Bits & Pieces from all around as Yoga enters everywhere
I sent out this email to all my students today. As the responses (with permission) come in, I will post them.
I have been teaching Yoga for 16 years now. During that time it was commonplace for students to come in with symptoms that colds or allergies produced and make use of the tissues provided to blow their noses or cover their mouths when they coughed. Hell, I used to do the same when teaching the class! There were many times when the tissues were a key component in completing the class!
Now, if someone coughs in class, others are uneasy. Why? Because the situation has changed. And change is what we are most reluctant to accept. C'mon, we can all remember times when "that guy" went too far - came into work coughing and sneezing and blowin' his nose like crazy and we all said to ourselves "Dude, go home or whatever but just don't come near me!" Now you can be reviled for saying something like that.
During the past few days I have searched for information on Covid-19. I have spoken with many people in and out of my profession as to their reaction/handling of this situation and their subsequent decisions.
And I changed my mind.
I may have lost of few of you right there because our society has made "changing your mind" a weakness instead of the strength it should be regarded as. We value "sticking to our guns" more than accepting new information. This has been true throughout history in all walks of life including the medical profession. There was a time when doctors, the "learned ones", scoffed at the Germ Theory. Where washing their hands wasn't a necessary precaution. And I'm not talking just about Civil War times, look just a decade ago at many different modern hospitals who had a high rate of infection after surgery due to doctors not washing their hands!
Then there's my personal experience. I come from a culture of No Pain, No Gain. In the Marine Corps we were taught that "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Now I am a Yoga teacher. Now I believe in No Pain All Gain. When I started Yoga it was looked at as an "inferior" type of physical exercise and now it's taught to the Marines!
And let's continue along the Marine Corps path. I joined the Corps to serve my country because I believed I was protecting our society, our way of life. Now I believe I am still protecting our society by offering Yoga to a populace that needs every aspect of it - and by suspending a portion of that offering because it's better for our society.
Smiling Spirit Yoga will suspend Public Classes for the week of March 16th thru March 21st
A re-evaluation will be taken after that time.
This was not an easy decision. Teaching Yoga is my sole source of income. But I believe this is better for my society even though not for me personally. That is what service is about.
At first this decision depressed me. I love teaching Yoga and in the 16 years of doing so I have never approached a single class without a high level of enthusiasm. Next week will be the first time in 16 years that I won't be teaching. Now the "half empty" guy could get bummed about this. But instead, I have chosen to look upon it as Snow Days. That's right, Snow Days! I always loved Snow Days whether as a kid or an adult. When the highways were closed down and we were advised "Don't go out unless you really have to" - well, that was validation for doing nothing! Or playing games or doing something I couldn't find time to do in the past - now, I had that time!
So try to approach next week in that light. Do something you wouldn't normally do. Do something with that time that you took getting to and from Yoga and the time for the class itself by doing something you previously just couldn't "get around to." Do Your Own Private Yoga Class from what you remember from my classes! : )
But don't get too wrapped up in it! I am coming back! : )
Thanks for your time and I look forward to seeing you soon! I welcome your thoughts and if you can, send me an "I got it" email so that I know ya did : )
You're doing the right thing. Hang in there!
You are a true Yogi, a good friend and a great citizen. I fully support you in this decision and will support you by paying for classes that I would have taken during the week. You have given more to me than I can possibly repay, and making sure that you are taken care of during this time is the least I can do as you look to take care of us.
Semper Fi my brother!
Hi Jim -
Thank you for your thoughtful email ...and your well thought out (and difficult!) decision to suspend classes for the coming week. It is such a challenge each day to know which actions/activities are "safe" in the face of this global pandemic.
And I am with you on the "snow day" approach!! Looking at those things that need my attention and enjoying the respite from the daily grind.
Breathing and praying that we will all be well,
I enjoyed very much reading your email. Although I have not been to class for a while, I miss your smiling spirit yoga.
To change one's mind based on new information represents bravery and responsibility. I believe you've made a right decision for our community and for our society. Thank you for the communication.
Wishing you good mood and good health during the "snow days." See you soon.
I did! Great book!
And just a fantastic, well written note!
Even though I now live far away, I have never deleted you as a contact because of your frequent words of wisdom-
I’m sorry that you’ve suspended your Yoga class. I know this is bumming you out. I’ve always enjoyed your class and would like to resume again when this “blows over”. Eva
I got it and enjoyed hearing your thoughts. It’s one email I’m not deleting. Thanks for your words of wisdom. Arla
Hi Jim - So so nice to hear from you in this very thoughtful way. I love the metaphor of thinking of this as a snow day -- know how you always say, "think of something that makes you smile?" It made me smile!
So I'll miss you, And I'll look forward to seeing you whenever we resume.
Hi Jim-Your e-mail was excellent. Stay well. I will be even more grateful to practice with you when the time comes! xo-Robin