Dear Friends and Family,
April 2020 Full Moon – Melissa Elstein
It has been a month since my last email to you, and during these past four unimaginable weeks, it has been remarkable watching the world reorient to a completely different way of being; loved ones and strangers have battled the corona virus (some successfully, others unfortunately not), the economy has basically shut down with humanity sheltering in place (even the stubborn non-believers in science have come around to endorsing social isolation), mundane activities like food shopping have become the week’s most stressful endeavors, and delivery workers, store personnel, transportation employees (in addition to medical workers) have rightfully become our every-day super heroes. Daily, we learn of the numbers of those afflicted with the virus rising exponentially along with the unemployment levels, and conversely retirement savings and the stock market dropping to new lows. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has become the country’s “governor” with his daily fact-filled press conferences as well as his spiritual words of wisdom, even as his younger reporter brother hallucinates in his basement while recovering from the virus. We are in the midst of a once in a century pandemic – the enormity of which is hard to even truly comprehend. Yet, this is our new normal.
Amidst this planetary crisis, we have observed the amazing adaptability of humanity as social and business connections have moved online. Families are celebrating holidays over Zoom calls with little computer screen boxes substituting for the communal table. Newscasters are broadcasting from their homes, often with their young children interrupting their news report to climb on their laps, adding an adorable human element we have not seen before. With the invention of different types of videoconferencing, society has stayed connected in ways we never could have imagined a mere five weeks ago before the strict stay at home orders were implemented. Often during this time of social isolation, I have been thinking about the last global pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918, which occurred before our technology and information age. It is hard to even fathom how that generation managed their crisis without all our modern amenities that are truly keeping us connected and supported.
Fortunately for many of us, such connectivity and support are still being provided by yoga, pilates, meditation, and dance studios as they have transitioned from in-person classes to Zoom or YouTube group sessions. It is truly impressive how quickly these independent, local businesses shifted their teaching model so that students and teachers are able to maintain their practices and hopefully keep the studios in business. In NYC, we have bemoaned the loss of small businesses even before the pandemic (due to internet shopping and high rents), but now more than ever we must support our mom and pop stores and studios. During this stay at home period, I have been both a student and a teacher participating in live Zoom classes and I have been pleasantly surprised at how lovely the group connection is, and how effective the teaching has been. To take class with my fellow NYC teachers and students, even in this new format, has brought a semblance of normalcy during these abnormal times, and for that I am very grateful. Participating in the healing practices of mindful movement modalities (such as gentle yoga, qigong, tai chi, pilates), as well as meditation and dance is even more beneficial, and necessary, during these stressful times.
Although my in-person classes at Dorot for Seniors, Integral Yoga Institute, and the Children’s Dance Program at Steps on Broadway have been cancelled until further notice, my Dorot University of Walls telephone series starts mid-April. I have years of experience teaching seated qigong and Chair Yoga over the phone, combined with meditation and visualizations, and I find this medium works very well – especially if you already have experience with those modalities. My in-person Wednesday Chair Yoga and Tai Chi Easy™ fusion class for Integral Yoga is now a Zoom class held on Fridays noon-1pm. See below for more details on these classes 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.