As we age, we are more exposed to death, loss, grief, and mourning. We feel our losses deeply and we seek some kind of accessible comfort through our tears. Those tears form our river of grief.
While grief and loss are universal, our own grief is very personal. No one can really know what we alone are feeling. In my own experiences with the deep loss of my parents, my best friend, and, most of all, my big sister, I know the river of loss quite well.
Like a river, sometimes my grief is deep and still, or ferocious like rapids. I swim with it and against it. Sometimes I am next to it, or floating, or just witnessing the flow. My grief is always with me in some manner because it is part of who I am now.
For me, connecting my grief with my chakras offers me an emotional, spiritual, and physical outlet for my pain. The chakras are the seven main energy centers in our subtle bodies. I found that gentle yoga connected to my chakras allowed me to be present, feel my feelings, and continue to survive, and even thrive while immersed in my grief.
I invite you to take a conscious assessment of where your grief settles and congests and using these ideas, become aware of how you can find release and even comfort on your journey of grief.
When I feel fearful, ungrounded, or unstable, I know my grief is in my first, ROOT chakra at the base of my spine and perineum. I breathe in and visualize the color red. I stretch my legs out, grounded on the earth and move my feet in flex, arch, and circles. I am safe right here and right now. I repeat “I AM.”
When I feel stuck, disconnected, unmoving, or with a low back ache, my grief is in my second, SACRAL chakra in the hips and lower back. I move my hips in a cat/cow or make hip circles in a sitting position. I breathe in and visualize the color orange. I am connected to the others. I repeat “I FEEL.”
My belly can become congested, and I feel no motivation to do anything. That is my third, SOLAR PLEXUS chakra between the navel and lowest rib. I practice gentle abdominal sit-ups and activate my belly with deep breaths visualizing the color yellow. I am in the world and able to participate. I repeat “I DO.”
I am heartbroken. I feel so lonely. I am so sad and my grief rests right on my fourth, HEART chakra in the center of my chest. I open my heart with hands clasped or reach my arms behind my back, give myself a good hug, then open my arms to the sky. I am grateful to have loved and been loved. I breathe in the color green, take a walk in nature, and listen to my heartbeat. I repeat “I LOVE.”
A weak voice or sore throat is my fifth, THROAT chakra around my neck holding my grief. I cannot speak or express myself. I practice gentle neck rolls, sing aloud, and find comfort in any creative way to communicate to another. I visualize the color blue and breathe into my throat. I repeat “I SPEAK.”
My sixth, THIRD EYE chakra manifests my grief in headaches or blurry vision, between and just above my eyebrows. I cannot see clearly as my two eyes look out and my third eye looks inward. I open my eyes as wide as I can, and l move my eyes to each number in a big clock, counterclockwise, and follow my thumb as I move it to the extreme right and left. I breathe into my eyelids and visualize the color purple. I repeat “I KNOW.”
My seventh, CROWN chakra is the white light, like a halo, hovering above my head. I can feel the energy of my beloved when I close my eyes, see their faces, and trust their divine energy is nearby. To access their love, I breathe in the white light above, around, and within me. I repeat “I UNDERSTAND.”
When we are aware of how our bodies and minds respond to our grief, we can find some comfort in the messages delivered by our chakras. We can move, breathe, visualize, and know that our grief and loss are also our love. We can navigate our losses without getting lost through our chakras.
Here is a brief introduction to Yoga for Living with Loss:
Please visit my website where you can find my Yoga for Living with Loss Video Series, Yoga for Living with Loss blogs, workshops and weekly zoom classes.
What does your grief feel like? Do you imagine it is like a river, or does it have a different shape? Does it change with time?