Special note: The following practice was created to address the complex, often unexpected emotional and physical manifestations of Grief. As such, the routine can provide comfort and stability during any time of trepidation or uncertainty. The moves activate Root and Heart energy, thereby providing a sense of security and hopefulness.
If you find that to engage with the entire routine is too much on any given day, choose only that which resonates with and supports your immediate need. For example, if in a particularly raw state, perhaps you ease only into the bolstered Seated Forward Bend, and then directly to one or more parts of the closing meditation.
You can find detailed instructions for the practice outlined below in the follow-along audio version, at: anchor.fm/ellen-sanders-robinson.
*Side bends with thoracic spine mobilization
This set of movements gradually eases the chest and upper back out of a closed or frozen state. The progressive nature of the sequence provides options: For example, one can choose to work only with the first or second move, rather than proceed to the full expression of the movement. In this way, one can identify and appropriately honor emotional and physical limitations throughout the grieving process.
*Crow Squat with Heart projection
*Baby Pose with moving Yoga Mudra arms
This move from kundalini yoga helps to loosen and eject any energy blocks in the First, or Root Chakra. Stuck energy in this area can exacerbate feelings of insecurity. The assertive movement strengthens the nerves that may feel frazzled by adrenalin, or numbed by uncertainty.
*Kundalini Lotus with Breath of Fire
*Supported Forward Bend
Three-part Mudra Meditation:
1) Eyes closed; no particular focus. Hands on low belly, left over right, with right thumb on navel point. Inhale; suspend; squeeze Root Lock; release and exhale; repeat. Continue for 1 minute.
2) Right palm remains on belly; bring the left to rest on the Heart Center. Natural and conscious breathing for 1 more minute.
3) Bring right hand to cover left; interlock the thumbs; fingers spread and angle out toward shoulders. This is Garuda Mudra: Use judiciously to dispel emotional or physical exhaustion; or to steady shifting moods.
With the closed eyes turned up to gaze at the Third Eye, begin a simple version of a breath taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. Curl the tongue back, reaching the tip toward the rear roof of the mouth; inhale through slightly parted lips, deeply and steadily. Close the lips to exhale, slowly and completely, through the nose. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
To close, sit in simple stillness, or ease into Svasana to rest for as long as you like.