Therapeutic Yoga for Grieving

What is Grief?

Grieving is a side effect of loss. Each and every person experiences loss not only with death, but in the myriad of losses we go through every day. It could be a change in a job, a friend moves away, or even the plans you looked forward to all week fell through – All Loss leaves us in varying stages of grieving.

What Happens to Unexpressed Grief?

Unexplored Grief Creates Blockages in the Energy Centers of the Body

Unexpressed emotion remains stored in the fibers of the body. The energy of emotions should flow naturally and unhindered through the channels of the body, but often it is held deep, continuously circling its hiding spot.

This hidden grief may express itself as a headache, sore back, pinched nerve in the shoulder, stiff joints, or even as fatigue. Continuous repression of the grieving process (even the buildup of our smaller losses) will leave a person in chronic exhaustion and pain.

yoga for grieving

The purpose of this exploration is to encourage the compassionate examination of grief and to encourage the energy of the loss to flow through and out of the natural channels.

Therapeutic Chakra Yoga

Yoga Therapy Poses like Child’s Pose and Yoga Mudra Can Help Unblock Emotions

Unattended grief could be hiding anywhere. Even though there may be obvious symptoms, an initial session should explore each region of the body.

Method: Assist your client into each of the postures and stay present with them as they hold each posture. They are to experience the feel of each posture and remain in it long enough to observe the physical and emotional messages that arise (a minimum of 5 minutes).

ROOT: Loss, especially unexpected, can leave us feeling as if our legs were swept out from underneath us. The sense of safety and security gone. It’s time to reconnect.

Virasana pose

Pose: Virasana (Hero’s Pose)

SACRAL: Grief can leave us feeling as if we cannot trust in the relationships around us leaving us feeling closed off and disconnected.


Pose: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

SOLAR PLEXUS: A feeling of powerlessness can hit a person after a loss. Time to reclaim a sense of personal power.


Pose: Jathara Parivrtti (Abdominal Twist)

HEART: Grieving is not only a side effect of loss, but also of love. What we love, we lose, and we grieve. Be especially careful with the Heart Chakra as much grief is stored in the heart often making it difficult to breathe.


Pose: Sphinx Pose

THROAT: Loss can literally take the words from us. We cannot begin to express the myriad feelings within and cannot envision the future ahead.

Pose: Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Pose: Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

BROW: The pain of grief can leave us guarded and distant. Can we surrender and accept our grief?

Pose: Balasana (Child's Pose)

Pose: Balasana (Child’s Pose)

CROWN: Can we trust in a Higher Power and open up to the rest of the beauty and love in life?

Pose: Yoga Mudra

Pose: Yoga Mudra

Final Savasana to let the energy flow throughout the body.


Finish the session with a discussion of the client’s experience. This will help you both to develop a plan for future sessions.

*Caution* One should never force or trick a person into examining their hidden pains until they are ready. This will force a person to close up tighter due to the unwelcome flooding of emotions. Even with a person who is willing to face their losses, it is still a journey to be taken gently, with much compassion and strong support.

What are Your Thoughts on Using Yoga to Assist the Grieving Process?

How often has grief touched your life? Which loss was the most difficult? Which grieving methods have helped you most?

Find out the more about my recommended Yoga Burn Program by Zoe Bray Cotton.