Ganesha in Lockdown

The last couple of months have been huge: Lockdown second edition –July and August deserve to be written about in September just for the sake of digesting. With lockdown in full swing, numbers growing, lives lost, fear, demonstrations, aggressive messaging, and the awkwardness of being advised on how to shop for groceries efficiently by the State Premier, gone were what we regard as some of our basic freedoms! It is in these moments where we are asked to dig very deep and find courage and wisdom amid it all.  

Yoga is a practice that has enabled me to overcome countless boundaries and break through barriers – not go sidewards and avoid them – literally smash them and frankly I am forever grateful for all I have learned along this path. I take these lessons and cherish them, because are we all not in for the learning?

So, talking of self-imposed barriers I have not been a fan of delivering yoga classes online. In my view we are all way too much in front of our screen and we don’t need more screen time altogether and certainly not for yoga. Nothing replaces the feeling of seeing students and holding space for them for real, but what to do when that is no longer possible? How do you adapt to the reality we all find ourselves in?

I am so lucky to have a community of amazing friends and yoga teachers through my training and one of them is Nicole who I love dearly and think a great deal of. She asked: So, what are you going to do, what will you do for your students who are asking you to show up? She nailed it and she nailed me – showing up and acting is who I am and this is what I do. So, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped twice over my own shadow – and livestreaming it was. When seeing people in person is not possible, we will stay connected through the technologies we have these days. I have to say there are benefits from online that surprised me– students can practice safely from their own homes with their kids, partners and pets joining the classes, which makes it so much fun and all-inclusive type of practice, shared with dear ones. There are time savings as we travel less and environmental benefits from driving less, we can practice in the comfort of our own homes in our sweatpants or PJs and the most amazing thing we can extend Savasana as long as we want and need it.

Livestreaming is still presence, we still hold space, we still feel the vibration of an OM in our hearts and that holds us all and even the ones around us.

At Lane Cove Yoga our class numbers are small exactly how we want them to be because we want to know you, not as a number but as an awesome individual. This means I can adjust and see students from a different angle because of their cameras and use my words much more effectively.

We have offered free classes for front-line workers including teachers who have done an amazing job during this time, and they have loved it. If through these little acts of kindness, we can multiply happiness in a time where people need it the most then what are the barriers worth setting for? They are so much more worth overcoming, again and again.

Yoga is so much more than aligning our bodies, it is about aligning our thoughts, words and actions. It offers us a chance to put situations into perspective, understanding our own limitations, accepting where needed, letting go of these expectations and just being open to embrace new opportunities and things we thought we are not capable of. This has been my learning in these months…it has taken its time, but what has followed is a lot of laughter, lightness, time to bond, honest conversations that are not rushed but real and for these reasons I am grateful. 

Amongst the many books I have read in these months and the amazing inputs I have had from my teachers around the world, I have heard a lot of podcasts and this one I would like to share: The story of Lisa, who at the age of 19 survived purely by chance a terror attack that shattered the world:

Her story is a reminder of great resilience and happiness lost and found by the sheer act of finding purpose through service. It is when we find this in us that we bring the best of us for one another and show up in ways that lift us all to new heights – mind the ripple effect.

  • About Ganesha 
    Lord Ganesha is associated with the ability of solving problems and removing all obstacles. His most important traits are:
            Holistic thinking and wisdom (Large Elephant Head) rather than judgemental
            Focused vision (Small Eyes) for determination and focus
            Good listener (Large Ears) noting the need to be able to listen to different perspectives and needs
            Be able to absorb and digest (Large Belly) which means showing resilience and strong will to overcome obstacles as well as generosity
            Be able to sacrifice (broken Tusk). Legend says that it Ganesha who was chosen to put Mahabharata (an epic Indian Poem) into writing with his tusk.
            These are some of the qualities why Ganesh was chosen to take care of people on Earth. 


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