Yoga practice for grief and loss

A few weeks ago when the deep winter cold was still here, we brought home a small flower pot of daffodils. My partner carefully unwrapped them and transplanted them into a clay pot. Their little yellow faces were a small but cheery pick-me-up. We gleefully pointed out the new buds coming in!

Now, they have sagged. Their thin leaves droop and streak haphazardly. I can’t tell if I watered them too much, or too little. Their faces are grumpy and shrivelled. I talk to them and ask what they want. They stay silent and sullen. We decide it’s best to give them space. They still have their verdant leaves, so not all hope is lost.

We just need to give it time.

As spring inches its way in, the energy of transformation and renewal comes flooding forth. Sometimes the pace of change feels right: we are ready to lunge forward and grab what’s next. Sometimes, we aren’t ready – perhaps it’s overwhelming, and we haven’t dealt with the past. Sometimes we need to give it more time.

grief isn't a problem that needs to be solved


Frankly, I am feeling both: ready to relish in positive change, yet also hanging back, because there has been so much grief and loss to process. It is a complicated time, replete with complicated reactions.

My daily practice helps to ground me within this polarity. It gives me grit. How fortunate we are to have the knowledge and opportunity to cultivate understanding and compassion. There is beauty and grace amidst the confusion and struggle – if only we reach to embrace it.

Wishing you grit and grace,

Yoga for the brokenhearted

Pursuing the practice of yoga has given me many things, and one of these things has been a broken heart.

Let me explain.

Yoga is about cultivating awareness of ALL things, without discrimination. So when we open ourselves to the ways of the world, we experience both the joy and the sorrow. We see the generosity and the greed; both intelligence and idiocy; the caring and the apathy.

Yoga means resolving to bear witness to the way we both help, and harm, eachother. In the easy times, we can just drink it all in and bask in the glow! In the hard times, it requires greater determination: how do we keep showing up? How do we keep our hearts from breaking?

If we truly engage in this complicated and messy world, our hearts will break. It is inevitable. We must let them break. We have to let the world in.

So yoga didn’t break my heart, per se – it helped me realize it was already broken.

Before you start sending me referrals to therapists, hold on: it gets better.

Once we realize the state of things, only then can we do something about it. Yoga gives us the tools to mend our hearts. It gives us the chance to practise starting again, with compassion and curiosity. Every breath can be a fresh moment, a fresh start. It is a practice of forgiveness.

If we think others are incorrigible, how does that affect the way we treat ourselves?

Let’s not give up on ourselves. Let’s take care of our broken hearts, together.