I have spoke in many blogs, posts, podcasts about how yoga is more than Asana (posture)
Since the outbreak of Covid 19 we should be keeping with our physical practices of yoga and other forms of exercise, as it will help keep our immune system strong. But as stated above Yoga is not just Asana. Yes it is also meditation which will have a huge effect on keeping our physical and mental well being in check. But now more than ever we need to turn to living Yoga off the mat, particularity aspects of yoga like Aparigraha.
So......lets start with a brief explanation of the yoga sutras, they are 196 verses on the theory and practice of Yoga.
Within the 196 Sutras we have what's called The 5 Yama's, which are "control" or "social restraints"
The Yamas are
1: Ahimsa - Non harm
2: Satya - Truth
3: Asteya - Non Stealing
4: Bramacharya - Withdrawal of senses
and then the one I think we are overlooking in this time of unknowing what the future will bring with this worldwide pandemic. Aparigraha - Non Possessiveness.
Aparigraha - Graha meaning to grasp, pari meaning things, Aparigraha meaning not to grasp things. When we live our life from a place of fear or "survival mode" we can create a habit of placing our sense of security with possessions and even other people.
Over the past few days, I have seen people stock pile on food and supplies, I totally understand their fear, and sympathise that this really is the unknown. However some supermarket shelf's have been emptied without regard for others, who may not be able to buy what they need. Aparigraha is taking only what you need, who needs 4 tons of toilet roll?
Another way I think Aparigraha could be implemented is through following medical advice, of avoiding big crowds, and staying at home when possible. I have cancelled all my Yoga classes and moved some classes online, with the though, that if myself or someone else contracted the virus by being somewhere we didn't need to be, we will be causing a strain on the health care system, which was already struggling and under a lot of pressure. We should really try to avoid possessing the time and resources of medical professionals unnecessary, and untimely putting more vulnerable people at risk.
Especially if you are in a situation where you are at home more, try to use this time for some self reflection, maybe studying yoga more or learn how to play the instrument that has been in your attic for years. This can be seen as a time for change. Lots of things are changing around us and we are all unsure and somewhat fearful, but lets see if we can do some self-study and make this a change for the better. Taking care of yourself, and then others, being mindful of how you are reacting, and observing how you can learn and grown from this experience.
If you are in a situation where you may have to work more, because you are a doctor, nurse, supermarket worker, etc I thank you for being the ones keeping the country going, I thank you for doing your work because we need you, I thank you for missing out on time with family because we need our services.