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Alone Together. Re-Defining Friendship in a Pandemic

Alone Together. Re-Defining Friendship in a Pandemic

The yoga sutras say “Through transgression of the original rules there  is non-attainment of the goal.”  

So what are the rules—or even the goals- in life as we know it and to live now in the midst of a pandemic? Many of us are still looking back at how it was a year ago, putting everything in our lives on lockdown as we wait,  and wish and hope life will be ours again in three months, six months, or a year.  

Even our friendships are affected and changed during the pandemic. Suddenly they feel distant, uncertain—practically unknowable. 

It’s almost like we have returned to when we were about 5, and there was a thing called an “imaginary friend.”. It was someone you invented, who didn’t actually exist but that you talked to and played games with and basically hung around with in your mind. 

Over the past 8 months, we seem to have returned to a life of imaginary friends. People who once were so real and such a presence in our everyday life now feel imaginary because we never actually see them in person and while they continue to exist somewhere in the world, they’re just not here in ours.  

Perhaps it’s more accurate to say they have become E-maginary friends!

Our real friends have become characters on our computer; like our Netflx friends such as Elizabeth in The Queen, or Emily in Paris, or Daphne in Bridgerton.  

Our friends too have names and stories and we can see them if they post a picture of themselves on Facebook or Instagram and we can actually talk to them on zoom or the phone, but just like our Netflix friends, we can ONLY spend time with them through a  machine. 

Suddenly every relationship is a long-distance one. Even our yoga has become screened off—from being a shared activity in a special room filled with a group of living, breathing, people, it is now a solitary experience in a not so special room in our house or apartment that we can’t seem to get out of. 

We have heard over and over again in our practice that we need to strive to be here now! To be present in this moment!

Some days, these days, it feels like all we have are moments.  There is little other activity –just time passing. Moment after moment.  

But wait a minute—what if we put those moments to good purpose? 

Maybe we can redefine moments. Maybe there is a possibility for a new way. Perhaps, in this moment to moment, in what feels like an undirected, unfocused, freefall life, we can find some enlightenment, make our own rules, and find a new perspective. We can make our lives real again. 

Perhaps yesterday we had an office, a job, places to go, and people to see. And, if we are honest, we may remember how many times we wished we didn’t have to go there, do that job, or see those people! We fantasized about how we would spend our time if only it really was our time and not being meted out according to the rules of others. 

Well, it is our time now!

And our yoga is a way to connect with it, and our mind, body and soul every day. Even if we feel we are practicing yoga alone at home, and may be one solitary person in our room, we are also one with the universe. 

The very meaning of the word yoga is to join, to yoke together.  And it is through our quiet meditation, our asanas, our spirits, hearts, and breath that we are united with all others in friendship, love and peace. 

And every time we get on our mat, in rooms around the world, we are one trikonasana closer to attaining our goal!

By Gaillane Grosso

Gallane is a creative director/writer with a long career in advertising and PR. She has written a novel called The Other Side of NIce and served on the board of directors of the Iyengar Institute in New York. She has been practicing for 35 years--gratitude to Eddie Stern, Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Seane Corne, James Murphy, Debby Green, Karine Plantadit, Erika Halweil, Alison Cramer and so many more gifted inspirational guides.

Practice yoga from the comfort of your own home, and energetically connect with others around the world here!

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