1. Begin lying on the ground on your side in the fetal position where you have landed after collapsing on the bathroom floor.

2. Curling your knees into your belly, hold on tightly for dear life and imagine yourself as a baby inside your mother’s womb, warm and safe–unless your mother is the one you lost, in which case think of anything BUT this.

3. Bring your hands together in prayer position in front of your heart. If you can no longer find your heart, bring your hands in front of the cold dark space in your chest where your heart used to be.

4. Rub the palms of your hands together to create some heat, and then press the warm palms flat over your empty heart-space.

5. Feel your frozen ice-heart shatter into a million tiny sharp fragments that are now traveling the length of your body, cutting into you like slivers.

6. Exhale the breath you have been holding since before you were lost. Inhale breath in gulps like someone who came dangerously close to drowning in their own tears.

7. Invite your breath to steady and deepen, picturing the ice fragments in your body thawing as you melt into a puddle on the bathroom floor.When you can find the herculean strength it takes to move, gently roll over into child’s pose, hips over ankles, pressing your third eye chakra into the cold, dirty tiles. Pretend not to notice how filthy you have let your bathroom become.

8. Gently rock yourself back and forth, keeping time to the slow rhythm of your own keening wail. The keening can be an internal sound or expressed out loud, depending on your comfort level and whether or not the windows in the bathroom are open and your neighbors are home.9. Slowly draw yourself up to hero’s pose, seated on your knees, feeling the ache where they press hard into the tiled floor and drawing a sick sense of satisfaction from the pain. Clasp your hands over your mouth when you realize that the wailing sound you thought was in your head is actually coming out of your mouth and causing the neighbor’s dogs to howl.10. Roll up to standing, using the toilet for support. Direct your attention to your breath and away from sudden homicidal rage towards whomever left the seat up.

11. Come strongly into mountain pose in front of the sink. Press down through your feet and draw length up the body. Resist the urge to look in the mirror at how alarmingly puffy and blotchy your face is.

12. Exhale as you hinge at the hips, folding halfway with a flat back into pike pose over the sink. Continue to focus on your breath and away from the dried toothpaste stains.

13. Turn on the water and cup your hands together, using the water to wash the tears and snot from your face. Bring some to your mouth and drink deeply of it to combat your pending dehydration.Wet a washcloth, turn off the water, and turn your body away from the sink as you release into a full forward fold. Press your hips to the ceiling and your feet to the floor and release through the spine as you use the washcloth to wipe up the puddle of tears, snot, and melted-ice-heart from where you were laying on the ground.

14. Anchoring through the feet, reverse swan dive to standing, lengthening through the body into Mountain pose. Soften the shoulders away from the ears, opening the chest and drawing the hands together once again in front of your heart space.

15. Stand here in Mountain pose and breathe softly until you can breathe one full round of breath without hiccuping and breaking into ugly-cry.

16. Open your eyes, and then the bathroom door.

The grief in me honors the grief in you.


lizpetrone.com | A Yoga Sequence For Grieving on the Bathroom Floor

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