A Retreat at Home

 The past few weeks of having to stay at home have felt a little bit like a retreat. I guess being a practitioner of yoga and qigong, and having experienced short retreats, including those with silence, has been a preparation for the isolation that has been imposed. Plus I am aware of long time introvert tendencies. 

As a yoga and qigong teacher, I have certainly missed my students. Like many others, I have taken to using Zoom to teach online and it has been a boon in keeping that contact. An unexpected benefit has been the ability to access my own teachers’ online classes. One qigong teacher, who is an acknowledged master, is someone I only see once a year or so because of geography. Now, thanks to the move to online classes, I can practice with her several times a week. I am also able to access a lovely yoga teacher who lives a couple of hundred miles away. 

The garden has been a refuge and the beautiful weather has been a great incentive to get outside. I feel a great deal of sympathy for anyone who does not have a garden in these times. In Lockerbie, lots of people have been helping each other through contact on social media – I hope that carries on when a more active life resumes. 

I do have family to sustain me. We are not on top of each other during the day. We come together for meals and chat and then go off and do our own thing in various corners of the house and garden. It is peaceful and productive. 

What I have missed is meeting with family and friends. I have missed travel too – I like to do an occasional ‘Thelma and Louise’ road trip with my pals and look forward to those excursions. My trailer tent is sitting unused, waiting for that trip to France. I am unsure yet whether that bit of wanderlust will have declined, or whether it will come back full force. I do feel we should be more circumspect about how much we use air travel in the future, given how the earth seems to have taken a big sigh and breathed a little easier. I would like us all to consider keeping a slower pace of life for the foreseeable future. 

by Susan Neal

Some useful links:
1. My own Yoga class on Wednesdays: Facebook: Yoga with Susan @oceanofcalmenergyarts or email susanneal@mac.com
2. Qigong: Facebook Live with Tina Faulkner Elders. Mondays and Wednesdays facebook.com/RuyiAberdeenshire/ Suitable for most abilities
3. Yoga with Jill Dobbie – local teacher with several Zoom classes http://facebook.com/Yoga-From-The-Heart-Dumfries-604538686393993/
4. Self compassion meditations and yoga online – contact Sarah Lionheart Facebook: @heartandmind.org
Also check out the following on Facebook:Lime Green Yogi, Soul Studio Dumfries, Holistic Yoga and Massage with Alyson, Himalayan Institute Europe 

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