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Yoga in a time of isolation… in Prince Edward Island
- Charles Sanderson, Charlottetown
CHARLES SANDERSON, Charlottetown – Yoga during quarantine
From a metro-urban perspective, living in the countryside of Prince Edward Island could be considered isolation. Maybe that’s why I have made it a habit to travel frequently! I have been extremely privileged the past four winters to spend extended periods of time in India learning in Pune and in Dehradun.
At the time of writing this, I am at the tail end of my 14-day quarantine period after travelling home from Pune.
As Covid-19 became more and more central in the media, I was getting more and more conscious of my potential exposure and subsequent travel home. Pune had a cluster of cases from IT professionals returning from abroad and very quickly all conversation began to obsess on Covid and community transfer. I was ready to be home and be in my safe space! Saturday morning, I woke up to news that the State of Maharashtra had declared viral pandemic and ordered school and institution closures. I immediately booked the next available flight home –
Mumbai to Toronto and onwards to Charlottetown. That afternoon, the Institute closed its gates and Justin Trudeau was calling all Canadians to repatriate. The thought of flying was anxiety-inducing to say the least. Sunita prepped the international students on the last day for our travel experience. She suggested we remain composed, calm, but cautious, i.e., put your face mask on and do your Viloma Pranayama! How blessed are we to have a yoga practice? The travel experience was relatively painless as the airports were relatively empty!
Wanting to maintain my momentum, I had decided before leaving Pune that I would reach out to my yoga friends and arrange virtual practice sessions. One friend lives in Argentina. Upon returning home, we realized that Buenos Aires and Charlottetown share a time zone! We are having very positive experiences practising together. Video conference classes are certainly here to stay. During this Covid crisis and beyond, I am suggesting to each of us to reach out to our Sangha – our community – and arrange virtual practice sessions. Let us use this opportunity to strengthen community connections, build each other, and support our dedicated practice.
Tell us your yoga stories as we find ourselves in these surreal times… empty grocery store shelves, closed schools, working from home, sometimes futile quests for face masks and hand sanitisers (and toiler paper!), cancelled classes, life in a whole different way… In circumstances which few of us have experienced, how do we cope? How do we continue with yoga? How do we support each other and our students? Send your yoga stories to us (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll include them here.