6 Bits of Yogic Wisdom for a Pandemic

Yogis, this is what we’ve been training for!

You were not holding Warrior or doing your umpteenth Upward Dog in an hour to tone your butt or your arms. 

You’ve been training to be a warrior. 

To be strong and wise and even in mindset amidst a raging battle. 

To see clearly and steady yourself to lead others with grace and courage.

Do not forget your training. 

This now is your sadhana.

  • Breathe Deeply

Practice pranayama to keep your lungs expanded and healthy. Hear your breath if the going gets tough, if you get mired in the collective stress of these times. When the mind hears the breath and focuses on it, it calms. It believes again that everything is OK.

  • Be Present with Sensation

Remember long holds of asana? How you shook? How heat built up? Your teacher would remind you to be present. Be with all that arises. Ride the wave of sensation with equanimity. It all comes and goes. Witness. In this moment. And this moment. And this one. Surrender to what the moment brings. Not resisting. We are in a long hold. And it too shall pass.

  • Relax What You Can

Even during a challenging pose you can relax your face – your forehead and jaw. The most relaxed position for the face is a slight smile. Note Shiva’s expression; eyelids relaxed, corners of the mouth upturned. What else can you relax during this time? Are there rules that need to soften, expectations you can let go of for yourself or others?

  • Allow Feelings 

I have cried in heart opening poses, and raged inside during others. The asana can touch a place inside of us that was holding a memory, or a trauma that we don’t remember. This unprecedented experience may be triggering emotions in you. Allow them to move through. Feel it all the way. Once they pass through there is freedom, an openness where that was once stored. More Prana, life force, can flow.

  • Remember Stillness

After our practice we lie still in Savasana. As still as a corpse. I often tell my students that we are like a snow globe. After being squeezed, twisted, flipped upside down and shaken by the asana we lie still to let all the pieces drop into a new arrangement. We are being rearranged now. Perhaps all of society is.  After this, we will emerge new, changed. Periods of stillness and a slow return to activity can help us to adjust and to ascertain our new powers and the new way we wish to be in the world.

  • Trust the Practice

Life is the yoga teacher right now. Her practice is exactly what we need. Trust that. Just as you do what your yoga teacher says during a class, listen to Her. She is the Wisest of them all.

Jai Bhagwan.


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