Still Here

Finding community in the time of Coronavirus. By Paula Hines

At the start of the year, the world felt like a different place. It is hard to comprehend just how much has happened and the speed at which events have taken place.

The first few months of 2020 had not been the best start to the year for me on a personal level. I had just been getting back to a settled routine after the unexpected death of my mother, then in March, just a week or so after her funeral, the pandemic exploded across the globe. There has been a collective fear, anxiety, mourning and uncertainty, but also there has been a sense of hope and a growing sense of community as the world faced the challenge together.

Like millions of people, I found my income suddenly interrupted. Yoga studios closed and the communities around them separated. Yet, I feel fortunate and hopeful. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful for the small things (which, in the end, are not really so small after all). As ever, my yoga practice has been invaluable. I have been doing my best to practice Santosha, the second Niyama of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga.

I have also joined the legions of yoga teachers venturing into classes online. Learning to do things differently has brought pleasant surprises. Teaching in this way is still very new to me, but so far I have found it to be an enjoyable and different way of experiencing community. Teaching live classes allows a means of connection, something so precious in these times.

We are living through a significant period in history. Collectively we are in same boat, but our experiences are not all the same. Many of us are having to deal with sudden change – change that has been forced upon us. Some of us will lose loved ones to this virus. Everything about this situation is a huge test of practice. Can we find a place of acceptance? Can we have compassion, not only for others, but also for ourselves?

Can we remember the good that is here, right now? In the end, love will always triumph over fear.

Paula Hines is a London-based senior yoga teacher and writer. Find details of upcoming events at ucanyoga.co.uk

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.