Yoga Works for Practicing Forgiveness

Yoga Works for Practicing Forgiveness

Yoga works for practicing forgivenessBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Let’s look at how Yoga works for practicing forgiveness. One of the primary ways that many Yoga students get stymied emotionally is by carrying around the burden of not forgiving themselves for their own shortcomings and transgressions.


Forgiving One’s Self

Many of us are much harder on ourselves than we are on the people that we feel have mistreated us in some fashion. For example, it is often easier to forgive somebody for being rude or insensitive at work, than it is to forgive ourselves for being intentionally mean to a family member or friend. And yes, even though we may be adept at many of the Yoga postures, we may still find ourselves not behaving in the most uplifting fashion, shall we say!


Carrying Baggage

If you are carrying around the burden of not forgiving yourself for a past transgression, releasing that energy through Yoga will help to free your heart to love again. You know that heart opening poses are one of the ways that Yoga works for practicing forgiveness.

Heart opening poses are back bending Yoga postures are particularly good for releasing constriction around the Heart Chakra. Hip opening Yoga poses are also great asanas for delving deep into the emotional pain and internal recrimination that many Yoga practitioners carry around, sometimes for years.

Additionally, I find that if I am stuck emotionally or am unable to release some painful emotions, I unconsciously hold my breath. So, in those instances, practicing Yogic breathing techniques, such as Skull Shining Breath and Bhastrika Pranayama, helps to dislodge and release these heavier, tamasic emotions.


About Kapalabhati Pranayama

Kapalabhati Pranayama is also called Skull Shining Breath. It is part of the Yogic system of cleansing, known as Shatkriya. This pranayama exercise is aptly named because it truly invigorates your entire body as it uplifts your mind.

This breathing exercise can be practiced in either the beginning of a Yoga class or towards the end of a class, just prior to Corpse Pose or meditation. Kapalabhati Pranayama is a wonderfully effective breathing technique for releasing and clearing away mental strife and agitation, while it energizes your whole body.


Internal Freedom

This clarity will help to create a feeling of internal freedom and spaciousness that will, in turn, give your more of an ability to release constricting thoughts and emotions. When these denser, heavier thoughts and emotions are released, you will find that it is much easier to forgive yourself for your own shortcomings.

This state of internal forgiveness and independence will allow you to open your heart and truly love yourself and others. As Ammachi, the great “hugging saint” from India said, “Forgive. It is the way to peace and love.” Well, there you have it!

How to do Skull Shining Breath

When you are ready to practice Skull Shining Breath, come to a comfortable seated position on your Yoga mat. If your hips feel tight, you may wish to place a folded blanket or Yoga bolster underneath you for additional support.

Before beginning your practice of Kapalabhati Pranayama, simply take a few deep breaths at your own pace. Notice if you are inhaling and exhaling fully and completely.

If you are not inhaling or exhaling fully, slow down the pace of your breathing and mindfully allow the life sustaining fresh oxygen to fill your lungs. When your lungs are fully expanded, release your breath completely with a moderately-paced exhale.


Technical Practice

To practice Kapalabhati Pranayama, take one smooth, complete inhale, pause, and then forcefully release the air out of your lungs in a set of ten small exhales, by pulling in your lower abdominal area forcefully like a pump.

When you are first learning to practice Skull Shining Breath, it is helpful to place your palms on your lower abdomen so that you can feel your stomach pull in with each partial exhale.

One inhale followed by a forceful exhale divided into ten parts is considered one round of Skull Shining Breathing. Practice this Yogic breathing technique for ten rounds.

Improving Your Practice

As you become more experienced with Skull Shining Breath, you may want to increase your count to thirty rounds. If you become light-headed while practicing this invigorating and cleansing pranayama, rest and breathe normally for a few minutes, and then continue your practice of Skull Shining Breath when you are ready.

When you finish your practice of Skull Shining Breath, pause for a few minutes before moving on to the next Yoga pose to enjoy the vibrant mental clarity and pulsating energy coursing throughout your whole being. That’s how Yoga works for practicing forgiveness.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


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How Yoga Works for Practicing Forgiveness

By Faye Martins and Jenny Park

Welcome to the soothing world of yoga, where the mind finds solace, and the body discovers balance. If you’ve ever found it challenging to let go of past hurts or release the burden of resentment, this article is for you. We’re about to embark on a journey that combines the powerful practice of yoga with the transformative act of forgiveness.

Our fast-paced lives, filled with endless distractions and pressures, make it easy to hold onto grudges and allow negative emotions to consume us. But through yoga, we can cultivate compassion, understanding, and forgiveness towards ourselves and others. So roll out your mat, take a deep breath in, and explore how yoga can unlock the door to forgiveness in our hearts!

How Yoga Can Help You Forgive

Yoga is not just about physical exercise and flexibility; it can also transform our emotional well-being. Regarding forgiveness, yoga can be a powerful tool for healing and letting go of past hurts.

One way that yoga helps us forgive is by teaching us mindfulness. Through deep breathing and being present in each pose, we learn to become more aware of our emotions and thoughts. This awareness allows us to observe any feelings of anger or resentment without judgment, creating space for forgiveness.

In addition, yoga poses themselves can help release tension from the body, which is often where we hold onto negative emotions. Poses like heart openers like Camel Pose or Bridge Pose can help open up the chest area where we tend to store hurt feelings.


Alternative Methods

Practicing forgiveness also requires an inner shift in perspective, which meditation can support. By incorporating meditation into our yoga practice, we cultivate a sense of compassion toward ourselves and others. Loving-kindness meditations specifically focus on sending love and positive energy toward those who have caused us pain.

Sleeping meditation is another technique that works wonders for practicing forgiveness. As we drift off into sleep with a forgiving mindset, our subconscious mind continues this healing work throughout the night.

Yoga Nidra helps promote deep relaxation while maintaining awareness. In this state between waking and sleeping consciousness, we can plant seeds of forgiveness through affirmations or visualizations.

By integrating these various aspects of yoga into your practice regularly, you may gradually open up your heart and embrace forgiveness as part of your journey toward self-healing and growth.


Different Types of Yoga Poses for Forgiveness

Yoga is a powerful practice that can help us cultivate forgiveness. By combining physical movement with breathwork and mindfulness, yoga provides a holistic approach to healing and letting go of resentment. Various yoga poses specifically target forgiveness, allowing us to release negative emotions and create space for compassion.

One type of pose that can benefit forgiveness is the heart-opening pose, such as Camel Pose or Bridge Pose. These poses stretch the chest and open the heart center, helping us release any feelings of anger or hurt stored in this area. We allow ourselves to let go and forgive as we breathe deeply into these poses.

Twisting Poses

Another type of pose that can support forgiveness is twists. Twisting poses like Revolved Chair Pose or Revolved Triangle, Pose helps wring out tension from the body, including emotional tension. As we twist our bodies and detoxify physically, we can release old resentments and invite forgiveness into our hearts.

In addition to heart-opening poses and twists, forward folds can also help cultivate forgiveness. Forward folds like Standing Forward Bend or Seated Forward Fold encourage introspection and surrender. They allow us to turn inward and connect with our inner wisdom while releasing any lingering negativity toward others.

About Inversions

Inversions like Headstands or Shoulderstand offer a fresh perspective on challenging situations, which can aid in forgiving others who may have wronged us. Inversions require focus, balance, and trust – qualities that mirror letting go and embracing forgiveness.

By incorporating these different types of yoga poses into your practice, you can begin to heal past wounds and cultivate a greater sense of compassion towards yourself and others.

Remember, yoga is not just about achieving physical flexibility; it’s also about finding mental and emotional flexibility.

Forgiveness may take time, but through consistent practice yoga provides a safe space for the healing process to unfold.


Meditation for Cultivating Forgiveness

Meditation is a powerful tool for cultivating forgiveness. It allows us to dive deep into our inner selves and explore the root causes of our pain and resentment. By bringing awareness to these emotions, we can begin the process of healing and letting go.

One effective meditation technique for forgiveness is Loving-Kindness Meditation, also known as Metta Meditation. This practice involves directing feelings of love, compassion, and forgiveness toward ourselves and others. By repeating simple phrases such as “May I be happy” or “May you find peace,” we cultivate a sense of empathy and understanding.

Another meditation technique that can support the practice of forgiveness is Mindfulness Meditation. In this form of meditation, we observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment or attachment. By acknowledging our anger or hurt without getting caught up in them, we create space for forgiveness to arise naturally.

Visualization meditations can also help cultivate forgiveness. Through guided imagery, we can visualize ourselves forgiving those who have wronged us or recognizing forgiveness from others. This visualization helps to shift our perspective and open ourselves up to the possibility of healing relationships.

Incorporating meditation into your daily yoga practice can significantly enhance your ability to forgive yourself and others. With consistent effort and dedication, you will find that forgiveness becomes more accessible, allowing you to experience greater peace within yourself.

Sleeping Meditation Works for Practicing Forgiveness

We often think of actively engaging in meditation or yoga poses when it comes to forgiveness. But did you know that even while you sleep, you can cultivate forgiveness through sleeping meditation?

During sleep, our minds are still active on a subconscious level. This makes it an ideal time to work on forgiving ourselves and others. Setting intentions before falling asleep can direct our dreams and thoughts toward forgiveness.

One technique for practicing forgiveness during sleep is to visualize the person or situation that needs healing. As you drift off into slumber, imagine sending them thoughts of love and compassion. Picture yourself releasing any grudges or negative emotions associated with them.

Another approach is to use affirmations related to forgiveness as a mantra before bed. Repeat phrases like “I release all resentment” or “I forgive fully and unconditionally” as you settle into your sleep space.

By incorporating sleeping meditation into your routine, you allow your subconscious mind to process unresolved feelings and promote inner peace. Remember that healing takes time; be patient with yourself as you navigate this journey towards forgiveness.

Incorporating sleeping meditation into your practice may not lead to immediate results, but over time it can help shift your mindset towards forgiveness both during waking hours and throughout dream states. So remember, even when drifting off into slumber, there’s always room for growth in cultivating forgiveness within ourselves and extending it outwards toward others.


Yoga Nidra Works for Practicing Forgiveness

Yoga Nidra, also known as “yogic sleep,” is a powerful practice that can aid in cultivating forgiveness. This ancient technique involves deep relaxation and guided meditation, allowing you to explore the depths of your subconscious mind.

During a Yoga Nidra session, you enter a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Through this process, you can access unresolved emotions and beliefs that may be blocking your ability to forgive. By bringing these feelings to light, you have the opportunity to release them and create space for forgiveness to flourish.

The practice of Yoga Nidra works by guiding you through various stages of physical relaxation and mental awareness. As you relax your body and calm your mind, you become more receptive to positive suggestions for forgiveness. This allows you to reprogram any negative thought patterns or resentments that may be holding onto past hurts.

By regularly practicing Yoga Nidra with an intention towards forgiveness, you can gradually let go of anger, resentment, and grudges. It helps cultivate compassion not just for others but also for yourself. The deep relaxation experienced during Yoga Nidra promotes healing on both emotional and physical levels.

Incorporating Yoga Nidra into your forgiveness practice can bring about profound transformation in how you relate to yourself and others. It allows space for understanding, empathy, and ultimately letting go of past grievances. Through regular practice, Yoga Nidra becomes a powerful tool in the journey towards true forgiveness.

Remember though – Forgiveness is a personal journey unique to each individual’s experience – so take it at your own pace!

Morning Affirmations for Practicing Forgiveness

Start your day off right by incorporating morning affirmations into your yoga practice. Affirmations are positive statements that can help shift your mindset and promote forgiveness. As you flow through your yoga poses, take a moment to repeat these affirmations silently or aloud, allowing their power to permeate throughout your being.

Begin with a simple affirmation such as, “I am open to forgiving myself and others.” Repeat this statement several times as you move through gentle stretches like Child’s Pose or Cat-Cow. Focus on releasing any tension or resentment held in the body, allowing yourself to let go of past hurts.

Next, incorporate an affirmation that emphasizes compassion and understanding. For example, say to yourself, “I choose love over anger and forgiveness over bitterness.” Repeat this affirmation during heart-opening poses like Bridge Pose or Camel Pose. Visualize any negative emotions melting away as you breathe deeply into the chest.

As you continue your practice, include an affirmation centered around self-acceptance and growth. Say something like, “I am worthy of forgiveness and deserving of peace.” Allow this affirmation to guide you through more challenging poses such as Warrior II or Tree Pose. Embrace any physical sensations that arise as opportunities for personal transformation.

Conclude your morning affirmations with a reminder of gratitude and positivity. Affirm statements like, “I am grateful for the lessons learned from past experiences” or “I choose joy in every moment.” Express gratitude during grounding poses such as Mountain Pose or Savasana (Corpse Pose). Let these final affirmations settle into your consciousness before moving on with the rest of your day.

By incorporating morning affirmations into your yoga practice, you can cultivate forgiveness towards yourself and others from within. Start each day with intentionality and embrace the power of positive thoughts – watch how it transforms not only your yoga practice but also all aspects of life beyond the mat!



In this fast-paced and often chaotic world, practicing forgiveness can be a transformative act that brings peace and healing into our lives. And when combined with the ancient practice of yoga, forgiveness becomes even more accessible and powerful.

Through the physical postures, breathwork, meditation, and affirmations of yoga, we can cultivate a state of inner calmness that allows us to let go of past hurts and resentments. Yoga helps us develop compassion for ourselves and others, fostering an attitude of understanding and acceptance.

Whether you choose to incorporate gentle stretching poses like Child’s Pose or heart-opening poses like Camel Pose into your practice, each posture offers an opportunity for release and surrender. By moving our bodies in these intentional ways on the mat, we create space within ourselves to forgive those who have wronged us.


Meditation plays a crucial role in cultivating forgiveness as well. Taking time each day to sit in stillness allows us to observe our thoughts without judgment while developing a greater sense of self-awareness. Through meditation practices specifically focused on forgiveness—such as loving-kindness meditation—we can actively send wishes for peace and happiness not only to ourselves but also towards those who have caused pain.

Sleeping meditation is another technique worth exploring if you’re looking to deepen your capacity for forgiveness. By listening to guided meditations or soothing music before bed with the intention of letting go of grievances, we invite relaxation into both body and mind while setting intentions for forgiveness during sleep.

Yoga Nidra is yet another powerful tool that aids in practicing forgiveness. Known as “yogic sleep,” this guided relaxation technique takes practitioners through a series of visualizations designed to reduce anxiety levels while promoting emotional healing. By integrating forgiveness-focused imagery during Yoga Nidra sessions, we create fertile ground within which compassion can flourish.

Lastly, starting your day with morning affirmations centered around forgiving yourself and others sets a positive tone for the hours ahead. By consciously choosing forgiveness as a daily practice, we invite more joy.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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