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How Breathwork Can Support You During Times of Grief

July 27, 2021

blog post illustration

How Breathwork Can Support You During Times of Grief

Besides breathing, grieving is one of the most natural things that we do. We are designed with the capacity to grieve, and we intuitively know how to do it. Yes, it is sad, gut-wrenching, and hurts our hearts, but it is organic. Thus, grieving is not the problem, it is our relationship to it, a relationship that is largely impacted by the societal undervaluing of vulnerability.

July 27, 2021


photograph of Vivian Rosenthal

Vivian Rosenthal

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photograph of Sydney Struble

Sydney Struble


How Breathwork can Support You During Times of Grief

Besides breathing, grieving is one of the most natural things that we do. We are designed with the capacity to grieve, and we intuitively know how to do it. Yes, it is sad, gut-wrenching, and hurts our hearts, but it is organic. Thus, grieving is not the problem, it is our relationship to it, a relationship that is largely impacted by the societal undervaluing of vulnerability.

As such, we tend to push grief down, not wanting to feel the pain and the hurt that accompanies it. As a result, the unprocessed grief creates energetic blockages within the body and causes us to shallow breathe.

Shallow breathing puts us in the sympathetic nervous system, fight or flight mode, exacerbating anxiety and stress. This chronic shallow breathing makes it challenging to work with and through grief. Fortunately, we have breathwork, conscious deep rhythmic breathing, to move us into the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing calm and relaxation. This state of being offers us the opportunity to clear and unwind stuck and stagnant energy in the body, the energy of grief.

Grief needs space to heal. At Frequency, we offer in-person and online guided breathwork classes as a container for you to be with your emotions, generating space for deep healing.

The Breathwork Container - A Microcosm of the Macrocosm:

During a breathwork session, a plethora of emotions, thoughts, and sensations can rise to the surface, some of which invoke a sense of discomfort. Learning how to be with these emotions through breathwork techniques can help prepare you to manage these states as they arise on a larger scale.

Thus, this breathwork container offers us the ability to be with grief in a safe manner, affording us the opportunity to process, release, and feel the emotion, all integral components of the healing journey. Being able to sit with the grief in this contained space helps us be with the emotions that arise in day to day life because we not only know that we are more than capable of being with the discomfort, but we also know that we will be okay.

Breathwork can support us during times of grief, as it allows us to tap into ourselves and bring us back into our bodies, the place where we naturally know how to grieve. When we become embodied, we become more mindful of our thoughts and feelings, granting a greater sense of stability and control in what may seem to be a very chaotic time.

Our Frequency Breathwork practice teachers are here to hold space for you, as you move in and out of the discomfort in a manner that feels comfortable for you. They hold the space for you to truly feel, unwinding the unprocessed emotions, stagnant energy, and what no longer serves you.

A Breathwork Technique for Alleviating Grief:

To begin, find a comfortable seated position, whatever that may look like for you. You can place a pillow or bolster underneath your seat for a little extra comfort as well. Then, close your eyes if it feels safe. If not, you can simply soften your gaze down to the floor in front of you.

The breath pattern is simple, yet effective. Take a deep breath in through the nose, allowing the belly to expand, and then exhale strongly out through the mouth. Allow the exhalation to circulate the space, letting go of what no longer serves you in this moment.

Repeat this pattern at a rhythm that feels comfortable and sustainable for you. Also know that you have full permission to dip in and dip out when it feels right for you.

Journey with the breath to feel, process, and release. Let breathwork be your companion.

updated on July 17, 2021


photograph of Vivian Rosenthal

Vivian Rosenthal

Vivian is the co-founder of Frequency, a creative entrepreneur and breathwork facilitator.
View Classes
photograph of Sydney Struble

Sydney Struble

Sydney is a perpetual student who pursues the exploration of the interplay between mind, body, and spirit. She is in the Spirituality Mind-Body program at Columbia University and a certified yoga instructor.


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