A pandemic divides the yoga world

I am astonished, if I am totally honest, how the pandemic affects the yoga world. I expected that it will affect the world itself, of course. And I expected, that the yoga community will be affected too, but not in such a harsh way.

People don’t trust people, there are a million theories out there of why it happened, what happened and how it could be resolved. I get that, and I understand that it is hard to find the sources you can trust, but please, there is science and science is not a fairy tale producer but based on facts.

Facts which are even visible, how can you still state that there is no pandemic at all? What I can understand is insecurity. We are bombarded from each corner with news about the pandemic and as much as I like the fact, that we are connected worldwide, as much I do hate the fact that everyone can make up stories based NOT on facts. What we see currently is a huge clinical trial which is open to the public. That was the only solution to get an immense slow down in this pandemic. Scientists and researchers could have gone another way, a way of doing their research, like usually, behind closed doors. But guess what? There would have been even louder voices spreading their theories on why we are not involved.

We need science, a pandemic won’t disappear with a sage smudge

Fact is that science is needed to overcome it and fact is that this vaccine helps reducing severe cases and therefore full ICUs. Fact is also that this vaccine was fully developed within a couple of weeks. The basis, the mRNA is used already for a couple of years in research, new is the covid-19 virus added to the mRNA, and I am truly happy that scientists were able to get this done!

Vaccine side effects, we know all active compounds have side effects, so please tell me one thing, when you sit on your yoga deck in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle doing one of your magic mushroom ceremonies, are there side effects?

Just an example.

Psilocybin mushrooms have low toxicity, and death from an overdose is very rare. One survey in 2016 found that out of more than 12,000 users who took psilocybin, only 0.2% reported emergency medical treatment. Source: https://deserthopetreatment.com/hallucinogens/psychedelic-mushroom-addiction/overdose/

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

0.2% versus 0.0018% – and it is not clear on both sides if there were maybe unknown severe illnesses these people had, right? How can a vaccine now be more dangerous than a ceremony practiced by many of the anti-vaccine yoga folks?

If you talk about people dying, then put it in relation, of course people die. But the number of people dying is minimal in comparison to people dying actually because of a covid-19 infection.

A vaccination side effect is showing us that we are responding, that our immune system is working and starts to build antibodies. This is a great fact and far away from dangerous.

I can understand that there is a big portion of insecurity out there. Insecurity due to different scientists having different theories, insecurity due to the broadcasting of each single side effect in certain news channels, insecurity because our own personal world was shaken hardly.

We see all the people and hear all their stories and for some we believe what they say but for others we don’t. That’s life. But please do not ignore the facts and inform yourself through the official channels.

But, and that scares me much more, what makes me really start to be afraid is where humanity is heading to, the human behaviour “out there”, which seems to become more aggressive day by day. Not only physical, even more psychological – mobbing, dissing, threatening, and lots else happens on social media.

We know this happened before, but Covid turns out to be a driver for this behaviour too.

Call me naive because I hoped that yogis are able to handle this diversity better.

They truly don’t.

While everyone is asking for more equality and acceptance the yoga world is becoming a war zone for pro and anti vaccinated, for people who believe in the existence of a pandemic and those who believe it is all a big lie, for pro Trump and pro Biden, for pro science against pro spirituality.

Of course I expected lots of discussions, surely not everyone believes the same, but what I see now is similar to a war of different life models and health views.

I know that war is a very harsh word, but I don’t find something that fits better.

I am a yoga teacher myself, means I studied yoga philosophies and read a million articles and books and soaked in everything I could find about yoga, but despite of the inequality of ‘how to life your life right’, I always put tolerance on top. 

I have to life MY life, and only MINE. I am not responsible for decisions others make for their life. A certain kind of broad-mindedness belongs to a person who is practicing yoga and I fully resonate with it. 

And here I am and I wonder how others understand yoga. For some right now it seems to be an open invite to insist that their opinion is the only valid one and to defend that by all means.

Where is all your santosha?

The contentment of being satisfied with what you have? You, not others! You got vaccinated, that’s great! You don’t want because you think your body heals itself, great!

Where is your tapas?

Your self-discipline? It is not only about stepping into your yoga practice, but also not to outrage when someone thinks differently.

Where is your shaucha?

Put the ego aside and be in your moment, why would you bully others? 

Where is your brahmacharia?

Wise is who is centered and focused on happiness and peace. How can you be happy when you insult others? If that makes you happy you should overthink your own path! Peace belongs to brahmacharia, it has nothing to do with peace to tell others that they suck and their opinions are rude because you feel spoken to.

Where is your ahimsa?

Don’t harm others – talking mean is harming others! Writing to others they are stupid is harming! Trying to convince others from your opinion is harming, they need to be allowed to find their own way. 

If you read some conversations under posts of the recent yoga journal entry “Getting Vaxxed Was My Act of Ahimsa” ( https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/philosophy/covid-vaccine/) written by Wolf Terry, you won’t find ahimsa, brahmacharia, shaucha, tapas or santosha. What you will find there is the following:

I do not believe that a person studying a yogic path wrote this!!!! FAKE  <- everyone thinks his/her truth is the ultimate truth and we should not judge others when it doesn’t fit into ours. Calling someone fake is letting me wonder where the commentators yogic path went off road.

You are yoga teachers ? You are supposed to believe in your work ? Frauds all of you. <- Yoga teachers are not allowed to have different opinions? Calling all a fraud isn’t an act of kindness as well.

My act of Ahimsa is not putting poison in my body <- this comment is maybe not what I think and believe in, but it is an example of how to comment without harassing or offending others.

Inappropriate propaganda posting for a site talking about yoga. <- If you haven’t read the article you will comment like this. There has not been made any propaganda, it is simply one opinion, one personal journey, not more not less.

I wonder if they read the article at all or just the headline.

As Wolf Terry wrote, HER opinion is that the vaccine was HER ahimsa – why don’t everyone accept that? Through to the diversity of human beings themselves we will never be all on the same page?

Yoga teaches non-judgement and what you can see in this comment section is far away from non-judgement. People attack the author of the article, they attack yoga journal itself, and they attack each other.

But, and I guess this is the most important part, Yoga (Union) is not about the ego but about the community. If you choose to go all natural and you don’t want to be vaccinated or respect some rules which are needed during this pandemic (like wearing masks), then stay away from others! Don’t walk into public stores, stop teaching yoga not to be a risk for your students.

You choose, it’s your path and that’s fine, but ahimsa means to protect others as well and you can only do this by being aware that a virus spreads. People who don’t believe there is a virus, I guess I have no answer to you all. I spare my words for people who actually listen and am sure you won’t as you didn’t listen to science too.

I love yoga, I love science, I love community and all the benefits of it, but please do not try to harm anyone around you! Respect their choices, even if it doesn’t go along with your truth, and most important – stay away from people you may harm unless you can be sure you will not spread a virus (and yes, here a vaccine can help us all!).

My advise – get your vaccine and be mindful. Stay healthy

2 Comments

    1. I’m just not getting it – nature is great, I prefer lavender oil for headache instead of pills too. But we can not neglect science and in the case of a pandemic it is not all about me, it is about humanity. Nobody is willing to poison him- or herself, we all want to protect ourselves and our loved one, the poor and the less fortunate. This should be a yogic thought even as selfishness is not valued at all. But unfortunately it is not.

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