Yoga and Grief
Hannah is the Founder of Hanban Yoga. Her motto, feel Confident, Calm and Connected. We're privileged for her to share with us her personal story and how yoga has helped with her grief of losing her parents. Read Hannah's story below.
I have been putting off writing this blog post since Kat asked me to write it sometime last month.
In the same way I have resisted vocalising the real pain that grief has been causing me for over two years.
Not knowing what to write
Not knowing what to say
Not knowing how to feel
Avoidance and shutting down at its finest in fear of what will come out.
Until about an hour ago when I admitted that I’ve had enough, and I can’t keep pretending.
It finally came out loud and clear in a session with a loving mentor, yoga teacher and friend of mine.
What I really want is to reach down my throat, pull out my heart and replace it with a new one that doesn’t hurt so much.
It hurts because my dad died in 2017.
It hurts because seven months later my mum died.
It hurts because the two people who brought me to life are dead and the little girl inside of me does not understand why they left.
And that little girl has done her best to ‘think’ and ‘make sense’ of the unthinkable when all she really needs to do is feel safe enough to cry, be held and told that she will be ok.
This bit hurts too because I have come to realise that this emotional need is deeply buried - associated with some unconscious pain that makes it hard for me to acknowledge or find the language to express this to myself or others.
Spending time on the yoga mat and exploring movement has become my safe space and allows me to guide my body gently and patiently through my grieving.
You may have heard the phrase ‘The issues are in our tissues,’ this scientific fact simply means that as your body is a huge part of you - it must also be part of your healing. We cannot forget that we have a body, heart, and mind and the events in our lives impact all these layers.
When I am on the yoga mat, I don’t have to pretend that everything is ok I can give myself time to notice, witness and welcome all the sensations without pushing them away.
Time to allow those deeply embedded and suppressed emotions to make their way to the surface to be expressed and released.
Time to listen to and follow the wisdom of the body.
So, I am learning that some things cannot be explained with words and we need to give ourselves permission to feel it – even when it hurts. I am also accepting that each of our our nervous systems, energetic heart centres and brains respond to trauma in different ways.
This is what makes grief such a personal process and we will all move through the experience differently.
What I can share with you is that embodied movement is bringing me back to life so that I can keep this heart and be with whatever is present one day at a time.
Bodywork is the direction I am moving towards and have recently started some online classes guiding those people who are curious about developing a greater awareness of their physical, emotional, and mental bodies. Please contact me if this is something you feel drawn to.
With loving kindness
Hannah is based in the UK. Get in contact with Hannah by visiting her site or follow her on instagram @hanbanyoga.