During this time of Social Distancing, Find ‘Sangha’

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I had planned to write about yoga for fertility and provide some poses that can be fertility enhancing for this edition of my blog.  At this moment, I’m not sure that is the right direction to go.  I know that when things happen and life changes, we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and soldier on, as the saying goes, but I feel that I do have to acknowledge what is happening in our world right now and look at it from a yogic perspective.

So many of us have had careers put on hold as businesses are told to close their doors.  Education has ground to a halt with schools, colleges, and universities shutting down.  Our ability to perform self-care and to socialize has been minimized with gyms, yoga studios, and spas closing up. Others are told that they must keep working, even when social distancing cannot be maintained, but the joy of the work you have chosen could be swept out from under your feet in a scenario like that. There’s seems to be very little positive about this global pandemic that we are experiencing.

One of things I enjoy most about going to yoga class is the ‘sangha’.  In yogic tradition, ‘sangha’ denotes a community of lay practitioners and instructors who come together to serve and bring joy to one another and who inspire each other to contribute. In ‘sangha’, the contribution of each individual and the contribution of that community—as a whole—to the world, is of the utmost importance.

Before I started to practice yoga, I don’t think I realized the importance of ‘community’, but once I began to experience that connection with other like-minded people, I saw what I had been missing.  Before or after a yoga class, I look forward to connecting with my yoga friends.  We often share positive and sometimes the more challenging aspects of our lives with each other.  People are there to listen and support the best way they can.  However, the amazing aspect of yoga ‘sangha’ is the notion that when I come to practice at the studio, there are other like-minded people in that same location, who believe in the power of the asana, meditation, and pranayama to clear the mind, detox, strengthen, and relax the body, and refresh the spirit. So I don’t even have to speak with each individual each day.  I know they are there, with me.

The collective energy in the room buoys you up when you are feeling low, and when you are strong and positive your energy can contribute to lifting someone else’s spirit.  This kind of community support can be found in so many nooks and crannies of our modern lifestyle, whether we belong to a yoga studio, a bridge club, a sports team, a musical group, or a model railroading club; finding that ‘sangha’ is important for our mental and emotional well-being!

With ‘social distancing’, our ability to connect face-to-face has been impeded, but with the wonder of technology these days we can connect electronically.  Another component of yogic philosophy is ‘impermanence’, the concept that nothing stays the same: life is constantly changing and throwing us curve balls, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.  If we resist change we cause ourselves suffering and pain, as we stay stuck in the past, and if we are open to good change, then we also have to open to that which we see as bad—it is all apart of the same concept and simply two ends of the same spectrum.  It comes down to ‘living in the moment’, and learning to go with the flow—not that that is ever easy when the change feels so bad! But change is constant, so truly, this too shall pass.

Because, at this time, you cannot connect face-to-face with your community, think about connecting electronically, focus on that interest that brought you together in the first place and Woman repeating yoga exercise from online videossupport one another, as best you can. To find your connection to this moment, I’ll leave you with a meditation video and the offer to follow that one breath, and then the next, and so on.

Stay safe and healthy until next time,

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MESH Yoga – Mindful Emotional Spiritual Health through Yoga – Loving Kindness Meditation

Published by MSH Yoga

I am a wife, a mother of 3 wonderful, amazing adults, a grandmother, an Early Childhood Educator, and a certified yoga instructor (YTT 200 hrs). I teach Vinyassa style Hatha deep stretch, detox, and power flow classes at Birth Yoga Studio in Streetsville Ontario, and with Results Fitness Lifestyle In Mississauga. I completed my YTT 200 in December 2018. I am also a certified Y12SR, Yoga for 12 Step Recovery, group leader (August 2018), and a certified instructor of yoga for seniors, Relax into Yoga (March 2019), and Teaching Yoga to Seniors (October 2019). I facilitate Thai Yoga Stretch, and teach yoga to private clientelle. Practicing yoga is a passion, and supporting others to learn about this life changing practice is my goal. I practice meditation and mindfulness. I believe there is so much we can learn from being in tune with our body, our mind and our spirit, but that is a difficult path to find, and then, to actually follow. When we do, we facilitate the union of those 3 entities. Then we can begin to discover who we really are, and come to accept our precious self.

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