My Grief Story

My Grief Story

When I was twenty years old, my mother died of a stroke. For two and a half years, I lived in a state of denial, completely disconnected from my feelings. When I was finally able to be with my pain, I discovered, to my astonishment, that my body had created an additional calcium deposit between one of my ribs and the breastbone—what the body will sometimes do in response to a fracture. In essence, what my mind had been hiding, my body showed with pristine clarity: I had a broken heart.

As life continued after the loss of my mother, I began training with Lyn Prashant, an outstanding grief counselor and therapist and creator of the Degriefing process, a comprehensive mind-body approach to grief therapy. She helped me learn that grief is one of our least-tapped sources of self-knowledge. Sometime after starting to work together, Lyn asked me to develop a yoga practice to address the body-centered effects of grief, which can range from feelings of lethargy to dull aches, tightness in the chest cavity, shortness of breath, and sleeplessness. I was well equipped through my training as a somatic psychotherapist and yoga teacher. But it was my own personal experience of grief that led me to build a sadhana, or spiritual discipline, that eventually became a holistic practice I call Yoga for Grief Relief.