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Yoga for Grief Relief: Simple Practices for Transforming Your Grieving Mind and Body Paperback – June 1, 2014
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About the Author
The author thanks his freelance editor, Elliott Vogel, for his creative assistance on Yoga for Grief Relief. Vogel is a freelance writer and editor. A student of yoga for over ten years, Vogel’s journey studying the philosophy and practice of yoga originated under the tutelage of the book’s author, Antonio Sausys. He currently resides in Mill Valley, CA.
Foreword writer Lyn Prashant, PhD, FT, IGT, SYVC, is a somatic thanatologist, certified grief counselor, massage therapist, yoga instructor, author, and international presenter. She is the director and founder of Degriefing® (Integrative Grief Therapy) and the Institute of Somatic Thanatology.
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I think depth of grief is not as important as how serious you are about learning how to process grief. If you are in the camp of "being strong for others" keeping a stiff upper lip and big boys don't cry you may not make the mind body connection immediately. But if you were raised that way and looking for a door out - this is a useful exit strategy. What the book teaches first is muscle awareness through the joint freeing series. Here's where I think it falls apart for some people, but this is not the author's fault. Even in a live class I've seen some people close their eyes and get very curious about their own body. Other people? Not so much, they sit there winging an elbow or flexing their feet with no interior dialogue.
It won't work if there is too much disconnect. Definitely what you get out of it is what you put in.
Regarding how seriously you take yoga - well - hmmm - don't feel you have to be an advanced practitioner to use this book. The poses are easy. Having a prior yoga practice will help only if in your current practice you have achieved kinesthetic awareness. If you do, if you already buy into the mind body connection, then yes you will learn quickly. You might even use the sequence to facilitate a grief workshop. But even if you've never done yoga, what I like about this book, is you can do your own therapy at home. Process in a safe place by yourself. The process will still work.
You don't have to believe yoga will help your grief so much as you have to believe posture effects emotions. Studies show a habitual posture of slumped shoulders, caved chest, frown, causes a person to feel depressed. Google it or check out Sian Beilock's work at the University of Chicago - the body effects the mind.
Why only four stars not five? I was a little disappointed in this one way - the joint freeing series isn't new to me. The concept of body posture effecting psychology isn't new to me. Only the idea of using yoga for grief therapy is. If I had known the most of the book was an in depth tutorial of joint freeing series and only the remaining third was grief discussion I would have waited to find a second hand copy for less $$.
That said, his yoga program works as soon as you are willing to do the daily practice.
The physical, mental, and spiritual release that doing the practice provides truly does help your body pain decrease, your mental fog lift, your engagement with life return, and eventually you begin to "ring the bells that still will ring."
Antonio is one of the bravest teachers I have ever encountered. He dares to stand in the middle of a room full of people who are blinking and barely breathing from the facts of their lives, from the pain of loss, from the dizzying blows life has landed and he calmly and passionately states,
"The Universe conspires in your favor." With complete faith in that statement he then compassionately stands with you as you process your pain to make way for life.