COVID 19 has turned our world upside down. We are social beings, meant to be together with others, to share our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, and our activities. Suddenly that sense of belonging, of being with others, of sharing our lives, and our interests, has been taken away from us in our attempts to stay safe, stay healthy, and to look after each other.
When we first started out on this journey of maintaining distance from one another, it was labelled “social distancing”, but we quickly learned that was a misleading terminology. This new way of living was going to take a toll on mental health, so better to make sure people do not feel like their opportunity for connecting socially, is being taken away; we are just limiting the physical connection – hence “physical distancing” came into play.
My last installment of this blog looked at staying connected virtually, using social media, (During this time of Social Distancing, Find ‘Sangha’). Luckily we were already virtually connected, and most of us are technologically competent enough that we can, even with some guidance, use technology to interact with others. What I didn’t realize, at that early stage of the virus in Canada, was that it was going to have such a long lasting and far reaching effect on how we connect with our communities.
Personally, I’ve been in taking part in physical isolation, except for a weekly grocery trip, for 69 days. Even though other retailers, beyond pharmacies and grocery stores, are just now beginning to open in Ontario, other businesses and organizations that provide opportunities for in-person activity and connection are still out of operation.
In my last blog, I talk about about the importance of ‘sangha’, community, and connecting with a group of like-minded people. One of the yoga’s foundational philosophies is ‘sangha’. It offers a community for people to come together, to practice together. You may come together with a group of yogis and your yoga instructor, at a studio, or you might connect on YouTube with a virtual instructor. Now, during COVID 19, we are learning how to come together in a virtual community, live streaming through any number of technological software platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, or Skype, amongst others.
If we let it, physical distancing, staying at home, and self-isolating can wreak havoc on mental, and physical health. We need to stay active, we need to take part in activities we love, and we need to stay socially connected with our families, friends, and our communities of like-minded people.
I have quickly jumped on board the Zoom yoga boat and am offering virtual yoga classes using the Zoom platform. People from across the Greater Toronto Area have joined in, as well as people from other parts of the province and country. It is wonderful to watch people begin to connect and to practice their yoga in a safe and welcoming environment.
If you are looking for a virtual yoga community, join us, come check us out. Classes are offered on Monday mornings at 9:30 am, Tuesday afternoons at 5 pm, and Thursday mornings at 6:30 or 7:00 am (we haven’t decided yet, and it might be a bit later – help us decide!). All classes are free while Ontario weathers the pandemic state of emergency.
If you’d like to try out these classes send me a response, here, at WordPress and I’ll let you know how to register! See you soon, as we practice yoga together in ‘sangha’!