It’s a nightmare! This COVID-19 fiasco, commonly known as Coronavirus Disease 2019.
I mean, is this really happening?
How are we supposed to deal with this, especially the lockdown?
To suddenly get used to a slow-paced life, well, almost stalled in this case.
One-third of the global population is under Corona Virus lockdown as I write this post, including 1.3 Billion people in India – biggest ever lockdown in the history of the world.
Even if you aren’t directly affected with the disease, or aren’t stranded on the road as a migrant worker in India or fighting hunger in some remote area of the world – the nature of the lockdown remains challenging even for the average joe.
For an entire population who is used to waking up with a mindset of achieving this or that, 24×7, life has suddenly come to a stand-still.
The lockdowns being for extended periods of time, this stillness has the potential of becoming insanity if the mind is not engaged in the right manner (Why do you think social systems were formed in the first place 😉)
Luckily, practicing Yoga for some years helped me cope with the lockdown better, and what will be even more amazing, is if the same can happen for you 😊
So, here are 5 Yogic ways of life to be practiced during COVID-19 lockdown so you come out of it stronger and wiser.
#1 A healthy outside start from the inside
The Yogic practice of ‘Mitahara’ or moderate eating taught me something which I never knew can be learned. Our happiness doesn’t lie in food, our tongue just makes us think so.
You see, the bondage of any kind is never good, it always limits what you could have achieved if you were free.
Food is the source of thoughts, as mentioned by one of the greatest Yogis of India Swami Sivananda. By modifying your food you can modify your thoughts – have better ones and better yet, avoid negative ones.
I am not talking about eating this or not eating that. No.
Decide for yourself what and how much you want to eat because NOW you have time to listen to your body. Such difficult topics as mental health are also being treated just by inculcating the right food habits even by modern-day Doctors.
You can feel fresh and active even while at home if you just eat the right kind of food.
And while you practice Mitahara, you shall also be minimizing your chances of going out to refill un-necessary food supplies and channel your resources towards people who really are pressed for food at this challenging time.
#2 The Secret Fountain of all things Creative
‘Prajalpa’ that can be translated as un-necessary talking, is mentioned as one of the hurdles in the practice of a serious Yoga Practitioner. It was only after going in a state of natural silence I understood why.
For the first time, I really started to know myself – my thought patterns, my doubts, my challenges – and how incessant talking, even to myself drains my energy so much. My whole life changed for better dramatically because of that one instance of silence.
Our uncontrollable urge to say what we are thinking about ourselves, about others or just about anything, is a way of running away from self-managing our emotions. Only if we could be aware of our thoughts, we can build a much better and conscious life for ourselves and even others.
Modern Science is only recently discovering that practicing Silence develops the brain region associated with learning and memory. Although given what Yoga has known for centuries, much more is yet to come.
With the COVID-19 lockdown limiting your socializing and talking to people, make the most of it, instead of finding bylanes to engage in a conversation. Enjoy selective silence and discover a new you, all while you sit at home 😉
#3 The Pain that is yet to come, can be avoided
One thing that a lot of us may not be aware of during COVID-19, is how good health can save you a lot of bad times.
There are innumerable people facing difficulties regarding their medicines for current illnesses. And also people who are somehow managing at home even if they need to go to a Doctor.
Only these people can understand how much of a blessing it is to have good health at this time.
This is exactly what the Yogic principle of ‘Heyam Dukham Anagatam’ talks about. Although not just related to physical pain or disease, this Sutra reassures us that by practicing Yoga one can avoid the pain that is yet to come.
Maintaining good health of the body and mind should be the basic pursuit for every human being. Because we don’t know what turn life will take all of a sudden. The practice of Yoga Asana and Pranayama has helped me do that, as have the other important principles of Yoga beyond exercising.
So, take your health in your hands while you are at home and start with these practices to keep yourself healthy and happy.
#4 The Anchor that keeps it all together
While you may have fallen out of routine suddenly, you can still maintain your own schedule while at home. Assign a particular time every day for certain activities.
‘Dinacharya’ has been given immense importance in Ayurveda for a healthy body and mind. And hence makes for the basic pre-requisite for practicing Yoga.
In fact, following a conscious schedule gives us more sense of control, as the mind is engaged in ways we find fruitful. Ideally, you can pick things that were neglected in your normal schedule. For example, your health, your kids or even personal growth.
Include things like an exercise session, spending quality time with your kids full of creative activity. You can even take up a short course online, and be as productive as you want.
Also, do not forget to schedule the time for relaxation, or just ‘being’. For ‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’. Just stare at the trees swaying in the wind, flowers blooming or kittens playing and use COVID-19 lockdown to get rejuvenated.
#5 The real goal of your being, thanks to COVID-19
COVID-19 is an un-precedented in terms of its influence on the largest population in the world.
So many of us have never been forced to live a solitary or extremely limited life away from our normal routine.
Is nature trying to tell us something? Something that we have forgotten? That outside
What if you are able to fulfill all your basic instincts – eating, sleeping, mating under an umbrella of abundance. Do you still not feel empty inside, looking for more?
What is that more? What will give you that ultimate satisfaction? Because whatever you thought will give you that, when you reached there, you realized, is not the final goal.
The goal of the ‘human’ life is self-realization, that is why we keep wanting more… We don’t want more, we want all.
And all means all, it cannot be less than ‘ALL’ – the WHOLE truth, the realization of self. The realization of this truth itself is the biggest Yoga practice of all.
Because realization is THE only goal of Yoga.
So, even if you only start with Asanas i.e, Yoga exercises, or Pranayama i.e, Breath practices or Dharana i.e, trying to Meditate – stop running away from yourself and start internalizing.
Because there never has been a better time to make you curious into the secrets of this Universe, than COVID-19. What with your changed state of life and all overnight – YOU WERE NEVER IN CONTROL.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
There always are two sides to a coin. We can either look at COVID-19 as a disaster. Or we can look at it as a magic gateway into the bigger and higher possibilities of life.
You can go crazy thinking you aren’t achieving anything sitting at home. Or you can start your journey for the ultimate realization.
I repeat you can be as productive as you want.
So start building your awareness around the above-mentioned principles. Start practicing Yoga in a way that suits you. Soon you shall transform this bad time into the best time of your life.
Because the only way out of COVID-19, is in.