Yoga in the Time of COVID-19: A Reminder

March 30, 2020

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Yoga in the Time of COVID-19 – A Reminder

Mark Morford – March 20, 2020

Yoga is not about staying positive in times of extreme difficulty. Yoga is not about pretending to be an endlessly upbeat, ‘happy’ person, no matter the circumstances. And yoga is certainly not about forcing some hugely disorienting, anxiety-inducing global pandemic into “it’s all love,” “look on the bright side” or “now’s a good time to practice lots of self-care and drink this $19 turmeric tea.”  If anyone tells you it is, they are – as the ancient gurus ones said – full of shit.

Yoga, as far as my training and understanding go, is about being fully with what is. Sitting right in the fire of the fear, the anxiety, the flood of OMGWTF, and allowing it to be as it is, as best you can, without trying to find an easy answer (which does not exist and never will), and without trying to force it into something else.

And in this way, somehow, miraculously, spontaneously, it becomes something else, all on its own. Because that’s the nature of existence. Spanda. Pulsation. God is ever in flux.

When everything is stripped bare, there’s your real practice. When everything feels numb, disorienting and this-can’t-be-happening, that’s your deepest dharma. It’s got zero to do with the size of your malas, your hyper-mobile backbends or your $108 tights with the chakras printed on the legs. It’s got nothing to do with feeling good no matter what, or “making the most of it,” or whatever other irresponsibly fluffy meme is hammering your feed and making you feel even worse.

Sit in the fire. Breath with the waves of dread and uncertainty, not against them. You are not failing. You are far from alone. The waves will shift. You will probably not drown. You will probably not burn to death. You might be just a little bit purged, here and there, sometimes. And maybe, just maybe, that will help.

On we go.

OM Shanti x108


Mark Morford

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