Lessons in Resilience

How I Practice Resilience

My intention as I began the Gentle Yoga for Resilience series for You Call This Yoga was to bring mental and physical skills to participants in order to develop resilience during this pandemic. Over the past several weeks, I have been observing my own development of resilience. It has been a part of my practice of “svadyaya” or self-study. Never before in my yoga teaching career has there been such a large cultural experience impacting my students as well as myself. As I am teaching about resilience, I am also working to strengthen my own resiliency. 

During the first week of teaching, I realized how different and difficult it is to teach an online class in a “webinar” style, rather than a “live stream” class where I could see all of my students. Here is where one of the first skills of resiliency came up: belief in your own capability. Instead of receiving a visual affirmation that the students were engaged, smiling, practicing, I needed to believe in my skills and trust that they were engaged. 

How We All Can Practice Resilience

Another key aspect of being resilient is the ability to be adaptable. For many people, this skill doesn’t come easily. Often, we are attached to our expectations of how something should be. For yoga students used to taking in person classes, being adaptable means learning to swap out familiar props – like blocks, straps, and bolsters – for other household items. As we practice more and more online yoga, we will all become more adaptable. 

Finally, this nine week series that I offer helps to develop connection and purpose. It gives me a chance to create a connection with participants, as we practice self-isolation in this pandemic. By showing up every week for nine weeks, there is structure and routine built into their schedule and the realization that we are all connected, even though it may be with the invisible thread of the internet. I am here to use my voice to support, encourage, and reassure participants that we are all going through a similar experience and we will adapt and emerge stronger. 

Sources: Cherry, Kendra, 2020, Ten ways to build your resilience, accessed July 6, 2020.

The article was specially written by Renée Baker for You Call This Yoga.

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