A student recently reached out to me and said she was struggling with her focus and energy. Since Covid-19 she finds herself on the computer and before she knows it, it is the afternoon. She is exhausted and cannot motivate herself to exercise.
This reminded me of something I take for granted.
Since the start of the pandemic and isolation at home I committed to self-care.
I get up each morning before sunrise. I shower and enter a morning ritual. I light a candle, burn incense, read from inspirational texts and then practice yoga and pranayama (breathing) until the sun rises.
This small discipline flows through my whole day. It affects me when I am on Facebook, when I go to sleep, on every action I prioritize throughout the day.
Sadly ritual and discipline seem to repel or repulse us in this modern era where freedom means the opposite. Freedom now means to indulge our senses and neglect our spiritual, physical and mental well-being.
But what is discipline? If you look at nature it is very disciplined. Without discipline birds would not sing and plants would not grow. They are biologically disciplined to stay alive and thrive. They do not attrit their energy. They are very focused on survival.
Discipline comes from the Latin root ‘disciplina’ meaning knowledge or instruction. Pantanjali inscribed the Yamas and Niyamas as disciplines and self-restraints so we could learn about ourselves and how to manage our energy. Jesus had disciples (lovers of learning) whose goal was to keep the energy of the holy spirit alive in people.
When we are left to our own devices, because of the isolation from the CV-19 pandemic, many of us have no discipline or structure in place. Hence we risk losing our most vital resource - energy.
At this time of isolation and homestay we need to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually. If we don’t we will suffer far worse consequences from this virus than we need to.
The outer world is reflecting much change at this time, and change tends to promote fear. The bigger the change, the greater the fear. Therefore we must discriminate and take care of ourselves and each other. When we are in places that scare us, Pema Chodon writes, we must become fearless to navigate difficult times. To be fearless means we must become knowledgable about who we are and how we manage our energy.
Defeat this virus on your terms now. Not waiting for the future salvation from governments, medicines or normalcy.
Build a sanctuary each day where you can retreat to meditate, pray, exercise, be in nature or whatever to generate well-being and wholeness. Make it a discipline that you fiercely protect and value because it is nourishing your mind, body and spirit.
Let your discipline shine like a beacon for others to emulate.
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Why Do Yoga at Home?
Since Covid-19 several of my clients have discovered that doing live-stream yoga is: