Yoga is a way of living.
If you’ve had any classes with me you know I try to teach all the limbs of yoga, as a way of being.
So, how do we yoga our COVID experience?
What do I mean? Do stretched hamstrings and stronger core muscles help?
I’m talking about how flexible and accepting we are of one another’s choices, particularly around vaccination.
I wrote this piece, “How to Yoga the COVID anti-vaxx/vaxx War.”
It’s the result of personal journaling, meditating, news filtering. I’ve been trying to understand all the lines being drawn in the sand over who is not vaccinated and who is. I’ve been trying to understand the mockery and insensitivity being lobbed at people who are dying of COVID.
We become better people and live more freely by practicing it.
And guess what? Life asks us to practice it on her time schedule.
We don’t just practice breathing and movement in a yoga class. We are learning so that we practice outside of the studio, in real time.
And it’s not perfect. We encounter what’s in the way of that muscle stretching or that hip joint moving and we have to apply acceptance and patience, otherwise we hurt ourselves. But we keep practicing, gradually and with commitment.
Ahimsa, non-violence/non-harming, is a part of one of the first limbs of yoga.
We apply ourselves and see the obstacles in the way of our own wish for non-harm.
In the case of COVID vaccination shaming, I believe we are attacking one another out of fear.
And fear is a huge obstacle.
We can’t control the pandemic and we’re afraid, so we attack or shame someone else.
We are afraid of doing life differently and having things not “return to normal,” so we target others we feel are not doing the right thing, like we are.
But fear is not an excuse to be mean, degrading or otherwise harmful.
Harm doesn’t get a hall pass.
If you’re having a hard time with what I’m sharing, please talk to me, don’t attack me.
Maybe pause and meditate on what it might feel like to get COVID and have loved ones wishing you to survive, to see children grow up, to be a part of their lives. Maybe pause and imagine what some of those loved ones feel when they see headlines or rebuking comments online.
Pause. Breathe. Meditate.
Recite to yourself the Metta meditation:
May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I know peace. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you know peace.
Envision yourself, your loved ones, those you know casually, those you don’t know, and those you don’t like.
Let’s keep practicing off the mat and on it, together, wishing only the best for each other.