My practice of yoga began as a teenager. I would escape our two bedroom apartment early in the morning to literally run from what I had witnessed the night before... the endless drinking and ensuing battles.
This was the 1970's and normal teenage girls did not get up at 5am to run before school in flat Keds. Upon my return, I would quietly play a CSNY LP vinyl record in our huge stereo console and allow my body to move into shapes that offered sweet release... not just for my body but from my hurting and confused heart. I was again a runner in my late 20's and early 30's when I learned the deeper aspects of yoga from the visiting Acharyas and later, in my 30's, my yoga practice took on a more athletic flair. It was simply easier... less complicated, easier to teach, and a good workout.
Sigh.... Now, during COVID-19 I have been witnessing a “RUN” of athletically-based, “business as usual” yoga practices that tout “professionalism”, “clean lines”, and a “great workout”. There’s all kinds of twists and turns and selfies in advanced asana... sigh..
And then there was yesterday, 45 years from the beginning when I tuned in to the Easter pranam practice led by Shiva Rea. So SIMPLE, so gentle, so empowering is the practice of bowing to your own heart, bowing and honoring the Earth, allowing your physical body to move deeply into the reverence of prayer. And, the release was real as the tears flowed freely and my walk following was filled with gratitude.
During this time of physical isolation, we are drawn to take a solid look at ourselves. It is a valuable time of self reflection that we may never have again. Why, then, choose practices that are just a workout when you can touch your soul and heal your heart? Why NOT do the work NOW?