Yoga for Grief & Life Transitions

Yoga for Grief & Life Transitions banner

 

Have you suffered a loss in your life that has left you feeling depleted, heavy with sadness, or maybe even confused about what to do next?  Would you like to activate and connect to your own inner capacities for healing?

 

Perhaps you have had a death of someone you deeply love and also sorely needed.  Or maybe hefty emotions and physical pains of your grief are the result of difficult transitions such as divorce, accident, job loss, recovery from illness, or other major life changes.  Deep sensations of loss can even occur after changes that in themselves are positive and yet, as important transitions, are tricky to navigate:  a new marriage or child, change of residence, a child moves away to college, or even retirement.  Sometimes the physical and emotional sensations of loss are compounded by feeling misunderstood; subtler life transitions that many people do not even recognize or honor as grief can strike us also from the realities and stresses of daily life, having to grapple with dreams unfulfilled, facing the surprises and fears of an aging body, or letting go of the life you thought you would have.

 

Are you ready to try simple methods that can provide great relief from tension, worry, and pent-up energies so you can access your sense of hope and joy? 

 

Then please know:  YOGA PROVIDES MUCH-NEEDED SUPPORT.

 

 

Whatever loss has you or someone you care about suffering from the sensations associated with grief, yogic methods can often help alleviate many of the most pressing symptoms and, with time, serve a powerful tool to help the body and mind integrate the pains and feelings of loss so that you feel whole, hopeful, and finally able to savor the beauties your own precious life still has to offer.

 

If you know that YOGA for GRIEF& LIFE TRANSITIONS is just for you, make of one the 10 places yours by signing-up today here.  

 

Are you yearning for more?  Then keep reading; lots of beautiful things are wrapped into grieving itself, and this course reminds us of that.

Yoga practices provide the support your BODY, MIND, & HEART so deeply require. 

 

Processing loss takes time.  This means that discomforts in the body may also accumulate.  Though grief is openly recognized as an emotional, mental experience, it also includes often under-acknowledged physical elements.  In short, when the mind and heart experience a blow, so does the body.  The challenging emotions may lead to symptoms of stiffness, sluggishness, or nervousness.  A body that is bereaving is often tight, tense, and tired.  Chest and hip pains are common, as are stomach discomforts and headaches.  Grief may disrupt eating patterns, sleep, and other cycles like menstruation.  Yoga practice can help restore the natural biorhythms that are disturbed during stressful times:  sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels, and the ability to relax.  The clinically proven physical benefits of yoga—decreased blood pressure, lowered cortisol, increased strength, balance, and mobility—are also necessary for healing from the shocks and trauma of great loss.

 

 

Mental states and thus relationships can also be pushed out of whack after the impact of loss.  Extremes of emotions erupt into mood swings, or we simply do not feel up to basic social tasks.  This makes it harder to “show up” for things in life that are usually experienced as the most meaningful.  The ability to remain present is fine-tuned via yoga, and this can help things like concentration and intimacy.  Many yoga  practitioners also report that yoga fosters patience and acceptance.  Integrating a yoga practice into our daily routines, then, can help us give ourselves the time we need to heal, grow, and eventually flourish.

 

 

Grief and difficult life transitions can also make our heart feel broken.  Yoga provides very unique and crucial wisdom to link the body and mind by way of the heart, both emotionally as well as physically.  Breath practices are central to all of AHA Yoga offerings, but are especially pronounced in this special 6-week series.  WHY?  Because breath is what connects the body and mind, the physical and the emotional, the external and the internal, and so much more.  On a scientific level, research has proven that deep, slow, and even diaphragmatic breathing calms the nervous system and therefore the lessen pain in the physical sensations of the body.  And, according to yoga tradition, breathing also helps us consciously regulate our energy levels.  The combination of attentive breathwork with gentle movement is a time-honored means of digesting difficult experiences so that we are nourished by them.

 

 

 

In addition to physical yoga poses and breathing practices, we will partake in affirmations, journaling, and guided visualizations to remind ourselves that grieving is not a disease; it is a natural process and if we allow it to unfold, many gifts often follow.

Sound good?  YES!  If you want this for yourself, then save your spot here.

 

 

Do you need some time that is just for YOU, to let go of the pressing mental chatter and burden of obligations to others? 

 

Would you like to connect with people who understand on a visceral level the hurt of loss, and thus you can come to this space and just be, without apology or explanation?

 

With the loss of a loved one, or the changes that ensue after our bodies heal from major accidents or illness, or pressing events within our families, many additional responsibilities often fall on your shoulders.  Maybe you must learn to do new things that someone else once did for you, or you have to work to adjust to new surroundings, or care for someone no longer able to care for themselves.  These intense life transitions are demanding of your time, your efforts, your attention, and our inner reserves.  And, you are called upon to take on these daunting tasks at the very time that you might be feeling extreme sorrow, depleted energy, and not quite yourself.  Sometimes, those that love you want to see you feel better accidentally add more pressure to “be okay” or act like you once did.  You want to be there for them, but find it hard because you yourself need to just be where you are at, and feel what you feel.  Yoga can help you carve out a time and space just for you, without you having to explain or perform for others.

 

REMEMBER:  It does NOT matter when a troubling death or other loss happened; you may be at a point just after a specific blow, or maybe something happened years ago, or maybe there is a general, diffuse, or accumulated sense of dis-ease whose origin is unknown.  Grief does not happen on a rational timeline, and the emotions and sensations do not happen according to your planned or expected schedule.  Yoga and meditation are incredible tools to help you nourish yourself in your hours of greatest need, whenever that might be.  The relaxation response that yoga engenders will help you turn inward and work through on a gentle, physical level these emotions that accompany great loss.  Yoga and meditation are an accessible means to restore energy and also find the inner gifts that result from great trials.  The physical and emotional calm and rest provided by these practices mitigate sensations of overwhelm and exhaustion that arise during the uncertain waves of life transitions.  Yoga can also encourage self-acceptance, which is definitely a boon during grief and transition, when we tend to be hardest on ourselves.  Yoga is not only a gentle process; it helps the student herself become gentler as well as strong.

If this is what you know you need right now, registration is now open, so learn how to join here.

 

 

 

Would you like to cultivate a yoga practice that meets and serves YOU, right where you are at?

 

When we are hit with loss, we often feel depleted.  This is one of the reasons why yoga and meditation can be so beneficial; you can reap the healing benefits of yoga even with a gentle, easy practice.  On other days, we need to push ourselves to release frustration or other sensations of trapped or blocked energies.  These classes are taught in such a way as to provide many modifications for yoga postures, so that you can do what is appropriate for your body and internal state on that specific day.  Yoga reminds us, in a world in which we get confused and rigid, you indeed have choices.  And, remember, breathwork is one of the most important elements of the healing process fueled by yoga; it is also one of the easiest techniques to access even in the toughest of times.  You must breathe; this class will help you do so in such a way that it sustains and nourishes you quickly and deeply, and provides—with practice—long-lasting results.

 

 

 

Would you like to relieve some of the mental pressures you place on yourself when you are grieving?

 

Loss and other difficulties of life’s shocking or painful changes are often swept under the rug because of fear, shame, or simply the feeling of not having enough time.  We also live in a society that values positivity and material gains, and so sometimes the very real and necessarily negative emotions and expressions of loss are pushed away or even denied.  We do not want others to know of our pain or we feel pressure to be “better” now.  Gentle yogic techniques help us hold space for and nurture what needs to be honored.  We all tend to push away suffering harshly and abruptly, rather than work through it.  Yoga helps us do just that; it guides us to be present to all that our bodies and minds are feeling and, through such awareness, slowly transform suffering into healing and—with continued practice—healing into thriving.

 

 

 

Do you want to know that no matter what happens in your life, you know how to find your way back to being centered, calm, and capable?

 

Come explore yoga, journaling, concentration, relaxation, and meditation, to feel in your body how feelings of being trapped or stuck and shift to a sense of openness and possibility, and maybe even transform into an embrace of beauty and honoring and nourishing your inner strengths and all in life you truly love.  Most importantly, give yourself the space and time you need, and do what is right for you and your unique process.

 

In this course, we will examine what is universal and also what is totally unique to you about the grieving process and how it affects you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  You will learn very simple exercises of attentive breathing and soothing movements that will cultivate an awareness that powerfully supports you throughout the ups and downs of your very personal journey of grief.  These yogic prescriptions for dealing with grief and life’s changes help you rise to these difficulties more gracefully and skillfully.

 

These exercises work on a subtler level than just the physical.  They help us shift our mental perceptions and therefore soften our hardened bodies and problematic habits of thought so that we can look at grief anew.  Rather than something to fight or expunge, great loss and the resulting grief can be approached as a natural and even beautiful—albeit difficult—process, whose complexity and depth are testaments to vitality and enduring love.  Are you willing to let grief do its work, this deeper work of inner transformation?  It is clear that losses in our lives are excruciatingly painful; yet, by allowing and honoring all that grief exposes, you can allow such changes to soften and ripen you to more compassion, appreciation, and eventually the ability to be present for others and to all you encounter day-to-day.

 

 

 

Yogic approaches even nudge us to the deeper understanding that the crises that can ensue from challenging life transitions can also serve as delicate invitations toward growth.  Your life is forever changed, but you yourself are also transformed from within in ways that uncover your own inner strengths and gifts to the world.

 

Are you ready to join us on this journey and experience the support and opening that yoga provides?  Then commit to your yoga practice by registering for YOGA for GRIEF & LIFE TRANSITIONS here

 

What will you experience in each of the six sessions?

Check-in and Centering, a process of unwinding that helps you tune into your body, breath, thoughts, and emotions;

Journaling prompts to foster tender self-inquiry that increases patience, understanding, and self-compassion;

Breath awareness and Pranayama (breathing exercises) that have been selected for their capacities to process stuck emotions and energetic excess or depletion;

Focused Attention exercises, Mudras, Affirmations, and other yogic techniques of concentration and intention setting;

Visualization practices to plant the seeds of rest, relaxation, and recovery, and to remind yourself of the inherent value and riches that still reside within you;

Guided systematic relaxation to create the conditions for the mind as well as body learn to deeply let go, rest, allow support, and therefore heal;

Experience easy things to do to start a meditation practice; it is here that deeper rest and rejuvenates take root and then blossom.

 

If this sounds like something you need, then register for YOGA for GRIEF & LIFE TRANSITIONS here.

 

 

You will also be encouraged to take these approaches of self-care, patience, and compassion into your daily routines in between classes. Additionally, though it is not required, you are also welcome to share your ideas and experiences in this safe space, among people who understand.

 

To these ends, this course has been designed so that you will have access to:

Membership in a private, closed Facebook group so you can stay connected to your friends in class and your teacher throughout the week;

Weekly study sheets so you can begin to practice yoga, breathing, and meditation at home in easy, achievable sessions of five to ten minutes;

Three audio recordings of guided visualization or relaxation exercises so you can ensure the healing strategies ignited in class can continue between sessions and even long after; and

Exclusive entrance to a passcode restricted page of resources on the AHA Yoga website so you can learn more about things that can help and maybe even light you up.

 

If this sound like what you are looking for to support you on your particular journey through grief and transitions, then save your place here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to be in a space that is designed to allow you to truly relax so your body’s own wisdom can follow its natural course of healing?

 

All sessions will be held at Suwannee River Yoga16548 Spring Street
White Springs, Florida 32096.

 

Great care has been put into this course so that it is an inviting, nurturing container for you to explore and develop your own inner capacities.  Join us in this lovely space to experience a very special series of yoga classes specifically designed to allow you to unwind and cultivate the harmony that your body and mind need to process the punch-in-the-gut sensations and exhaustion that loss often entails.  The studio space of Suwanee River Yoga is quiet, peaceful, and open, a great place to breathe and nourish yourself, surrounded by others who also want to slow down, learn, and commit themselves to what really matters in life, even as it is reconfigured and re-imagined after great loss or change.

 

Classes run through the mid-afternoon (Sundays, 2 to 4 pm), so there is also time before or after class to take a walk at the nearby Suwannee River, one of the treasures of our region.  This whole series has been developed with comfort in mind.  It is also the intention of this course that the students come together to provide a community environment of mutual understanding, respect, and support.

 

Does this sound like the environment and experience you are seeking?  There are limited spaces so that we will have a safe and welcoming environment.  If you want to be a part of this course, you can read details and enroll here.

 

 

What is required of you?

You do not need to be an experienced yoga student to join; all levels are welcome, including complete beginners.

You DO need basic physical mobility, including the ability to get up and down off of the floor easily without support.

Our yoga sequences are gentle, but they do include transitioning from lying down on the floor, to seated postures, to standing, and down again, so it is important that you can make these transitions comfortably and safely.

Your commitment is also required.  The intention of this course is that those who are truly interested in these topics and enlivening their own healing are those who will join.  The classes are designed to build upon one another, so it is important that you attend all classes, or as many as possible.  Weekly attendance also provides stability; it means that our sense of community and friendship will grow.  Space is limited and great care has been put into the curriculum and weekly planning and preparation, so there are no pro-rates or make-ups should you choose to miss a session.

 

You will also be encouraged to do quick, gentle practices at home, and even continue a home practice long after the course is complete.  Though it is not a requirement for the course, it is a great benefit to your life.  It is by making this techniques part of your healthy habits that you will glean the greatest value.

Bring your own mat, a journal and writing utensil, and your own water.  All other yoga props (blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets) are provided, though if you have special ones you prefer, feel free to bring those.  And, of course, bring an open mind ready for transformation.

 

Are you ready for this journey?  Yes, please!  Then sign-up here.

 

You can read here about my Terms & Conditions of student and teacher expectations designed to ensure this journey is fruitful  one.

 

 

 

Can you make it?  What do you need to know about the logistics of YOGA for GRIEF & LIFE TRANSITIONS?

This is a six-week series that meets on Sunday afternoons for two hours, 2 to 4 pm, on the following dates and times, with these general themes (other topics will be added on an as-needed basis):

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  SELF-ACCEPTANCE, TENSION RELEASE, & BALANCE;

BONUS CLASS (Details below):  TUESDAY, December 12, 6 to 7:30 pm, RESTORATIVE YOGA:  Allowing Self-Care & Rest;

Sunday, December 17, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  STRATEGIES FOR SHOCK, DENIAL, DISORIENTATION

Sunday, January 7, 2018, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  HARNESSING THE FIRE OF ANGER

Sunday, January 14, 2018, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  TRUST & CONFIDENCE for INDECISION & UNCERTAINTY

Sunday, January 21, 2018, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  BEFRIENDING SADNESS

Sunday, January 28, 2018, 2:00 to 4:00 pm:  INNER STILLNESS, TRANSFORMATION, & APPROACHING JOY

 

 

What is your investment?

The six-week course PLUS the free Restorative Yoga gift is yours for an investment of $120.  Pre-payment is required in order to reserve your place, which you can secure now here.  If you would prefer to pay in check or cash, please contact me, Virginia Hill, the designer of this program and your AHA Yoga teacher.  If you desire the course but cannot pay in full, payment plans are available; the tuition is divided into three payments of $40 plus the installment fee of $5 per installment, for a total of $135.  This can be paid on-line, or by check or cash; please contact me to make these arrangements so your place is saved.  Remember, Yoga is ultimately about empowering YOURSELF, and these are practices you take with you to access your OWN inner healing and thriving capacities, so never forget this is an investment in YOU, the most precious of all.

Is this the right fit for you? 

So much of the painful emotions and physical ailments of grief are connected to a sense of powerlessness.  It is crucial for your healing journey that you make decisions that reflect what you truly need, rather than what others think you need.  Healing through grief requires you to empower yourself and allow your unique, gradual process to unfold.  It is my intention that this group will be made up of committed students who share similar interests, mindsets, and goals.  You want to make a decision that feels good.  If you curious, but are not sure this course is the right fit for you or if I am the teacher for you, let’s talk and explore so you make an empowered decision.  You can e-mail me at alligatoryoga@gmail.com

 

Want to know more about me, your guide for YOGA for GRIEF & LIFE TRANSITIONS?

HI passport size, 2 x 2 in

I am Virginia Hill, the driving force behind AHA Yoga, and I have designed original curriculum for YOGA for GRIEF & LIFE TRANSITIONS.  Yoga enthusiasts or even those totally new to yoga re welcome.  It is my deepest desire that you this course helps you tap into your own inner resources that maybe do do not yet even know you possess.

That is definitely what happened to me in my own experiences of loss, dire disappointment, and all the trials and tribulations associated with my own grieving process.  Though I have been a yoga practitioner for over 15 years, it was not until 2012 that unexpected life changes, loss, and trauma catapulted me into a more urgent need for the stability and empowerment daily yoga practice provides.  Many times, my world felt (and sometimes still feels!) crushed and doomed, but the long, vulnerable, and subtle processes of healing, recuperating, and totally rewriting my driving focal points, concrete routines, and life’s purpose have changed me for the better.  Though I still grapple daily with many uncertainties, vicissitudes of loss, and fears, I am confident in my own inner resources,  the beneficence all around us, and also in yoga as a worthwhile practice.  I committed to yoga to heal, but found that even more than healing and being “okay” is available.  Grief and all manners of suffering can yield a subtler, delightful awakening when aligned with commitment to yoga as a physical, mental, and spiritual practice, and it is this reality I yearn to share with you.  It is not always easy or pleasurable, but it is always rewarding.

Because I know on a visceral, palatable level the poignant possibilities yoga and meditation provide, it is with great hope, vulnerability, and delight that I offer this course.  If you would like to know more about my yoga and meditation training, you can check that out here.  My wish for you more internal ease and steadiness so you can approach with tenderness, trust, and confidence whatever your own life transition is placing before you.

 

This class is not a panacea:  It is not meant as a substitute for health care, nor is it a diversion from difficult feelings.  This course cannot in any way “fix” you.  The good news is that though you may feel broken, YOU DO NOT NEED FIXING.  All you need is already inside of you; yoga simply provides time-tested (and increasingly clinically tested!) techniques that reduce stress, increase freedom of movement, and activate the body’s inherent healing capacities.

 

Or maybe you know someone who would feel some benefits from this course.  Then, please, share this web page or send them this Course Flyer PDF here.

 

 

If you know this is the step you desire and are ready to practice with me on this 6-week exploration of yoga’s healing modalities to integrate the feelings, thoughts, and sensations of grief and life transitions, join our group here.