COVID-19 – A Cabin Crew’s Yoga Journey

“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” -Corita Kent (1918-1986) This sentence was one of toughest but most rewarding lesson that I have learned from practising yoga during this circuit breaker.

Before COVID-19 started, I was in a never ending pace of life. As a cabin crew for about four years, life was always a constant blur of events. I was jet-setting around the region from Nepal to Australia with topsy-turvy work schedules; waking up at ungodly hours to report for work at 5:30am one day then staying awake till the passengers have disembarked at 8:00am in the morning the very next flight. If I wasn’t flying, I would have been about: on layovers, sightseeing, shopping, meeting friends, visiting cafes and restaurants, facials, manicures, massages, day trips, multiple gym sessions and the occasional night out drinking. Although I had always used the physical aspect of yoga as a way for me to take my mind off this hectic lifestyle, I immediately jumped back into the craziness once the class ends with “namaste”.

Then disaster (or so I perceived) struck. COVID had consumed the world with countries shutting their gates to others and Singapore having its own version of a lockdown. Flights were canceled everywhere, and I ended up trapped in the four walls of the house I grew up in without the usual level of income coming in. Suddenly, I was at a complete lost. I started feeling self-defeated because of the situation I was forced in.

However, Yoga had now became my constant.

I decided to dive into a home yoga practise with a goal of practising daily. Something which I never would have done if I was flying because I had the impression that there’s no time or I was too tired or I had to practise in the studio to feel at peace. With the practice of daily asanas, I realised that these ideas were only based on my limited beliefs of what yoga should be. I gradually stopped victimising myself and started feeling grateful of my body as it was all I needed to continue my practise. My view of the circuit breaker slowly changed as well as I felt I finally had a much needed rest both physically and mentally such as sufficient sleep and time to explore personal interests which I never got to prior to it.

I also started meditating which was something I had never thought I would ever practise in the past. I used to have this tendency to overthink and create scenarios about the future or relive scenarios of the past in my mind. This unconsciously created a lot of doubt and negative self-talk in me which I carried around constantly. However, through meditation after my daily workouts, I started to become more aware of the clutter in my mind. That thoughts were just thoughts. It created a sense of presence of the moment and I became more able to mentally remove myself from self-limiting beliefs. I felt my soul cleansed of all the stress and tension I have placed upon myself all this time.

I now see the silver lining in this pandemic thanks to yoga. Yoga has allowed me to see that this period in time is an opportunity to pause and reset. It puts into perspective and a sense of gratitude about who and what are important in life. Therefore, “in loving the moment”, gratitude and acceptance in our circumstance creates small happiness that will last beyond.