A few weeks back I received a phone call from an unknown number. The call was made to the phone number of my yoga studio.
It was a male voice. He enquired if we taught meditation. He wanted to know if the studio was open and enrolment was on. I informed him that due to Covid19 lockdown, we were not conducting classes at the studio. He could join us as soon as the lockdown was lifted. I also offered to call him to inform the day it opened.
He sounded a bit fidgety. I asked if there if there was any problem. He affirmed and said that he needed to meditate urgently. I became curious and asked, what was the matter. He continued, “I am very disturbed. I have been feeling depressed and everything seems to affect me these days. I don’t know what to do and where to go. I need help. But this lockdown has made it worse. I can’t go out anymore as I come back home getting more depressed.” What makes you so depressed? Could you identify the triggers? I enquired. He replied that the fact that somewhere a beggar on the street is starving every day (to whom the fear of coronavirus means little), a housemaid is unable to go home, elderly people are having to take public transport even though it is extremely risky. “I can’t read the newspaper without feeling miserable. I see people being okay with all this and I don’t understand why it affects me so much. I can’t sleep at nights,” he added.
Well, his reply was like a bolt from the blue for me. I never thought all these things could affect the normal being of someone. I wanted to help him somehow. He was on the verge of crying. I decided to talk to him a little more and asked about his background. I gathered from the conversation that he was a teacher, engaged to be married to a loving girl living in another district. They talked over phone every day and were looking forward to get married once the lockdown is lifted. I was relieved to find out a couple of positive aspects in his life. His teaching job earned him a handsome salary and he runs a successful coaching centre. But his inability to sleep at night was affecting his mental state. Since work was off due to lockdown, he now had more free time to get depressed.
I am not a psychiatrist or a counsellor of any sort. A few breathing practices and guided meditation would help calm his nerves. I was happy that he chose to try out meditation. This will help him get a hold of his life for now. I advised him to first avoid reading the newspapers, stop watching televisions news and stay at home and revisit his hobbies. I also assured him that I would help him with yoga and meditation at the earliest possible time.
A week before that, I received a message from a mother. She asked if I offered any class that could help her school-going child focus more on studies. Due to lockdown she was unable to make him concentrate on studies. I knew exactly what to do to contain his scattered energy having tried it in my own preschool. There are effective solutions to address this in yoga. So, I agreed to help her child over video calls.
Two days later, I received an interesting call from a senior citizen. I was surprised to know that she found out about us from the Studio Facebook Page and found the link to our website there. The octogenarian lady wanted a solution for her restless mind. She wanted me to teach her the ‘guided meditation class for the elderly’. She enquired if it was possible for her to get the classes online over a video call. I loved her proactive enthusiasm. I said, of course it was possible.
It was time for me to get back to the drawing board. Focusing on the individual issues of all these callers I designed classes for them combining kriyas, asanas and meditation techniques. Our classes started the following Monday. One in the morning, one during midday and one in the evening. I taught each of them three classes on alternate days. Once they learnt the techniques, they were to practice at home every day. They could revert to me if and when they had any queries.
The individual results and feedbacks are heart-warming. The teacher called me and informed that meditation had been a blessing for him. He felt more at ease now. He wanted to know if he could teach in my studio once he gets a teacher training on meditation. He wanted to help more people like him. The mother of the active child sent messages saying that he no longer jumped around the house during study times. His mobile screen time has reduced too. The elderly lady who had the highest queries was loving the meditation. She felt it helped her more if she practiced it two times every day.
I recently offered online breathing practices to a few members of an NGO I am associated with. The time I spent with all these people was therapeutic for me as well. A lot of people do not realise how a few easy breathing practices can bring in so much of positive changes in their lives. A few common problems during this lockdown has been sleeplessness, anxiety, lethargy and body pain. All these issues can be addressed by asanas and kriyas easily doable at home. I now want to spread this knowledge to those who will be highly benefitted by them.
It is truly a time to get back to basics (as I wrote in my earlier blog). Sceptics will always question other’s beliefs. But the solutions to all our problems are within our reach. All we have to do is reach out to the ones who can help with a positive mind.