Spring is here. I love the feeling of the Earth coming alive again and the way it reflects a renewed sense of being within my own bones. With spring also comes Mother’s and Father’s Day, which for many people can be a challenging time of year. For me, this season brings up a deep sense of grief around the loss of my parents.
After my Mom passed, I felt like I was moving through a haze — disconnected from the life I used to know and couldn’t make sense of this new version of reality.
One day, I courageously ventured out for a yoga class. The teacher offered a dharma talk that touched my heart and I felt so comforted within her presence. Afterwards, the teacher and I lingered outside the studio in conversation. I shared that I had recently lost someone I loved and learned that she had too. I don’t remember most of the details of our conversation but I do remember the way it made me feel — less alone.
It has been eighteen years since my Dad passed and five years since my Mom. You often hear the phrase “time heals all” but in my experience, time simply puts space between you and the depth of your grief. In other words: your capacity to hold it, or your container, gets bigger with time. I have come to realize that the ability to experience joy or bliss is directly proportional to the ability to feel grief or sadness. So, as you heal, the container expands in both directions.
Yoga has been an integral tool in expanding my container. Asana has helped to somatically process, yoga philosophy opened the door to new spiritual beliefs, meditation taught me how to sit with my emotions, pranayama showed me how to regulate my nervous system, and the community I found helped me to feel connected again. Yoga may not heal your grief but it can help you to create a new relationship to it.
One of my favorite quotes by Jamie Anderson reads,
“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”
This 500 word blog post is not enough to encapsulate all I have to share about grief. For now — wherever you are within your own grieving process, it is my deepest wish for you to know that you are not alone. There is no wrong way to grieve and the healing process is not linear. Be gentle with your heart, for you are a living breathing being so worthy of finding joy again. May we tend to the grief, and in tending to it, give all that love somewhere to go.
This post was written by Brie Bednarski, one of our yoga teacher trainers.