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Eight Ways Yoga Can Help You Cope with Grief

July 15, 2016

"Meditation helps you focus your energy, thoughts and emotions. You can use this to help yourself become the person and achieve the goals that you're loved one wanted for you," says Aadil Palkhivala.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - When someone is grieving, they need comfort and help dealing with what has happened. They need a way to find peace. Yoga can help. Far from being simple exercise to improve flexibility, yoga is an all-encompassing way to heal and improve. This includes meditation, physical, mental and spiritual therapy.

Aadil Palkhivala, who is known as 'the Godfather of yoga in the west,' says there are eight ways yoga can help someone cope with grief.

• Clear your mind to find connection with your lost loved one - Clearing your mind is not the same as forgetting. It's a way of de-cluttering and finding a refuge of calm away from worries. It helps to focus on the essential connection with your lost loved one and cope with their passing.

• Focus and purpose - Meditation helps you focus your energy, thoughts and emotions. You can use this to help yourself become the person and achieve the goals that you're loved one wanted for you. You can be proud of yourself and have them be proud of you.

• Deal with real world problems - Even when we are in mourning and trying to cope with a devastating loss, there will still be real world problems to deal with. Bills, arrangements, your job, etc. will all still be there, no matter how capable we feel we are to take care of them. Meditating helps us find our center and our strength, which leaves us better prepared to handle everything else.

• Be at peace spiritually - Yogic meditation can enhance our spiritual connection with the universe. When we feel we are a part of, and at peace with all things, we start to realize that death is just another part of nature and our loved ones are still a part of us and the world. We can find comfort in this knowledge and connection.

• Regulate your body - Grief is not only painful emotionally, it can take a physiological toll as well. You could lose your appetite, either stop being able to sleep, or unable to get out of bed. There can be unbearable sadness mixed with anger, fear, or a loss of emotions altogether. With yoga, we can direct this energy in a more positive way and cope with grief in a way that keeps us healthy and focused on the blessings we've received from the time we had with our loved one.

• Banish frustration - During mourning, frustration is common and even when we need to do SOMETHING, we can't. Yoga can help in a myriad of ways. You can feel productive simply from the physical improvement you get from the asana, but you can also feel your energy flowing in a positive manner. This ties in with your connection and loving memories of your loved one. They would not want to see you suffering.

• Mutual support with others - Yoga is healing that you can practice alone, but also with others. Sharing your experience with someone else who is also grieving can give solace to everyone. You can multiply the therapeutic essence when you share it.

• Soulful goodbye - Through meditation, you can find the quiet center that transcends all of the earthly cacophony and allows you to completely and soulfully direct all of your thoughts and love and essence to your loved one and tell them goodbye and share the peace of all nature with them.

Aadil Palkhivala is one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He began his asana studies with B.K.S. Iyengar at the age of 7 and was the youngest to receive an Advanced Iyengar Teacher’s Certificate at the age of 22. He is the author of the book "Fire of Love" and devoted to Sri Aurobindo's methodology. Aadil is co-owner of Alive & Shine Center in Bellevue, Washington, and co-founder of The College of Purna Yoga, an elite, internationally acclaimed, advanced yoga-asana teacher training program. He was a certified Shiatsu and Swedish therapist, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Aadil has studied holistic healing and Ayurveda extensively. He holds degrees in law, physics and mathematics. Learn more at