How Yoga Can Help You Heal After A Breakup

Let’s be honest - breakups suck. There’s nothing easy about them, regardless of who left whom. They immediately change everything about our everyday lives, and often leave us feeling heartbroken and empty. 

There are two main directions we tend to go to after a breakup - a period of stagnation, or a period of transformation. The transformation is something we want, but it can unravel in many possible ways, including both positive and painful stages. 

It would be a lie to say yoga can make that transformation simple, as nothing can do that for you. The process of grieving is natural and something you, unfortunately, need to go through. 

What yoga can do for you instead, is ensuring you DO transform after this difficult experience, that you’re learning from it, and using it to grow further, both mentally and spiritually.  

How Yoga Helps With Heartbreak

Breakups usually lead to a period of grief, and feeling disconnected from ourselves. There seems to be an emptiness within us, and we don’t feel whole.

The grieving process is natural, normal, and nothing you should try to avoid or be ashamed of. However, there are tools and approaches that can support and help you, and one of them is yoga. 

Here are four ways in which yoga can help heal a broken heart:

  • Yoga encourages you to look inward. That doesn’t only help you heal faster, but may also lead you to learn something from this difficult experience, and to use it for self-growth.
  • Yoga teaches you to connect with your true self, and to understand your own body and mind. With time, it may help you feel whole and complete again. Building a strong, stable and positive relationship with yourself will also translate into better relationships with others in the future. 
  • Yoga helps return us to the present moment. In the present, you’re not dwelling on the past, or worrying about what’s to come. You’re simply existing, here and now, where there is nothing to be afraid of.
  • Yoga gives you a safe space where you can cry, or in other ways, release all the emotions you feel, which is one of the key steps to healing. 

Specific Exercises

There are many yogic exercises and practices that may help you in healing. Here are some methods that you can try. 

Tantric Meditation

If you like visualization meditation techniques, you can give this Tantric method a chance. 

Sit or lie down somewhere where you feel safe, and where there are no distractions. Close your eyes, observe your breath for a moment. 

When you feel calm, bring your awareness to the area of the heart chakra.

As you breathe in, visualize a golden light slowly entering your heart center. With an exhalation, see this golden light expanding in the heart.

Keep doing this, focusing the most on the areas where you feel pain, or negative emotions. That’ll ensure you’re not avoiding them, but transforming them into pure energy and light. 

Standing Poses

Breakups make us feel sad, but they also make us feel weak and lower our confidence and self-esteem. 

Standing yoga positions can make you feel powerful again, as they boost your energy and force you to refocus your attention to maintain stability. Warrior poses are called that for a reason - they give you a sense of confidence and courage. They also teach you to keep your chest open, which can help release blocks in your heart center. 

Restorative Poses

While standing poses offer strength and power, restorative yoga poses allow you to be vulnerable and teach you to be gentle towards yourself. Here are some poses that may feel soothing after a breakup

  • Tortoise pose brings your heart center close to the earth, which helps you feel safe and grounded.
  • Sphinx pose literally opens and stretches your chest and heart center, and may relieve stress and boost your energy. 
  • Pigeon pose may relieve negative emotions like sadness and anger, which we tend to store in our hips.
  • Child’s pose is a deeply restorative asana, which often makes practitioners feel they are safe and allowed to be gentle, vulnerable, and emotional.
  • Corpse pose teaches you to surrender, and allow yourself to simply be, instead of trying to fix or control anything. 

Breathing exercises

Usually, our breath is something we do automatically and unconsciously. Yoga teaches us to become aware of our breathing, and use it to come back within. 

It is well known that deep and conscious breathing can lower stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. That alone makes it beneficial while you’re in the process of healing. 

Possibly even more important - conscious breathing returns you to the present moment.

Regardless of everything you’re going through, the present moment always brings you closer to your true being, which cannot be broken, or lost, and allows you to experience that you’re a part of a greater consciousness, so you’re never truly alone in your struggles.