Yoga institutes are the place truly missed during lockdown. This article is about success story of group of women who stood strong for yoga during lockdown projecting themselves as role model for many other women.
‘CHITTA VRUTTI NIRODAHA YOGAHA’- Yoga is a science that helps to control mind.This is a phrase in Sanskrit which was proven right by a group of women who stood still to chase their passion for yoga during lockdown.
A small city with limited number of yoga institutes. A group of women who laughed together and been shoulder for each other were practicing yoga, initiating without knowing its importance and to spend more time with themselves. The institute had wings wide enough to teach students in various cities. It was a perfect plan until the covid lockdown was announced.
It is a well known fact that covid 19 which originated in Wuhan city of Hubei province in China on December 31, 2019. The disease spread so much that on March 11, 2020 World Health Organization declared it is pandemic.
India could not escape from the heat the disease is producing and encountered its first case on 30th Jan 2020. Since then the disease has never turned back and has been on ascending curve shutting everything and everyone down.
Practicing yoga with teacher’s virtual presence:
Complete lockdown of the country was the only solution to prevent further disaster. The country was totally shut for both external and internal affairs. The government urged people to follow social distancing. In view of this all the yoga institutes were also shut. With such a background, although the friends enjoyed their freedom of waking up late in morning for couple of days initially were later affected with lifestyle related health conditions. What was more worrisome is their knee joint and low back ache which was once vanished with regular practice of yoga.
The very thought of going back to bed with pain troubled them more than the pain itself. The idea was to pray for early closure of lockdown and quick re-opening of yoga institute. But, that was not even near in dreams as well. Pain and women, a definite combination of solution. The near answer was to start practicing at home which many might have done in lockdown, but when the question of teacher’s supervision for checking the accuracy of yoga is being practiced, they were still as clueless as rest of the country was about lockdown.
The next near answer was online training. It seemed to be feasible but with little limitations. With hope in mind and determination in belief, they started practicing yoga with their teacher’s virtual presence. Having taken the training to its extremity they decided to spread their knowledge to many such women who have hid themselves in their home with household chores as their covering. They reached every such women who were part of the institute before. Teaching virtually, maintaining social distance they not just instilled confidence among those women but also kept spreading the importance of social distance.
Their teaching not just mentioned the benefits of yoga but also kept reinstalling the hope among women about current crisis. Making people realise that people with good immunity are fighting covid from front and appreciating their effort to serve nation by staying home, they reached many lives. The friends group learnt new techniques of yoga all by themselves and reached it to others. There was no hurry and no one would stop as they maintained social distance and dedicated their time to yoga. The pain not just vanished gradually but also installed a sense on contentment within themselves.
The platform was open for all age group of people
The contentment was so pure that their quest did not end at mere contentment. They searched for me. That’s when their institutes helped them to work more and to reach more people. Realising the importance of mental health and the status of ‘manas’ in the current status, they started virtual teaching for all women who were far from reach and those who were broken due to current crisis. Soon the platform was open for all age group of people. The teaching started addressing the every problem sector and started providing realistic solutions. Thus, a small group of friends who started yoga practice to get rid of their physical pain is now standing high with pride and showing path to many others like them.
Covid has not just made life miserable but has taught a way of life where dependence is only on self. It has taught a lifestyle where hygiene is essential both for ourselves and the ones next to us. It has brought the running world to a halt making humans realise that nature still has the upper hand of dealing the things, whether it is humans or nature itself. Yoga is a part of nature. Nature has the way of healing itself and yoga helps in such healing. However, there are also some real-time challenges posed to conduct yoga classes post lockdown.
Challenges to conduct yoga classes:
1. Even the yoga teachers are not certain about re-opening of classes as to time and duration of classes and allowable strength owing to maintain social distance as well.
2. The participants are panicked about gathering at yoga classes.
3. Although most of the yoga institutes have been providing virtual training, it depends on individuals’ interest and determination to keep them in practice.
4. With lockdown continuing and ban on social gathering may not lift soon, there is fear of losing stability and flexibility once obtained through yoga.
5. With respect to yoga teacher’s perspective, they may have to begin the classes from the scratch right from educating people to practice yoga.
6. With need for gathering to practice yoga at institutes, there is fear of rejection by common people.
7. New learners are not recognising the benefits of yoga obtained so far.
8. India is recognised for Yoga of late. The very recognition is at stake. Foreigners visiting India to learn yoga might reduce for some duration of time.
9. Financial burden for yoga institutes to maintain required facilities during lockdown.
10. Lack of yoga teachers after complete relaxing of lockdown.
11. Mental health can also be taken care of with virtual classes by providing strategies to maintain mental health and positivity.
12. The training can also be provided to general public through trained participants. It helps to check stigma also.
1. Regular follow up can be done through online apps.
2. New learners can be explained to perform certain exercise for given period of time and document it.
3. The bodily changes with practice of yoga can be documented to have a evidence of transformation through yoga.
4. Virtual classes can be conducted to perform breathing exercises and monitor the same.
5. The safety for small gathering to conduct yoga classes may be propagated through mass media.
6. Entry level health checkup of all participants can be done to assess the health status of the participants.
7. Social distancing needs to be maintained while performing yoga.
8. Yoga can be performed in well ventilated room if not in open space.
9. All elderly people should be advised to practice at home. The correctness can be assessed by either a family member or by teacher himself.
10. While performing breathing exercises, utmost care to be taken to avoid facing of other person at face.
Dr. Kirthana V
Department of community medicine
JSS Medical College
Bannimantap, Mysuru – 15