Yoga in the Digital Age4 min read

Everything in our lives has changed lately, everything has adapted to the age of the coronavirus, and of course the same has happened with our practice. We have left the real rooms and we have been transferred to virtual meeting places.

Most of us, teachers and students, had some resistance at first, but we tried to adapt to the new situation. We thought online classes as a way to support the practice, to socialize, stay in touch, to have something to do in the lockdown, and of course not to lose our yoga practice.

Personally, it was the need and encouragement of my students that led me to the decision to teach online courses and the search for how this can be adapted to become really beneficial for the trainee, as theoretically the trainees are prepared by their teachers especially for such times, and they should be able to do a basic practice on their own. And yes, my opinion is that internet contact is something if the alternative is to do nothing!
However, this whole situation makes you think as without touching, without the sound of breathing, without the exchange of human energy and without all this warm atmosphere that is created in a yoga class, most of us feel that our virtual reality it’s half, the lesson experience is half.
And of course, since everything is happening in front of a screen, the power of our image has completely taken over. Teachers and students upload photos, inviting or responding to a challenge, tik tok, Instagram, live, stories, Mysore zoom rooms, in every possible asana, in a mini yoga sequence through every corner of their home. The times are changing, and we are following or just watching the developments.

Sure, there are worthwhile online courses, but how many are there and where does all this new reality lead us?

One quarantine night, I watched videos on youtube from a favorite teacher of mine, David Swenson, where he said something that he often mentions at the seminars he teaches. If you were blind? If you have never seen a yoga pose in your life? What if you couldn’t compare your body to the shape of your neighbor’s body? So then, what would yoga be for you? Can you stop for a minute, pause, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about the answer?

It’s a connection, the word says union. It is our effort to embrace ourselves. To accept ourselves, to understand and admire the divinity of our human nature. We deal with our bodies to realize that we are not the body. With the tool of our breath, we release patterns that do not serve us, we come in contact with more subtle actions, and at times we feel this sweet happiness of our contact with our spiritual heart. This gentle caress, those glances of our childhood, the sense of freedom, the sincere, true contact with the higher part of ourselves.

And how much we miss the people that were around us for granted. Or how much we miss a walk in the sea, to breathe fresh air, or to walk in a forest. All this stuff while doing yoga becomes important. And somewhere in there, on this journey, we finally realize that we are ONE. And we can only continue if we understand this connection.

These times show just that, this virus shows just that, from the one end of the earth to the other he travels so very quickly. If I’m sick then two others are sick in a row. But weren’t we already sick? Wasn’t our image, or the satisfaction of our personal needs, more important than our relationships? Did we have time to meet ourselves? Or with the important people of our life? Didn’t we forget the essence of things?

We are a system that survives only when it works connected, when it understands its interdependence. The need for spirituality nowadays is imperative, there is no room for me and you. Only for us.

We the trees. We animals. We the People.

Let us allow our practice to help us, support us, nourish us, and bring us closer to our goal.

To all be together again.


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