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  • Writer's pictureto yoke

Getting outside in the time of a lockdown

It is interesting how such a change of pace and fairly simple boundaries being created by the 'opportunity' in this time of coronavirus lockdown, creates the much needed space to slow down and increase a more joyful connection with the world. The reduction of activity has had a profound change on the way we choose to interact with our worlds, in our bubbles of activity or non-activity. The way we approach this is perhaps not so much of individual choice although there is much we can do to encourage a softening and opening up but simply accepting that this IS the way it is, currently. It is what it is, and is subject to change as it always is and was. We have been reminded that perhaps all that we took for granted, we can't take for granted.. a helpful lesson for humans. To realise that life is not to be taken for granted. It is a transient experience and we are blessed with the bodies that we have for this time, which are subject to change.

So for the sake 'of all sentient beings' we have been requested by nature to STOP our presumptuous ways, to take account, to simplify and to prioritise. Obviously there is a sense that the way that we were before, has predisposed us to either fight against the boundaries imposed (and there are those still working from the same mindset and assuming things will go back to normal) or accept or even embrace this supposed freedom being taken away. But the difference here is how you frame the current situation. It hinders people's capacity to work and earn money and this will have it's consequences. Many exist hand-to-mouth and rely on others and community run organisation for opportunity to socialise and this reduction will isolate them to a great capacity. Isolation has the potential for as much of a negative effect on health as Corona-19. This cannot be denied. But for some of us households/groups/families the freedom has been gifted to many of us, by taking away the capacity for work, school, child-care and forcing families to spend 'quality' time that perhaps they have never spent together before. This can be a blessing as much as it can be life-threatening and my heart goes out to those in an awful situation from which they cannot escape.

But for the rest of us those small moments of going 'outside' of the boundary of your own home therefore become heightened and perhaps more sacred for it. Each moment, due to the nature of it having been slowed down and simplified becomes greater potential for the mindful mediative experience sought for within a yoga practice. For those who can't go outside and have a window for example to focus their attention on, on perhaps just a shard of light that moves around the space as the day moves into night.. these experiences become intensified. If you are out and about you might find yourself paying more attention to the path which you follow and give yourself the opportunity to go down the path less-trodden.. and get caught up in brambles, find yourself clambering through undergrowth or happening upon a secret labyrinthine layer in an old tree by the river, for example. The places that have gone unexplored, OPEN up to you.. and children tend to be the most curious and lead adults into exploring spaces more than they would otherwise have done so. The way in which we connect with our environment inevitably becomes more connected, more grounded, more solidified yet more expansive and I will say it again, sacred. Perhaps you too have found your dreams have become more memorable, more surreal, more colourful or distinct.

There are many things to be grateful for in these times and I hope you find the opportunity to explore and experience things differently.

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