Coping with Corona: After all this, We still matter
It has been a month since I’ve been under the sun, 30 days since I’ve seen family or friends in person, 30 days living in fear that I might catch an illness every time I receive my groceries, 4 weeks of uncertainty about our survival, our future, and life as we know it. Countries reaching out and sharing their plans on what to do after the dust has settled. Things are going to change. Maybe for the better, maybe others will face consequences, who knows. The question is? How do we adapt to these changes as people and professionals?
The simple act of sharing what you’re going through can empower the people in a myriad of ways.
Many of us have posted about what we’ll do when all this is over. Perhaps even some of us have already started weaning their businesses off the live scene onto the virtual world. All well and good and I applaud all of you for having the initiative and drive to do this. Especially during these unpredictable times, I know it’s difficult to make that first step. My concern is that online classes only cover 1 facet of all things yoga and wellness? What happens to all the other things we offer? Touch therapy by way of gentle adjustments, retreats, festivals, teacher training, how do we adapt this to our offerings? What happens now? What happens when this is over?
A silver lining is that there will be more students in need of teachers because they will need to spread themselves out too.
One of the common solutions that each country has planned is no big groups. Another is mass testing, with a few other theories for the economy, etc. how do these new measures, this new normal apply to us? I’m not an economics expert nor am I a grand yoga entrepreneur with news that can pave the way for us teachers; what I will do is try to transmit the hope I have for us as a community.
When this is over, what can we expect?
Having Regular classes
Depending on where we are, I think we can still have live classes. It’s only the number of students that will change. This can translate to personal training or we might be busier because we’ll be on the road more or we can also design our lives by dividing our class time between online and live sessions. A silver lining is that there will be more students in need of teachers because they will need to spread themselves out too.
Having a Physical Yoga Business
During my second week on quarantine, I thought, “After this, nobody is going to want to live in a tiny apartment with a minimalist mindset.” In my experience, my tiny apartment became a jail cell. If I thought this, a million other people have too. How many of us bought more fitness equipment during quarantine? Who splurged and subscribed to more fitness apps like Alo Moves or Yoga International? I know I did. I longed for more space to physically spread out in my practice. This got my curiosity going. Decided to search for articles on rising real estate trends. I found out that there is an increasing demand for mixed-use properties. Houses that are registered for both residential and commercial use. By purchasing a home and workplace at the same time, you take out your daily commute expenses, you help the environment, and everything within your life is easily within reach. Plus the paperwork to turn your house into a place of business is already done. I’m not saying that we’ll need to uproot our lives– but for those of us who have a situation that aligns with this business model, it’s something to consider. You can have small groups, set your schedule, attain your preferred lifestyle.
Keeping Our Sense of Community
Our community will always be there. We have a 16 billion dollar industry and 300 million people practice yoga. We are here to stay. So I’m not worried that we are out of a job. Or that we lose the connections we’ve built, we just need to make an effort to reach out more. I do live Facebook videos every now and then. I’m always so surprised at the support I get from people. Acquaintances, I got closer to, or individuals I didn’t know I helped at that moment. You never know who needs these interactions each time you go live. Try it out and be amazed at how uplifting it can be from both sides. I know that right now most people are most concerned with our human survival but maintaining our sanity our need for human contact is also very important. I know we’ll get out of this because the entire world is fighting to finish this situation. In the meantime, we can update our students, make a group, add them to our social media. If they aren’t already, to keep the community alive while we all get through this.
Giving Comfort To Our Students
While our physical roster of students may lessen that doesn’t mean we cannot be there for our students. We can augment our connection with students by going live on social media, write about our experiences, doing a few check-ins or using a few Zoom adjacent apps like Houseparty, Hangouts or Airtime. The simple act of sharing what you’re going through can empower the people in a myriad of ways. The pen and the voice are still mightier than the sword, the disease or the unrest. Don’t forget that.
Staying Connected With Our Yogis
The good thing about this whole thing is that the crisis happened in a time where communication technology is so advanced that we can instantly keep in touch. I have a close-knit group of fellow teachers that I maintain. We discuss our jobs, our futures, more importantly, what the situation is like for them. The only take-away I have from this pandemic; is the fact that it happened now. I know that it seems that we are losing ourselves. Some countries have it harder than others, the point is reaching out to someone is only a phone call away. Imagine the time of other pandemics when a letter or telegram was the only way to send correspondence. So let’s take advantage of our present. Reach out to friends, family, and students, even if it’s just to let them know you’re alright. You’ll be surprised at how much it’s appreciated.
Let’s recap a bit. When this is over, I think we will still have regular classes, have retreats and be able to realize our dreams of opening a studio. The only thing that will change is the number of people we can serve at a time. We may need to pay more attention when we travel or choose our retreat spots, go slow with our reintegration, better safe than sorry. As for reaching out to more people, I foresee that part of our work-life-balance will include time to interact. Friends, family, students, and colleagues, hey it may be a good thing.
We keep morale, we cheer people up, and we share our vulnerability as humans living with this crisis along with everyone else on lockdown.
As yoga teachers our job description is not considered a necessary profession on paper. We’re not doctors, nurses, or frontline feeders. While our work doesn’t put us in front of the fray, we do provide something very important. We keep morale, we cheer people up, and we share our vulnerability as humans living with this crisis along with everyone else on lockdown. We connect with people.
Stay Safe Momoyogis!