500 hour yoga certificationBy Sangeetha Saran

Can Yoga help for coping with loss? Everyone at one time or another has to cope with the effects of loss. Being a comprehensive way of life with a history that spans thousands of years, yogic philosophy has some very strong guidelines for helping sufferers of loss learn to cope. Simply applying yogic teachings during times of loss can help prevent any loss from becoming completely overwhelming.

One of the most damaging parts of loss is the tendency of individuals to regard feelings of loss as being permanent and insurmountable. In extreme cases the mind can reinforce these natural feelings and amplify them further. Left unchecked feelings of loss can create negative consequences that echo throughout the life of an individual.


One of the highest yoga training methods is that of self-examination. Through introspection, yoga practitioners analyze their feelings and put them into proper perspective. Due to the fact that yoga focuses intensively on the root causes behind certain feelings, this form of introspection can provide even the most grief stricken individual with hope. Yogic meditation, while not an instant cure, provides a glimpse of life beyond loss. For many this glimpse is enough to illuminate the path toward moving beyond loss.

There are many stages of loss. In the earliest and most profound stages it is not always possible to objectively apply yoga as a coping mechanism. During this time, the simpler techniques of breath control are most helpful. Repetition of simple breathing exercises gives the mind and bodies something to focus upon other than loss.


Mantras are also productive when coping with loss. When feelings of worry and sadness arise, simply repeating a familiar mantra can help to break the cycle of negative thinking. Mantras have the added benefit of being easy to practice in any situation.

All yogic behaviors can be applied as a means of positively coping with loss. Asanas relax the mind and body, pushing negative thoughts away. Pranayama techniques serve to increase self control. Even simply reading, studying or contemplating yogic philosophy can reduce feelings of loss and improve a person’s overall outlook. The reason being, you are giving your mind another task instead of grieving.


Truly eliminating the effects of loss may never be possible. In these cases, it is still possible to greatly improve the outlook and disposition of a person in grief. Whatever the ultimate result, applying yoga training to real life situations is a constructive means of dealing with traumatic events.

Successfully eliminating the negative consequences of loss requires adopting a new philosophy. Unless the underlying negative habits that contribute to depression and sadness are eliminated, there is always the chance that these habits will return.

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