Written by Veronica Rockwitz
There is no doubt we are living in a strange time…especially as of late. It’s a time that can cause serious personal stress for all of us. It’s the seeming lack of control that can drive it. For me, there is stress from financial uncertainty that comes with not working my primary job as a dental hygienist, that my children will be at a disadvantage as the school year hangs on by a thread, the inability to be physically present with my students to teach yoga, etc.
Sure, I’m not able to control a pandemic…but wait a second. I do have control…and it starts with a choice. Stress is a byproduct of fear. Fear is a motivator. However, I don’t have to let fear automatically take me to dark, stressful places. I can control the direction of this fear by choosing for it to motivate me in a positive way. Another way of looking at this is…do I really want to sit around and bitch about things out of my control, or do I want to take control of what I can…and take advantage of any opportunities this strange time brings? I choose the latter.
A quick analysis of my situation and the (obvious) opportunity…
- Wow, I suddenly have more free time.
- What has guided me through stressful times in the past? Hint: It’s Yoga.
- If I can help myself in this way, there is an opportunity for me to pay it forward and help others in a similar way.
With recognizing the opportunity comes an increased sense of gratitude. I’m grateful the world is slowing down to create more time. I’m grateful that this extra time is allowing me to remember how wonderful it was when I first started learning yoga. It’s the gratitude, working in conjunction with the opportunity, that helps it to become realized. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to teach remotely through the aid of technology.
So how can Yoga help?
An unfortunate downside to being in a community during this time is that personal stress can become heightened as it turns into a collective stress. The upside is that this can also work in reverse. If we continually remind ourselves that, collectively, we are stronger when we help each other in any way possible, that in itself can be the catalyst to help keep stress at bay. Continuing your yoga practice, especially in a safe way with others, is a good example of how yoga can help by creating a collective positive energy and sharing it in that effort.
It’s a logical step one can take to help push away the fear, tune out the negative, and tune in the positive.
It allows one to observe, reflect, and stay balanced to maintain a sense of clarity, which is especially helpful during a period of uncertainty when one can use it the most.
In addition to the benefit of gaining physical strength, it can help one become more disciplined when facing life’s challenges.
Ultimately through yoga, one can connect more deeply with spirit or the divine.
It’s hard not to want things to “return to normal.” Until then, I want to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves and wish the same for everyone. In the meantime, I’m carrying a greater sense of gratitude, and want to use that to be in a better position to live life more fully while helping others and not taking things for granted.
From Times Like These – Foo Fighters
“It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you learn to give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again”
I‘m looking forward to our Oya community staying active and hope you’re all able to join our on-line classes