Do you practice yoga? If so, you’re in good company. Over the past several years, participation in yoga has risen steadily, with the number of participants in the United States rising from 17.8 million in 2008 to 26.27 million people in 2016.

It’s clear that people find yoga beneficial, but have you ever considered that it might be good for someone who is grieving?

More than just an exercise routine, yoga is a proven stress reliever that is beneficial to the body in many ways. It improves strength and balance, is beneficial to the cardiovascular system, reduces blood pressure, increases energy, and can even help people dealing with mental illness.

At yoga’s core is the kind of mindfulness that researchers say can help lower anxiety and stress. In fact, a study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, indicated that participating in just 12 minutes of yoga each day for eight weeks could reduce stress levels enough to lower the immune system’s inflammation response.

For those who are mourning, it can reduce both the physical and mental pain of grief.

Grief is exhausting. It’s emotionally draining, and when you’re grieving, you may not be sleeping, eating, or exercising sufficiently. Yoga can help, reducing fatigue by combining movement, rest, and stress reduction with the cultivation of energy and the activation of the nervous system’s rest and renewal response.

Yoga keeps us in the present, helping us focus through mental and physical exercise. It also encourages us to care for our mind, body and emotions, which is necessary for healing when we are grieving.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we offer yoga classes not just for those who are grieving, but for anyone interested in improving wellness and overall well-being. Come for meditative yoga in one of Oakland’s most beautiful landmarks and stay, if you’d like, for a free guided historical tour. Please call 510.379.5200 for more information.