Social Distancing.                     Is that really YOGA?

by Cathy Bratka

So much of what is being asked of us all right now feels unfamiliar and frankly unappealing. Stay at home, alone, don’t go out and be social, don’t go to work, don’t take your kids to school, don’t go to the gym or yoga class…and the list goes on.

We are social creatures. Most of us find a partner and mate for life (well, kinda), we reproduce and live for years with our families. We construct social circles and try to stay connected as often as we can with family and friends. We need so much connectedness that we even create “work families” at our places of employment.

In all my yoga training I have learned that the word “yoga” can be translated different ways but basically it means “union”, right? One mighty wonder, how can we “unite” if we have to isolate at home and keep a safe distance from one another?

But, maybe there is another way to look at it.  Maybe in this uncertain time we can think of our union on a bigger scale, a connection to the whole world. Even though I don’t physically encounter as many people in my day to day, I actually feel more united with everyone in our common struggle, this scary time that affects us all. Really, when in this generation’s history have we all experienced such a crazy event at the same time? We are literally and globally all in this together.

Typically I am not a huge social media fan, but I feel such a surge of “togetherness” when scrolling on my phone. I love seeing the creative ways people are reaching out to those who need it, saying “thank-you” to those who deserve it, staying connected with our loved ones, and finding the humor in our circumstances (I mean, So. Many. Funny. Memes., right?)

The yoga community is no exception, we are finding ways to stay connected: teacher to student, teacher to teacher, studio to community.  Live streaming and recorded classes and meditations have become the mainstay of practicing yoga for many students in the last few weeks.

And so, if you really think about it, finding any way possible to connect to another human and make life a little better, what can be more yoga than that?

Social Distancing. Is that really YOGA?