When we lose someone we love, we experience a rollercoaster of emotions, reactions of which we feel in our body as well as our mind. There is no exact guide on how to deal with grief. Everyone has a different relationship with the one they have lost and therefore have a different way of grieving.

One of the most powerful lessons yoga teaches us is the art of surrender—the art of letting go. Using yoga to practice surrendering—whether it be to physical sensations or psychological challenges—can manifest powerfully beyond our mats. Knowing how to let go into the present moment can imbue our lives with transformative power, especially during times of grief or deep emotional turmoil.

Every time we step onto our mat, we’re offering ourselves the opportunity to welcome the practice of pratyahara. This fifth limb of yoga means to withdraw our senses from the outer world. During a state of pratyahara, we release our clinging to the external world; we let go of the need to touch, see, hear or feel anything beyond our true essence. In this state of surrender, we are not concerned with how a pose looks, whether our hips are tight—and as if by magic—our hearts become free to open. We no longer need mementos and items of lost loved ones to feel their presence within us, and become fed by the stillness found in the center of ourselves. During pratyahara, we connect to our true essence—which is unchanging.

To some, it may sound unfathomable that a series of physical postures or breath meditations could equip one with the tools necessary to move through grief, death and deep emotional pain. But over time, and with regularity, our practice teaches us to surrender to the present moment, no matter what that moment entails—and we learn that letting go is not only possible on our mat, but in all aspects of life. Read full article here.

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