Do your best…Leave the rest… Don’t forget its all a test!!!
Greetings from the Viniyoga® family worldwide.
The COVID-19 crisis has taught me many things. It has been an unprecedented challenge in dealing with life these last five months of lockdown. The emotional impact it has had on my family and me has been overwhelming. Dealing with the professional and economic complexities it has brought forward has been daunting. Missing social relationships with friends have also been challenging. Meeting expectations from students, colleagues, and workmates have been almost impossible. All these have from time to time brought out the feeling of being an utter and total failure.
But what I know for sure is that I am not alone. I am also not a failure, even if faced with all of these challenges and have not managed to overcome them. These circumstances have brought me a great gift—the gift of listening to my inner voice.
Being in the position I am, there are a lot of expectations that I am confronted with. My staff at work expect me to support them economically during this crisis. My landlord from who I rent the school premise expects his rent monthly. The telephone and cable companies expect their cut, whether we are using our office telephone lines or not. Incidentally, we have not been using them since March 2020. Maintaining all these commitments, during a period of declined income has been an overwhelming reality.
Continuing our Teacher Training has been a mammoth task. To put together a session online that involves students from multiple countries from multiple timezones has its own set of challenges. Personal circumstances have also been different for students to engage in online sessions. What seems a convenient time for one lot of students does not seem to be for another. While some mothers prefer early morning slots, as their children are still asleep and hence they can focus better on learning, others prefer later time slots so they can sleep in late during the summer. Some complain that online learning is not the way to learn Yoga. At the same time, others insist that it is better to do online only now as it is safer. Some want vides turned on during the Zoom sessions, while others want it turned off. Some want to raise questions, while others want to listen only to the teacher. Essentially there is no perfect solution that works for all.
The lack of emotional bonding with friends and loved ones during this time have brought forward the need for relationships to sustain our lives. I haven’t been able to hang out with my close friends for almost five months now. It has brought forward a circumstance where I have to be with myself. And this is not always pleasant. It has revealed the value of friendships and how important they are to our wellbeing and nourishment. At the same time, this period of solitude has brought forward the importance of self-inquiry. I have taken time these days to evaluate my priorities in life, and what is indeed my dharma. This realisation would not have happened if not for this period.
The lesson I have learnt from these months of challenges is that we can only do our best. Leave the rest to the divine. And that all of this is a test. A test to evaluate our priorities. A test to assess our resolve. And more significantly, a test to gauge our faith.
While I have not succeeded in finding complete peace through all of this, I am grateful for what I have learnt from it. I continue to remain to be a student of life and be thankful for the chance to learn. The biggest lesson I have learnt through this COVID times is that the more we look inward, the more we will learn about ourselves, about life, and the universal scheme of things. We will pass this crisis, and when we do, we must be happy that we have become wiser during this process.
So, my dear friends, I invite you to do your best, leave the rest, and don’t forget that it is all a test!!!
Dr. Kausthub Desikachar
Together we fall. United we rise.
Greetings from the Viniyoga® family worldwide.
The world has been given a massive lesson. In the last few decades, we have been pushing towards a more globalised world. Using the mantra of globalisation, we have built a very interconnected world that has made the globe smaller and smaller. However, this means that our fates are also interconnected, and we are experiencing this through the current COVID-19 crisis.
Many people complain that the Corona crisis broke our system. I feel that it did not. Instead, it exposed the broken system we have created in the past decades. In India, there is a saying that when you grasp the tail of a tiger, you can’t let it go. We as a collective society not only created this tiger, called the consumption-based globalised economy but have also grasped its tail. We have become so dependant on it that we cannot let it go. Not only that, but we have also made it so intricately interconnected with players across the globe, that when we fall, we shall almost certainly all go down together.
Many people are praying and hoping that this crisis will end. The Corona crisis is merely a test to ready us for what will happen after. The Climate crisis is even more significant, and that will most certainly be the next crisis that will hit humanity. Are we prepared for that? Given what the current situation has revealed, we are definitely not ready.
The only way to let go of the tiger is to weaken it first. And the only way to make it weaker is by making collective conscious choices. We must unite together and redefine our consumption patterns. We must try and embrace local produce, that is both ecologically friendly and sustainable. We need to reduce our carbon footprint. We need to reduce the pollution of our waters, air and land. We need to accept and honour our differences and diversity. We need to start making decisions that are not just based on economic factors, but on moral, ethical and ecological ones.
Globalisation, while we will most certainly fall together, has also given us an opportunity to unite and rise together. If we can put aside our differences and connect to our hearts, and make decisions from there, I am quite sure we will not only survive this pandemic but be better prepared for the next.
Here is where Yoga comes in handy. We must look to practice the holistic discipline so that we can more deeply connect with our hearts. As Yoga teachers and practitioners, we must boldly go into this heart space, and help those around us do the same. Such internal changes will change the way we live, giving us greater respect and regard for nature.
Let us come together, connect with our hearts and rise together, not only to overcome this current crisis but also to be well-prepared for the next.
NADI SHODHANA / alternate nostril breathing
Our breath, our wonderful breath…a tool to help calm and focus our mind. Try this safe balancing pranayama and see how calm you become