Our final class of the school year, kids.  I was a bit sad to say goodbye to each of you.  For some, our paths will cross this summer; for others, we may touch base periodically. I am so grateful to have shared this practice with you each Tuesday.  Have a grand and glorious summer.

Setting the Summer Sun

The Inspiration
Accepting Loss – Food for Thought
Many moons ago, far far away, in a galaxy called my college years, I took a course called “Death and Dying”.  There was a prerequisite for the course.  The student must have had a death of a person that was close to them.  My two grandparents had passed within 6 months of each other, so I qualified.

Throughout the course, we followed Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s  1969 book, “On Death and Dying“.  In her book, she proposes that grief and loss occur in five stages.  

1. Denial and Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

Those experiencing grief and loss may not follow the stages in order, or may not even experience a stage at all.  There also may be varying degrees of emotion felt for each stage. These stages help the person put their loss in perspective and only act as a guide.

Grief following a loss is not limited to losing a person close to you.  It also encompasses any major loss such as a job, a home, a way of thinking about yourself or how you live.  There are so many other examples of losses that can occur in our lifetime.  It is important to give and take the time to process the loss.  Listen compassionately to that person experiencing loss and be present for them.   When we are helping someone through those periods,  we can let them know that it is common to have difficulties in relation to normal everyday living.    

Sleep, eating and everyday living can be altered greatly., setting off dis-ease.  There is no ‘normal’. Practices that normalize can greatly benefit someone going through grief.  This is where our yoga practice can step right in.  Balancing poses, calming practices like Yoga Nidra, Alternate Nostril Breathing, restorative yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic rituals all can create a sense of normalcy.

As you cross the paths of someone experiencing loss, keep in mind your own experiences and then step back to give them the space to experience however it plays out.

The Poses
Belly Down

Props: 2 or more blankets, neck rolls
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, stimulates the

digestive system, gentle chest opener, lengthens the legs, ankles, releases the pelvis

Place a blanket for the chest to lie on as well as fill in the belly area and one blanket for a pillow. Lie belly down with legs extended, arms bent slightly out to the side. Can hold onto your neck roll to ground through the palms. Turn your head to one side and change direction when you need to.  Additional support at the ankles. Add a blanket over top for comfort and warmth.

Supported Forward Fold

Props: bolster, 1-2 blankets, block

Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities.  A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible.  Good for headaches.  Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed. Massage for the digestive system.

Sit on a folded blanket and extend legs out in front of you. Place bolster lengthwise along the legs adding a blanket or block to top as headrest. Lay your upper body on bolster and rest your forehead on blanket or block. Arms can drape on bolster, along side or any other comfortable position.

Reclined Bound Angle Movements