In these times of lock-down due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Satyananda Yoga practices have proved to be the means to remain sane, healthy and optimistic.
Being a yoga sadhaka, one had the opportunity to immerse oneself in yoga, with less distractions and hardly any social commitments and interactions with the outside world. The physical body had an opportunity to heal as the pace of life was reduced drastically. The mind naturally had an environment with much less sensorial stimulation to quieten, taking it towards the state of pratyahara, in which the cobwebs of the mind started clearing.
In this situation, the tools of Satyananda Yoga become the means of a disciplined life, and having a routine is extremely important. Beginning the day with the Three Mantra Sadhana with the sankalpa and ending with the Review of the Day, is psychologically very practical and beautiful for we begin with positivity and end by clearing the slate of the mind.
The weekly shatkarma practices of kunjal and neti help clean the pranic blockages which develop due to stressful situations in uncertain times. Asana and pranayama practices are ideal to remove lethargy. They give the required stimulation to the muscles and organs to function optimally in these days of confinement at home, bringing a sense of balance and harmony in the energy systems which leads to equanimity. The yoga nidra practice in the afternoon is a wonderful scientific practice to disconnect the mind from its continuous flow of thoughts leading to the removal of tension from the physical, mental and emotional realms. The evening mantra sadhana with the resolve for positivity and protection for everyone is an optimistic way to deal with pain and misery widespread due to the pandemic. Locked in our own homes we are mostly not in a position to help. The mantras are a constructive way to deal with this distress. So, integrating these practices in one’s daily routine makes the day disciplined and positive.
The treasure of yoga for all, the Satyananda Yoga Prasad website, with publications, practices, audio and video satsangs of the masters is a wonderful instrument for any sincere aspirant in these times. The Yogic Lifestyle program given in satyamyogaprasad app (SYP app) and the simple audio guided practices in the For Frontline Heroes app (FFH app) are immensely helpful resources given to humanity to cope in these extraordinary times. The meditation practices given in the Yogic Lifestyle program are profound yet so easy to practise and follow. I have been doing the Long Shavasanas, Ajapa japa practice, and Review of the Day regularly.
The FFH app is so convenient that people can rejuvenate themselves by simply investing ten minutes and practising the guided shavasana, between shifts either at home or while working on the frontlines. Overworked home-makers with increased work at home or stressed students coping with online classes can use it for recharging during the day.
These practices have given me a positive mental state, even when my daughter was flying back from abroad with the risk of catching the infection during her long international flights. Our family quarantined for a fortnight. It was a time when we, as a family, used to do chores together, maintaining a cheerful environment. We enjoyed the days together. We were able to include two lifestyle changes inspired by the Satyananda Yoga tradition which will have a major impact on our overall well being and health. First we integrated the habit of having dinner before sunset. The second change was that we started doing the evening mantra chanting of the 32 names of Durga, Mahamrityunjaya mantra and Hanuman Chalisa together after dinner. It is an addition to the Mahamritunjaya havan every Saturday which has been a part of our family time for many years. Even when my daughter was abroad she regularly joined us online.
Taking online classes on Skype is also an interesting addition during lock-down adapting to the changing times. Though I feel it lacks the energy of a regular group class.
All these positive changes are a result of our unshakeable faith in Guru which has made this journey possible. Guru and his directions have been the biggest inspiration to enable us to cheerfully manage life especially in these times.