Yoga to Heal from Loss

Life takes its twists and turns and sometimes it's best not to fight the direction it is taking you. As I experienced immense sadness after losing my Mom in early January to a rare auto-immune disease called LGL Leukemia, I needed to disconnect from the virtual world

I'm pretty sure that I'm still experiencing the stages of grief, though I'm able to function quite well in my day to day life as I find such distractions are helpful. My Mom often pops into my thoughts and it makes me smile but there are also times when those thoughts can bring on heavy loss and sadness. What I have found helpful is meditation and breath practice with asana ~ Yoga.

Meditation ~ The universal sound of "Om" filled my 3 hour flight from Orlando to Boston. I listened to it on my headphones using the free timer app called Insight Timer. This app has personal goals and community features, a timer, and many wonderful guided meditations that you can chose depending on how you're feeling at the present moment. Just do a quick search in the App Store to find it.

Breathing ~ I've also used lots of yoga breath techniques like: equal ratio breathing, lions breath, bees breath, breath of joy, and Ujjayi breathing to find a more peaceful and calming state. At times, I've coupled the breath with a saying (mantra) that encourages a positive thought by breathing in and breathing out while saying a verse in my head. This is often helpful in the evening when trying to fall asleep. Anyone can learn these breath techniques, look online or ask your yoga teacher (Me!) to teach you.

Asana ~ seated on a pillow with legs crossed or seated on a block with knees bent. Hands lying on knees palms up or palms down. This easy seated pose is one that we can all vary according to our bodies. Of course, there are hundreds of Asana (poses) you can choose to do.

Peace, Love, Joy

~Toni

Endurance

Question: How do we create body enduranceAnswer: We build body endurance through a regular cardiovascular workout and/or training our muscles to the point of fatigue.  Workouts that are done frequently, consistently and repetitively help us gain body endurance. Those of us seeking body endurance may experience these results if we commit to a defined goal.

My blog is all about the mind/body connection.  So, let’s discuss how to create this same endurance in our minds. First, we must define a reachable goal.  The goal might be an educational degree, personal or emotional change, or a milestone such as running a marathon. By using the same strategy of staying committed to the goal, and by using the same frequent, consistent, and repetitive practice, we can change the way we think about a situation. Endurance of the mind requires commitment and can be more challenging than building body endurance because it requires that we learn how to persevere through challenging situations—that may be out of our control.  Endurance of the mind may also mean accepting something that is hard to accept. Think of something in your life that took all your willpower to just hang in there. Then, identify what you did to endure through that situation. Keep in mind that you may have done it without even knowing you were practicing endurance. It is likely that your endurance came from inner strength that you didn’t realize you had inside of you. Moments like these make us realize that we DO have power over our own thoughts; we have power to endure even the most difficult situations.  In yoga, one of the ways we practice endurance is by learning to stay in the present moment.  We learn to avoid dwelling on what happened in the past and avoid focusing too much on what might happen in the future. This is a great way to cope or endure during life’s most difficult situations; it is a way to train our minds like we train our bodies.  So, the next time you think you can’t make it through a difficult situation, stay present, focus on the present, and know that you’ll make it.  Combine endurance of the mind and body and see how powerful you become.