Dear Friends in Yoga,
I just wanted to bring this term to a close with some thoughts on the Coronavirus situation and how we might apply our yoga principles to it – yoga is still relevant!
Ahimsa –non-violence, compassion. Be compassionate to those who may be ill, needing support, or not coping with this crisis. Be kind to yourself and look after your needs – eat well, rest, fresh air, boost your health and immune system.
Satya – truth, honesty. Be honest with yourself and others about how you are feeling. Are you well enough to go out (even if you’d really like to)? Might you have picked up the virus – or is it really just a heavy cold that you have? Try not to spread fear with half-truths and unfounded theories.
Asteya – non-stealing. Taking more than we need comes from a fear of lack – and we’ve seen the results of that already! Hoarding leaves others short (and leads ultimately to wasting the excess) so try to just buy / have what you need – know that there is enough – you have enough.
Brahmacarya – continence, conserving energy. Ask yourself if your actions are conserving your energy or dissipating / wasting it (eg worry, fear, rushing around unnecessarily). Low energy makes us more prone to illness.
Aparigraha – non-grasping. Try not to ‘hold’ this situation / experience too tightly – try not to obsess about it. It’s just another experience in life, hold it lightly, it will pass.
If you are going to practice pranayama make sure you wash your hands before touching your face!
Remember the importance of moving out of the ‘stress’ response and into the ‘tend & befriend’, then ‘rest & digest’ responses. Stress and fear do not benefit the immune system – so be kind to yourself, use relaxation techniques, longer exhale breathing, chant, do things that ‘feed your soul’, eat well. These will all help you stay out of the ‘stress’ response and boost and strengthen your health and healing capabilities.
And if you feel you need to self-isolate, make sure you stay in communication with friends and family to help stay positive and connected.
Take care of yourselves and each other.