Archive for doing less

May 2020 Zoom/Telephone Yoga & Qigong Classes; Balance & Ground

Dear Friends and Family,   

  I hope that this email finds you and your loved ones remaining safe and well. It has been lovely connecting with so many of you on my Zoom and telephone yoga classes!  

Chair Yoga/Qigong/Tai Chi Easy™ Fusion Class on Zoom – photo by Eric Katzman

  For those of us staying at home during this time of mass social distancing, amazing technological advances haves allowed us to stay connected to one another and the outside world. Museums, arts organizations, theaters, fitness and dance studios, retreat centers, community groups, parks and botanical gardens, spiritual centers, academic organizations, non-profits, and so many others have all transitioned to online. Even before the pandemic, it was easy to go down that rabbit hole of never-ending internet searches, You Tube, Ted Talks, 24/7 news, and social media platforms. Now, there is even more content online that is educational, interesting, meaningful, or simply distracting and entertaining. Days can easily pass in front of an electronic screen and before we realize it, our eyes are strained, we’ve sat all day, and we’re suffering from screen fatigue. I don’t know if you can relate, but I have to combat my FOMO tendencies – fear of missing out on the latest news analysis, educational seminars, spiritual talks, dance and theater offerings, and the desire to stay uber-informed.

  I have observed during this time, that it is even more important to accept that, as stressful as it may be to not know all that is currently transpiring, we need to unplug and absorb less from the external world. That if we are fortunate to be safe at home, this can be a blessing to take more time for reflection, inner work, quiet time, non-electronic endeavors by engaging in creative outlets such as writing, arts and crafts, gardening (even in one’s city windowsill).

  For type A doers, this global shutdown can offer us the valid excuse of doing nothing, letting go of striving and releasing goals and seeing what transpires within us. What flows when we shut down the computer, and take pen to paper to journal or draw, without judging the outcome. For myself, reducing exposure to the digital life makes me feel more grounded and more embodied. So finding the balance of Zooming, emails, online work, etc with shutting it all down is something I have been observing and reflecting on this past month. As always, it seems the old adage “moderation is key”  and finding balance in one’s life continues to hold true no matter the circumstances.

  I know it may be slightly ironic that I am writing this on my laptop, and letting you know about my Zoom classes! But again, it comes down to balance and mindfulness. Making choices of when we will disconnect from our busyness and electronics, and just be in the world as human beings, not human doings. And most importantly, to be ok with that choice that may fly in the face of social conditioning. For so many of us in Western cultures, we were taught to be rewarded for keeping busy, being productive, accumulating rewards and material items, and achieving our lofty goals. Now, we have a basically mandated break (unless we are a frontline worker), from the hamster wheel of our repeated habitual doings and tendencies. Can we, even in the midst of much global suffering, see this as an opportunity to all slow down, consume less, reflect more, send out positivity to the planet through visualizations and meditations, and see the true value in that way of living. Can we not simply shift our pre-pandemic busy, hectic lifestyles from in-person to online, but instead truly create a new way of being in the world? For me, that will be my exploration, knowing I have the luxury to do so, while being grateful for those frontline every-day s/heroes working so hard for all of us.               

Self portrait – photo by Melissa Elstein, May 2020

  See below and side bar for more details on my classes this month and descriptions. Please email me any questions you may have about my teaching schedule, and I would also love to hear from you with the sincere hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. 

Melissa Mati