I hope everyone is doing well and stays healthy. During this weird and stressful time, it is difficult for me to type up any content to share. I am sure the Coronavirus Pandemic makes a lot of us more stressful than ever. Whether we like it or not, it is an undeniable fact and we all have to face it. Though I feel calm, I am restless. A lot is going on in my head, but I can't come up with a clear thought. This is the third week of Shelter-In-Place and I am trying my best to hang in there. I am an indoorsy person, so it is not a problem for me to stay home. In fact, part of me enjoys such lifestyle very much. Not everyone can handle the lockdown, but I invite you to look at the bright side. Looking at things from different angles gives us different perspectives. Just like yoga asana practice, the same "shape" can be presented in many ways, which challenge our physical body and mental state in different levels.
Let's look at the shape of a straight line for example. Four pictures below show how the same shape is created in different asanas. I can lie down on my belly or on my back. I can also stand on my feet or go upside down to the headstand. Either way, I am creating the same shape, one straight line, either horizontally or vertically. However, these four poses present different levels of difficulties. Of course, standing straight and lying on the belly are easier than inversion and low boat pose (lying on the back with legs and shoulders lifted off the ground). Depending on the challenging level of the pose, my mind and body react differently.
My day to day routine is more or less the same and it doesn't stop because of Shelter-In-Place. I don't stop eating, working, practicing yoga, and exercising. My routine is like the shape of a straight line in the four poses mentioned above. Being Shelter-In-Place or not can be interpreted as how I create a straight line. To me, working from home is more comfortable (standing and lying on my back) than dealing with the traffic to go to the office (inversion and low bow pose). Some of you may feel opposite. Either case, I am trying to keep my life going, aka creating a straight line. When I am in easier asanas (familiar environment), I focus on improving techniques. While I am in challenging poses (dealing with uncertainty), I strive to find ease and to connect with the breath. Regardless how I feel, there is always something for me to work on.
When things are normal, I focus on my daily practice. I track the progress and pay attention to the difference of my body each day. In unprecedented times, I shift my focus inward to deal with fear, to be in tune with my body, to advance my knowledge. Since most people are "trapped" at home right now, whether you enjoy it or feel suffocated, I suggest you to use this opportunity to grow not just to endure the current situation and to find comfort in this uncomfortable situation. Just like how I try to find ease and breathe calmly in challenging poses like kapotasana.
There are more live streaming yoga classes and workshops than ever, especially those offered by senior teachers. One of my beloved Ashtanga teachers, Harmony Slater, offers free daily live class since March 20 to everyone. The class is directed to all levels of practitioners. Another senior teach David Garrigues moved his NYC workshops to online via Zoom past weekend. I normally wouldn't be able to attend workshops like this due to work schedule and high traveling cost, but I was able to practice with him this time. Garrigues will teach four online courses, Led Primary class every Friday, in the month of April. Another well known Ashtanga teacher Kino MacGregor teaches free live courses on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition to that, she leads workshops every Saturday starting from March 28th till April 18th (with fee). Other senior teachers offer online courses include, but not limited to, David Robson and Jelena Vesic, Taylor Hunt, and Eddie Stern. Now is the perfect time to go inward and to work on self-development, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and professionally.
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