With a global pandemic lingering on for almost 2 years, who isn’t re-evaluating and reordering the priorities and goals in their life? In what felt like the blink of an eye, we were told to lockdown, sit tight, and put our lives on hold while we figured out just how bad it would be.
When it was announced that we were going into lockdown for 2 weeks, I FREAKED OUT! Fresh off of teaching at a retreat in Costa Rica, my free spirited & light hearted mood shifted drastically. It will be OK, everyone said, but at that moment it did not feel OK.
Yoga & traveling allow me to reconnect with myself, the larger world, and so much else. Taking time to get out of the day to day and explore is invaluable to both my physical and mental health - even Web MD agrees
From breathwork to the physical asanas, Yoga commands my attention to stay in the moment & remember everything is just as it should be. My mind raced - what would I do without teaching and taking group classes? How could I stay in touch with my network of Yogis that must all be feeling the same way? So I tried taking and teaching online, but it was not the same. Thankfully, teachers started to host outdoor classes, so I was there! It really helped to get out and have something to do, and people to see, but most importantly - get INTO a Yoga class. It was great to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen and get lost in the classes. New friendships were born, and old ones were strengthened.
Continuing to adjust to the ‘new normal’ I looked for ways to incorporate travel on a smaller and domestic level to appease my wanderlust. Thankfully, my boyfriend was on board, and we were able to spend a week in Michigan, take a road trip to Tennessee, and explore Arizona as well. It was a reminder that we could still get a change of scenery without jumping on a plane or leaving the country.
I really enjoyed these adventures, however the lack of teaching Yoga regularly or having any retreats planned left me feeling out of sorts. I was journaling and brainstorming ways to incorporate Yoga regularly again, and even started to promote teaching in parks or people’s backyard.
As I trudged through Winter and the Holidays in Chicago, hope sparked when I was asked to teach at the local Farmer’s Market which started in Spring. The night before I was SO nervous, would anyone show up? Did I still know how to teach? Yes, and yes! A small group of women showed up, and as the class unrolled, I felt like I was home again. This class led to other opportunities, and soon I was teaching 2-3 classes a week - no studio necessary. I was not the only one seeking respite in Yoga, and as we go into the next chapter of this pandemic, I truly believe that Yoga and travel will continue to be the cornerstones to move through this collective trauma. Recognized MD Bezel van der Kolk discusses how Yoga can be equally or more beneficial at alleviating symptoms incurred by traumatic stress.
As I type this, I can’t help but feel hopeful that we will continue to resume life as we once knew it, and be able to travel freely once again. If you are feeling stuck or anxious about life, planning a trip or taking a Yoga class may be just what you need. Whether it’s a local park, or a flight away, I assure it will lighten the weight you’ve been carrying around, and remind you there is a lot of beauty and goodness in yourself and the world.