Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss

Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss offers us a way to create a safe space to process the emotions that come when we are enduring a seemingly unbearable loss.

Classes offer an accessible way for grieving individuals to allow the ancient wisdom of Yoga to transform their current grief experience. While the often grief-illiterate world at large might encourage grievers to "get on with their lives," Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss instead offers an invitation to sit with, embrace, and grow through grief.

Just as grief is not one way or one thing, yoga is not one thing or one way.  Just as grief is an experience that affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually, Yoga sustains and strengthens us in all of those same areas.

Whether your grief journey is just beginning, or you have many years of familiarity with grief; whether you are new to yoga or are a seasoned practitioner - you will be welcome.

I invite you to take a deep breath, and if it feels right, allow me to accompany you on your grief journey.


Always feel free to contact Dawn directly at 928-295-5003 or to discuss Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss.

Or click here to view the Class Offerings or to book a private/group session with Dawn.


Client Testimonial: 

“I have had the pleasure of Dawn's yoga instruction for 6 months now, which coincided with a challenging time for me emotionally. She tailored our sessions to my skill level, and I appreciate the inspiring quotes that she incorporates into each class, and her gentle, spiritual, intuitive approach. Her personal yoga journey is inspiring to me, she has helped me tremendously!"

– Jennifer


“Call out to the whole divine night for what you love. What you stand for. Earn your name. Be kind, and wild, and  disciplined, and absolutely generous."
Dr. Martin Shaw

Yoga and Grief

While grief itself does not need to be healed, in grief there may be aspects of the body, mind, and spirit that can and should be healed. However, for grief itself, yoga allows for and gives us the means and ways to be in grief and to learn to grow our lives with the experience. We can be in grief and live a wholehearted, connected life at the same time.

  • The essential teaching of yoga is that we are whole and perfect as we are, in grief, in pain, in what we may perceive as a state of complete deprivation and heartbreak.
  • Yoga teaches us to accept who we are, where we are, how we are right now.
  • Yoga points us toward a knowing that we are more than a grieving person, while allowing and supporting our experience in grief.
  • Yoga helps us see ourselves, our world, the universe, our beloved dead, differently, in ways that can lead to peace, even within pain.
  • Yoga teaches us that we are whole and perfect just as we are, even if we do not believe it for ourselves.


Physical Benefits

In addition to helping us in overt ways to remember and realize our wholeness, there are scores of side benefits to practicing yoga.

For thousands of years, practitioners and teachers of the physical aspects of yoga have testified and taught that asana (physical posture) practice and yogic breathing exercises (pranayama) can provide:

  • Increased strength, flexibility, circulation.
  • Overall improvement of major body functions including digestion and elimination, immune system function and regulation of mental and emotional processes.


Additional Benefits

  • Yoga in all its forms is a powerful stress management tool.
  • Yoga can help us to be and to feel more spacious, to feel able to open our hearts, even when they are breaking, and to trust that we can find ourselves stronger and steadier than we believed we could be.
  • It engages our brain in ways that help us to feel more connected, more uplifted and accepting of what is.
  • Yoga is an all-encompassing path that can meet us where we are in grief, grounding us, even as it lifts us up.

What to Expect

  • Everything during class is simply an offering.  Each class might feature times of stillness, periods of movement, crystal bowl sound therapy, journaling, and/or a guided meditation. You may opt out of any activity that doesn't feel right for you.
  • Each week will feature a theme that focuses on how a particular aspect of yoga can be beneficial for a grieving individual.  These themes will be explored in a way that makes sense, whether you are brand new to yoga or an experienced practitioner.
  • In yoga, the saying is "No Pain, NO PAIN," meaning that if you experience physical pain, please stop what you're doing and rest. But if you have an emotional struggle, you'll be invited to stay with that feeling, using movement and breath to explore any discomfort with a sense of curiosity.
  • Grief, like yoga, is non-comparative and non-competitive. We don’t judge ourselves or compare ourselves to others. Your feelings are yours alone and will not be judged. Likewise, you will be expected to respect others' journeys, regardless of how similar or different they seem to yours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I do Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss?

  • We all have an experience, or experiences, we hold in our bodies. Strong emotions are often stored in the body.  Yoga allows us the space and freedom to physically process the emotions that often come when we endure an unbearable loss.
  • Through deep breathing and meditation, you will learn to calm your mind and find a sense of inner peace, even in the midst of emotional turmoil.
  • Our society often communicates that it’s time to “move on” or “get over” your loss. In a Compassionate Yoga class, your feelings will be acknowledged and honored, regardless of how long ago you experienced your loss.
  • You will find connection and solace from the collective energy of the group.


Will I have to “share”?

  • There may be opportunities to talk about your loved one, your loss, but it is completely optional as to whether you choose to share and how much.


I am not at my best, physically.  Can I still participate?

  • Modifications for each pose will be offered, and you are always free to opt out of any pose, pause and just be still.


What if I cry?  What if I don’t cry?

  • Compassionate Yoga for Grief and Loss will meet you where you are, knowing that emotions are complicated and often unpredictable. All emotions are accepted and affirmed.

More About Yoga and Grief

What Is Grief?

Grief can be described as an overwhelming emotional response to the loss of a loved one, a relationship, or anything that has great emotional significance.

There is no specific time frame associated with grief.

Even though grief has common emotions, each person experiences grief in their own individual ways.

What Can Cause Grief?

Grief is often associated with death, though grief can be triggered by many life changes.

Common situations that can cause feelings of loss or grief in a person include:

  • Loss of a loved one, like a child, parent or grandparent, due to death
  • Loss of a loved one due to incarceration
  • Death of a pet
  • Life changes (e.g., divorce or breakup, change in living situation, loss of a job)
  • Natural disasters or global events, such as a pandemic
  • Community violence

Grief and the symptoms of grief can impact a person physically, psychologically, mentally, cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, spiritually, philosophically…

Psychological symptoms related to grief vary from person to person.

These symptoms can present immediately, a time after the loss, or later on in life when a prompt occurs that is related to the loss.

One common and particularly painful psychological symptom associated with grief is guilt, due to wishing things could have been handled in a different manner, such as wishing things that were unsaid could have been resolved, or wondering if anything could have been done to prevent the loss.

Other psychological grief symptoms one may experience include:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Physical Symptoms:

Not only are people impacted psychologically by grief, but physical health can be impacted when grieving a loss as well.

Like psychological symptoms, these symptoms can also be felt immediately after the loss, or later on in life when a prompt presents that is related to the loss.

It should be noted that physical symptoms can be serious, so you should seek medical attention from a physician to rule out any underlying health concerns that could be impacting physical health.

Some physical symptoms of grief include:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Muscle tension
  • Appetite changes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Complications From Grief Symptoms:

Symptoms of grief and loss can impact a person’s life at home, work, and school. As symptoms progress, relationships may suffer as a need to withdraw and isolate from the outside world grows. People with severe anxiety due to grief may lose the desire to care for their own personal well-being and struggle to complete even basic hygiene needs.

“The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very close – the gratitude and the misery – and then, with a  semblance of faith, to let them fly."
Elizabeth Aquino