Greetings from the Viniyoga® family worldwide.
When we can’t go outside… Let us go Inside.
The fear and panic surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have gripped humanity all over the world. What began as an Asian problem, has now engulfed the attention of all countries. As the number of people affected by it is rising, shutdowns and travel restrictions are initiated in most countries, and social distancing is strongly advocated. While many are frustrated and angry about these restrictions, it is an excellent opportunity for all of us to look at how best we can manage this situation.
As a practitioner of Yoga, I can only say that if we can’t go outside, we can still go inside. It is an extraordinary moment for us as a people to pursue serious introspection, both as individuals and as a society.
Realizing how fragile life is, let us start to look at what is most important to us. Let us take time to connect with our family, our friends, our neighbours, and whoever else is an integral part of our life. And even consider connecting with those who have not been relevant to our life, as we can only survive as a species if we can care for each other.
Many of our elderly are the most vulnerable to this virus. Most of those who have perished due to COVID-19 are over 75 years of age. The elderly hold such life experience that we have never had. They group up in a time that we could never have imagined. Rather than ignore them, let us commit to spending more time caring for them, and learning from them.
Let us remember that this sacrifice we are doing is for the greater good. In such challenging times, we need to express solidarity as a people. We are not staying put because of fear that we may be affected by the virus. More importantly, we must remain at home so that we don’t bring it to the most vulnerable among our population. Be it from outside to our elderly family members. Nor from us to those who are outside of our circles. Our solidarity is being tested, and we must come together.
Let us forgive ourselves and others for the hurt we have caused to each other. For most of these have come from our ignorance, ego or both. And these won’t matter when we face a reality that challenges our very existence. Our ego makes us feel we are so great, but yet our survival is challenged by a virus that is so tiny we cannot even see.
Let us pause and reflect on our consumption patterns. Not only what food we eat, but also how much we devour. Also, whether we are grateful for what we consume and whether we share with those who haven’t enough to consume. And let us not forget our attitudes towards other products we consume. Be it tangible things like clothes, shoes, vehicles or communication devices, as well as intangibles like news, gossip and constant overload of text messages. Let us reevaluate what drives the need to consume and make more appropriate choices. Not just during this pandemic, but even after.
Earth is healing. Since the lockdown, the canals in Venice have become so clear that fish have returned to swim in it. Dolphins have started visiting the Italian coasts. Japan has reported that deer are roaming their streets. Monkeys are enjoying themselves in Thailand. And China has record-breaking pollution cuts. Indeed we humans are the virus, and the Earth is just medicating herself to become more healthy. We don’t need to feel so wrong about this, as she is healing herself so that she can feed us once again in a healthy way. At this time, we must behave better and change our behaviour so that we don’t create such a situation once again.
Karma is a great equalizer. We put so many animals in cages, not only in zoos but also in food markets, robbing them of their freedom to enjoy this world which is equally theirs. Now it is our turn to be caged in our homes and not roam. Politicians from the West loathed the word socialism and converted into a bad name. But now they are hurriedly passing laws to offer cash directly to their citizens, a very anti-capitalist concept. We need to realize that there are so many more examples which teach us that truly what goes around, comes around. Many governments treated caring staff poorly and paid them very little. Yet in this hour of need, it is they who are working overtime to save those in need. We must offer them our most sincere and infinite gratitude for rising up to the challenge in this hour of need.
Our real character is revealed only during times of adversity. Let us settle down with serenity and calmness to face this challenging time. We haven’t been asked to go to war. We have just been asked to be careful.
When we can’t go outside… Let us go Inside.
Namaste my dear friends.
Dr. Kausthub Desikachar
Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation
The Viniyoga® Tradition