In our reader survey at the beginning of the year, there were requests for yoga to help with grief/emotional healing, and it's a request that's come up again from several people for the Ask Nadine videos.
There's not (I don't think) a simple answer. I had a go at it, made an Ask Nadine video to send to the mailing list, and then realised that it's really NOT a question that has a short answer.
Instead, I've decided to run my Light Up Your Life e-Course again.
It's a 30-day yoga challenge with a difference:
You don't just do asana. You let go of stuff and lighten up too.
It's a collection of my personal stories of grief, loss and transformation and the tools - mostly yoga - that I used to heal and let go. I've re-recorded the video and there's a bunch of new content - short yoga practices that will happily slot into your day, guided meditations, guided relaxations. And five beautiful ebooks. FIVE!
If you want a guided way to work through some really sticky old stuff, you might want to take part. If you are on the mailing list, I have a 50% off launch discount in store for you, this coming Thursday (4 Dec). Look out for that!
While you are deciding whether you want to join us Life-Lighters, try this twofold strategy:
Practice self-examination. But stop overthinking.
1. Practice Self-examination
For me, in my own healing processes, and they are ongoing, the internal practices of yoga are as useful as asana, or postures.
I find the threefold path of Kriya Yoga as outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (which is a foundational text for the tradition of yoga I study in) a great basis (thorough explanation of this sutra in the post I wrote here):
Tapah svadhyaya isvarapranidhanani kriyayogah.
Tapah or tapas is the discipline of practice, and svadhyaya is self -examination. I'd expand on the idea of isvarapranidhana (surrender to what is) as a choice to have faith (known in Sanskrit as sraddha), and to believe in love.
Seems like a simple choice if you believe all the inspirational memes out there. And maybe it is.
But it's not easy.
If it was, none of us would have any issues left to deal with (ha!).
Let’s look at the definition of Faith from Dictionary.com:
- strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
- true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
- steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
- reliable, trusted, or believed.
- adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.
It's interesting to explore how you embody Faith eh?
- In what ways am I faithful?
- In what ways am I not? (Yes, a tough question, but who hasn’t lost their faith at some point? Or lost the faith of someone else.)
- Do I have a faith or belief in something? It doesn’t have to be God, it can be in the essential goodness of humankind.
- Do I inspire faith in others? Do people feel they can rely on me?
- Do I consider myself a faithful worker? If not, is this because I ought to be doing other work?
- Am I as honest as I can be? The Sanskrit word for honest, satya, comes from the root Sat, which means that which lives or that which is real. Are you as real as you can be?
- Am I able to retain my expressed faith even when things get tough?
Remember to show yourself compassion when you do this sort of self-examination. It's not about beating yourself up, but about understanding yourself better.
2. Stop Over-thinking.
The other aspect of svadhayaya, that is often harder to practice, is this: accepting what is means you don't dwell on it, or endlessly ruminate on it. It just IS.
This article outlines 8 ways to stop over thinking and find peace.
The movement and breath practices of yoga also come in handy for this. Get your body moving, preferably fairly vigourously, get your attention on your breath, and you are more likely to be in the present moment because you are having to concentrate on those things.
I like this practice - full instructions here.