Coronavirus, Yoga & Activism
Here we are at the end of September of 2020. This year will forever be a meme about how bad things can get.
My navigation through it all hasn’t been too bad. Annoying, more than anything. I got turned down for unemployment, lost money on Rolling Stones tickets, plane tickets and have money still tied up in a yoga retreat that may or may not happen in October, or March. I missed a few days of work when my daughter developed a cough and sore throat.
But we’re healthy, I’m working and able to pay the bills. The elders in my life, my mom and my father-in-law and his new bride, are healthy. Both have family members close by who can help as needed.
I am grateful every day, that I haven’t been more impacted by COVID, and I pray for those who have.
It isn’t just COVID that has made 2020 so difficult. There’s been violence in the streets of many cities. There have been peaceful protests that have been treated by law enforcement as if they were violent, resulting in more violence. Racism, which has been festering under the surface of our equal-rights-for-all country, has been brought to light and given a boost of confidence it should never have. It’s a presidential election year, something that always brings mud-slinging between the parties. But this year, it’s more like grenade-throwing.
In my last post, I discussed, from a yogic perspective, why this all might be happening. Today, I want to talk about what we can do.
The first thing we must do is take care of ourselves. If you’re like me, you want to do all the things. Donate time and money to the causes you care about, attend rallies, share information, read the New York Times, listen to the news, be informed, be able to speak and argue intelligently, take any and all actions to make the world a better place.
That is admirable. And it is exhausting. You can’t do all the things. I can’t do all the things. We can all do some things. And we need a plan. If you run willy-nilly into save-the-world mode, you will burn yourself out. Choose a few things you feel comfortable doing, and do them. Here are some ideas:
- Vote. This is a no-brainer and it needs to be on everyone’s list.
- Write to your representatives about something you find important. One subject per letter.
- Donate money to a cause you care for
- Donate time to a cause you care for
- Participate in peaceful protests, if you feel pulled to do so
- Host, teach or attend yoga classes or workshops (virtual or in person) that are donation based and giving to a cause you care about
- Vote with your dollar. Support local businesses. Support businesses that support your causes.
- Volunteer for a political campaign
- Volunteer for a social cause
Don’t try to do all of those things! Pick a couple. Start there.
Here are some things to do, for your own self-care and sanity:
- Spend less time on social media. If you do post, try to post good, informational, fact-based posts. Fact-check before you post. Don’t waste your time arguing with strangers.
- Stick with your spiritual practices. Whether it’s yoga or prayer or something else, keep at it.
- Spend time in nature
- Nurture yourself with healthy food
- Spend time with loved ones
- Relax. Even if you have to force yourself.
- Take stock. What do you really want to be doing with your life/work/family/relationships?
In my exercise in taking stock, I realized that I don’t necessarily want to be teaching weekly, public yoga classes. At least not right now. I want to teach the deeper stuff, to the people who want to learn the deeper stuff. Workshops, short courses, opportunities for connection. I recently did a mythology workshop and realized how much I love teaching and learning about it. I’d like to offer more. I always have people asking about Ayurveda, so I’d like to offer that. I am humbled to realize that at my age and with my years of experience, I am a senior teacher. I know there is a ton I don’t know about yoga, but I do know a lot, so I’d like to offer some mentoring to new teachers. I’ve got some other ideas as well. Please take a moment to let me know what you’re interested in (virtually or in-person), by replying to this email, or commenting below (if you’re reading this on my website or Facebook.)
Here are a few of the things I’m thinking about:
- Mythology workshop
- Ayurveda workshop
- Individual or pose group clinics (ex. Down dog clinic or standing poses workshop etc)
- Mentoring for new teachers
- Sequencing workshop for teachers
- Fall or Spring Cleanse/detox
- Adjustment clinic
- Yoga, Activism & Social Justice workshop
- Meditation workshop
- Women’s Full-Moon gatherings
- Yoga Book Club
I look forward to hearing from you!