It seems that I have gained many students at times of heartbreak or loss. Nothing quite grabs your attention like the pain of broken-heartedness: the loss of a relationship, the passing of a loved one, the brokenness that is experienced when a child leaves to go off to school or when a longtime pet dies. Financial ruin and illnesses alike bring with them lessons in opening and letting go. The key is to remain available through life’s circumstances and to fully feel.
When it is the learned response to contract and harden during these times, yoga offers an alternative. We can allow the feelings to warm us and wash over us, thawing us out from past wounds and opening us to the full range of our human emotions and our aliveness. Not only that, but the benefits of yoga are measurable. A recent study in India showed that even after just 15 days, the benefits of yoga and meditation yielded a lower resting pulse and lowered blood sugar, which helps to prevent heart disease.