Surviving Self-Isolation – April 2020

What a moving feast of experiences we’ve all lived through, in a society now ruled and curtailed by COVID19. In our yoga world we have moved to online classes. Live classes, same times, same beautiful yoga, pranayama and meditations, streamed into your home using a very easy, low tech platform. Online classes have meant that I have reconnected with many of my beautiful students, reconnected with past students from Tasmania, VIC and NSW and we are still able to do yoga together. Not quite the same as a real live class, but almost as good. I see and talk to you and at the end of the class we can all catch up and check on how we are travelling in this brave new world of self-isolation.

Now I wrote a piece on surviving self-isolation on my Facebook page earlier in the week. Having run two businesses from home for the last 15 years I had some practical advice on working from home and surviving your family for 24/7. Things like keeping a routine, not wandering around all day in your pyjamas, exercising regularly, eating well, trying to connect with friends outside your immediate family and not drinking too much alcohol. The Florentines might have each been given a ration of a pint of wine a day, during the quarantine of the Black Plague, but we are not the Florentines of the 14th century! Too much alcohol and an uncertain future are not a good mix.

But what has become very obvious in correspondence with my students is how hard self-isolation is on our Extroverts. A lot of us in the yoga world are happy little Introverts and self-isolation is bliss! Give an Introvert some yoga, a garden and a giant pile of books or craft materials and they are the happiest person around. But for an Extrovert, that kind of solitude is akin to torture and a fast track to mental anguish. The Extroverts in our lives are often loud, funny, showy and absolutely essential at parties and BBQs. It will be the Extroverts swinging from the chandeliers, throwing canapes at the curtains and pushing the stuffy hostess into the pool. How we love them! But a sad, isolated Extrovert can be exhausting.

So what to do? Well follow all the clean living maintenance tips as above. Force your Extrovert to connect via Face Time or Skype to their other extroverted friends at least once a day. Allow them to play music very loudly and bounce around the house (you might join them). Encourage hard, sweaty exercise so they can burn off all that mental tension. And ask them if they would like to join us online for yoga. Some of the deepest, most enlightened yogis I know are serious Extroverts who have embraced their fascinating internal worlds!

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