Sometimes you get to the end of a yoga practice and realise it was just crap. Completely crap. Same teacher, same studio, same mat, same class. Last week it was great. This week crap.

It’s often not easy to pinpoint where the crap-ness has come from or why during that particular practice it decided to show up. Why it chose to ruin your yoga experience.

During a practice, teachers draw attention to a handful of elements.

  • Establishing a steady gaze point
  • Creating a steady foundation
  • Distributing weight evenly
  • Anchoring before elevating
  • Maintaining steadiness of breath
  • Protecting vulnerable body parts

Cues never contain:

  • Dialogue about the outcome
  • The word should
  • The word normal
  • Reference to aesthetics

I can’t help but feel guided by these cues in formulating a response to the current global circumstance.

The outcome is unknown.

Normal has gone.

Aesthetics are not even a consideration.

Prior to the onslaught of the C-word, many people arrive at yoga to ease discomfort in the body, to assist with injuries or deficits and to soothe mental health concerns. Yoga is exceptional at assisting with these things. It can also be a very influential voice in navigating challenging circumstances.

Steady gaze point. Be incredibility discerning about where you access your news. Ensure sources prove their legitimacy before you set your gaze upon them. During the week I found myself in the 2 metre presence of a liberal candidate running for re-election. I heard her tell a group of people that ScoMo had just announced we have to stand 4 meters away from each other outdoors. Confusion and fear went through the group. I walked 0.5 meters closer to her and told her that every interaction she has with people, particularly in her capacity as an MP has the power to either dampen down or incite hysteria. That was not at all what ScoMo said, please check your facts before you engage with people. Please make wise choices about your interactions.

Steady foundation. Lean into the simple structures of living; food, sleep, movement, sunshine, fresh air.

Distribute weight evenly. Many of us have historically given too much of ourselves to work. The current situation allows the opportunity to spread efforts evenly between work, family, meaningful conversations and deeper connections with fewer people.

Anchor before elevating. Before elevating into each uncertain, disrupted, potentially frightening day, take the time to anchor down. Find your feet, spread your toes and then lift your arches. Let the lift grow from the ground up.

Steadiness of breath. Slow, deep breathing provides an intrinsically rhythmic and dependable pattern both in sound and feeling. Given our current climate, with so much uncertainty and disruption to routine, carrying and connecting to something dependable can be a lifeline.

Protect vulnerability. This has become the epicentre of the pandemic. During a yoga practice, wrists can be abused plank after plank after plank. We protect the wrists by not using them, staying away from them, redirecting the muscular effort to bigger, more appropriately designed muscle groups. Recognise at risk populations and create a spacer of love between you and them.

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