Breathing exercises for grief

Allow yourself to feel what comes up and in time, allow yourself to heal. Unexpected loss can throw the best of us into a spin and be a catalyst for shallow breathing, anxiety, depression, sadness and hardship. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. To find peace. To settle. To breathe.

Breathing exercise for your heart

  • Find a comfortable seat
  • Place your left palm over your heart
  • Right palm over your belly
  • Repeat “I take care of my heart. I allow myself to experience what comes up now. I allow myself to breathe. I allow sadness. I allow joy. I allow healing. I am guided by the highest vibration of love. In time, I know my heart will heal.”
  • Notice your palms lift as you inhale
  • Notice your palms lower as you exhale
  • Repeat the breathing exercise 10 x and notice how you feel

Meditation for healing

  • Visualise the glow of a candle
  • As you inhale, imagine this glow around your heart space get brighter and expand
  • With your exhale, visualise this glow move through your whole body
  • Repeat 10 x
  • If your mind wanders, repeat “I am breathing in allow my light to shine bright. With my exhale, I am sending healing energy to my whole being”

Journal for mental clarity

Write down how you feel regularly (start with 5 minutes, 3 x a week and increase gradually). Free write and notice what comes up for you. If you are unsure where to start, use these prompts:

  • How do I feel?
  • What sensations are rising up?
  • My breathing is …. (record the pace of your breathing)
  • Who can I talk to when I feel upset?
  • What can I do when I feel grief?
  • I miss xxx because xxx

Lastly, here are my thoughts about what it is to grieve and to experience a deep sense of loss.

Grief means you/we have experienced love

It’s not a sign of weakness and tears don’t mean a lack of resilience…rather it’s an expression or release of love.

To be able to give and receive love is a blessing. 💗

This weekend I’ve been teaching yoga classes and centred the theme around the heart space. When you open up through the heart, rib cage, chest and lengthen your inhale and exhale, your allow more oxygen into the body and brain to help cultivate calm and soothe yourself.

From an emotional/energetic perspective, working with the heart energy centre also enables you to be open to giving/loving and also receiving. Sometimes it’s easier for people to give rather than open to receive…. receive support, compliments, money, opportunities and love.

Do you block your heart space and blessings or are you open to give and receive love? Sometimes it’s easier to not let love and blessings in to avoid disappointment and risking hurt. However, we have to live. To love is to live, even in moments of grief.

My experience of grief

Grief can be incredibly traumatic, and yet if you allow yourself to grieve completely, understanding the highs and lows, the cycle and process, grief can be healing.

I have found movement incredible in terms of resetting the nervous system. Being able to notice what thoughts, sensations and patterns rise up. The breathing exercises in yoga have been the game changer I needed, and what I carry with me in my daily life as I navigate the highs and lows of this life.

In recent times, I feel like I have been grieving. We lost our sister-in-law recently after her brave battle with breast cancer and we are devastated. It has felt like global grief during this time of COVID-19. Personally, as I swiftly approach my 40th birthday, I feel grief as my body begins perimenopause and I continue on my dating path wondering if I have met Mr Right and not Mr Right Now. Earlier this year, I was out of pocket with a broken-down car, short $2K and heart broken. What hurt the most – wallet, heart or ego? Perhaps my heart and ego. Money, I have been able to make back…and yet, I know that although my heart aches at times, it does have an amazing and beautiful ability to heal. Your heart is able to heal. Part of this grieving and healing process is allowing your beautiful heart to feel what it needs to.

There are many different stages of grief and also Disenfranchised Grief: Definition, Causes, Impact, and Coping ( I say write about it, talk about it, move it, feel it, cry, be angry and when you are ready, release it.

If you feel like you are struggling and need extra support, please reach out for support to:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Trauma informed yoga teacher (me!)
  • Yoga therapist
  • Trained therapist, counsellor, psychologist or doctor
  • Artists: Express yourself and create art, music, write
  • The gym: Move at the gym, in nature and in the sea
  • Prayer group

Self-care and kindness is so important at this time of grief. And of course, rest. Your healing is your responsibility. I say that with all my love.

Here’s to breathing deeply, healing the heart, allowing it to feel what it needs to feel, taking care of it and giving and receiving love in community, family, connections. 💗

3 thoughts on “Breathing exercises for grief”

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