body. Whether you choose to join a class or purchase an instructional video, yoga helps relieve tension in a healthy way. The breathing exercises, movement, and meditation associated with yoga facilitate a sense of peace as you wade through grief.
In addition to developing healthy habits to help manage the stress of grief, it is important to seek additional support as needed. Funeral homes provide a safe space for families to both honor the life and mourn the death of loved ones, but they also offer many grief-related resources over the weeks and months following the funeral service. Grief care coordinators connect with and assist families who are working through the stress and emotions that accompany loss. Contact your local funeral professionals for more information about how to cope with the effects of grief. If you are interested in giving yoga a try, check out these great YouTube videos that were specifically developed for those who are grieving.
In “Healing Yoga - Season 1 - Episode 12 – Grief,” Deborah Devine encourages those who are grieving, regardless of age or fitness level, to use yoga as a way to manage the symptoms and encourage mindfulness.
In “Yoga for grief and sadness // Yoga with Dionne // 20 minute practice,” Dionne Elizabeth leads a gentle, calm series of yoga poses to create openness on the journey through grief.