The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has upended the world.
Everyone is impacted.
The flip side of the seriousness of this illness is growing awareness of how connected we really are on this planet in our one human family.
A mere week ago, I was facilitating a community drum circle, group dancing and gathering. That week seems like a full year away from today where our family is fully committed to quarantine and practicing social distancing. Today as I walked my dog outside in this surreal beautiful, sunny day in SW Pa. I realized not for the first time and likely not the last that anything can be postponed except birth and death.
What was so important to me last week has shifted and changed in such a short period of time. Our daughter, a college student, like most college students have had to move out of their dorms and at least in her case, back home to finish the semester online.
I will be teaching my Saint Francis University Creative Movement class Online which will be interesting.
Like most of America right now, I have lost 80% of my income. I am not sure if I qualify as an independent contractor for any relief and will be looking into that in days to come.
I decided Friday night that it would not be ethical of me to continue to offer in person classes. Many of my students have had a variety of health issues, chronic health issues and disabilities, some are immune compromised and other, while appearing healthy, many or may not be carrying a virus.
The foundation of yoga is ahimsa, non harming. So, to me, it would not be in alignment with the ethics and values of yoga to continue to offer in person practice.
I have also found that when I can show up and step out of my own fears and show up to be of service that I am taken care of by God, and the Universe and I believe this will remain true and it is how I am proceeding forward.
I remain deeply committed to supporting people in helping regulate central nervous systems, finding healthy and safe ways to connect virtually.
I have a variety of ways I am offering practice and this will continue to evolve, both as I learn more about online platforms and ways to connect.
The best way to keep informed of offerings is through my YogaSong Facebook Page and email newsletter.
Right now, I will be offering Facebook Live Practice Weekly.
Saturday Yoga Classes 9:30 via Zoom
Tuesday Gentle Yoga Classes /Eventbrite/
This will be updated as time goes on.
EventBrite tickets are offered from free to suggested contribution of $10.00 to pay it forward contribution of $20.00.
If you are like me, and don’t have expected income coming in, please use the free option, if you can afford the $10.00, Awesome. If you can pay it forward with the $20.00, that is much appreciated.
If you would like to contribute via PayPal, that is what I am linked to via EventBrite. You can send money with the family and friends option to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send it from your bank account or PayPal balance, there are no fees. If you send from a credit card, there are fees.
I also have CashApp $RachelYogaSong and Venmo @Rachel-Allen-240
An old fashioned check can be mailed to 501 Cypress Ave Johnstown, Pa. 15902.
To access Zoom Videoconferencing, please search in your browser for Zoom. You can create a free account. Once you have created a free account, please use for the best service in an app. You can access that through Apple Store, Google Play or whatever app interface you use. If you are accessing this technology, please take the time prior to the class to become familiar with where your microphone icons, video and chat box options. I will spend a couple minutes at the beginning of each session guiding people but cannot answer tech questions once I start teaching.
Facebook Live videos you can join live or watch at your convenience. I am also creating You Tube videos that can be viewed at your leisure and that might be the most user friendly option if you are challenged with technology. Here is one with music. https://youtu.be/ghPI6_W02b8
Yoga is a practice that is made for these times. Our practice is not a check out but a check in. Our practice gives us capacity to sit with all the fears, the challenges, the uncertainty. Some of the core teachings of yoga are facing fears of death, surrendering to the present moment and being able to manage to breath and remain in our own skin even when the moment might feel unbearable.
One of the Yoga and Social Justice communities that I am connected to had a call on Friday for teachers to explore the ethics of the moment and the populations we serve. This community called Accessible Yoga is leading what it looks like to serve selflessly, compiling and sharing resources. Please visit this community and support these selfless teachers! One of the things we discussed that immediately landed in my body was that people with disabilities and those with chronic illness have developed so much resilience around the need to step away from all of life because of health. This is true in my own family and we have faced many, many a time when we have had to walk away from work, social gatherings, celebrations, holidays and more because of hospitalizations, surgeries and fragile immune systems.
We have always been blessed by community. By our faith community, yoga and musician community, so many intersections of life and people.
We get to do that now with each other. We get to do this showing up and caring for one another. If you are local and reading this, there is a new Facebook group that myself and a few other activists and organizers created called Lend a Hand in Laurel Highlands. It is a place where people can ask and offer help in the Cambria/Somerset County region. If you are living in another region, look for something like this in your community, or create it with some other organizers and activists.
We will be holding space in our meditations in these experiences for those that are ill, for those at risk and for health care workers and service providers that are at risk due to the nature of their work. We will be sending big love to all these peoples. Sending love across the planet to our one human family.
All will be well.