Your phone dings and there it is. The email you’ve been expecting. Your local yoga studio is closing until further notice amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. There will be no in-studio classes for the foreseeable future. So, now what?
Sure, there are plenty of online classes available on YouTube. There are DVDs and cable channels and on demand classes. But it’s not the same. It’s not your favorite teacher. It’s not the serene studio that you’re used to. It’s a stranger in your house that is filled with packs of toilet paper and everything from your office that’s now set up on your dining room table.
Then, you receive another email. It’s from your favorite studio again. The one that has become your home away from home. This time it says that they are going to offer free yoga classes, taught by the teachers that have become friends, and best of all, you can access them online so you can stay safe in quarantine.
It’s a tiny little miracle in a world that’s full of worry and stress. You can now hear those familiar voices, sending out the messages of love, kindness, and patience that have become a part of your daily or weekly routine.
Yoga studios everywhere are dropping their fees, going virtual and giving their students and people everywhere what they need most. Something familiar in these uncertain times. So, get online. All you need is you. Your living room, bedroom, or basement can become your studio. Your couch cushions, bed quilts and extra toilet paper rolls can become your bolsters, blankets, and blocks. No mat, no problem. A non-skid bathroom or kitchen mat or throw rug will work just fine.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Turn down the lights, turn on your favorite playlist, light a candle or incense and just breathe. Carve an hour out of your day to step away from the news and be by yourself. Or grab your family and make it a group activity. Either way, take care of you.
If every person would take one hour to breathe, to be present in the moment instead of obsessing about our uncertain future, to remember to be kind not only to others but to themselves, we can make it through this together. As one community of yogis, coming together to spread a message of peace.
Free yoga. It may not be the cure, but it can be the medicine we all need.