Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” It goes without saying that unprecedented times demand unprecedented reactions from human beings. The history of humanity is replete with natural calamities, catastrophes and even man-made disasters. Man, however, survived and emerged not only as victor but also wiser and more knowledgeable. Human resilience has so far been unmatched as courage comes from within individuals.
Yoga is an ancient mode of meditative exercise that helps individuals reflect on themselves and be positive during all odds. It mainly works on the theme that you cannot always control what goes on outside but you can always control what goes on inside.
The novel coronavirus outbreak may be yet another test of human resilience and inner strength. With the call for social distancing, millions of people around the world are either put under lockdown or have voluntarily put themselves in isolation. The unfavourable situation also provides an opportunity for something good at the same time. Now, for the time being, people have more time to spend with themselves and their families.
“We need self-love to remain positive under all circumstances. Self-love I believe is the most powerful force. We can develop that force and further strengthen it with yoga and meditation,’ notes Daniel Matallana, a young meditation teacher and holistic therapist from Colombia.
Community approached the therapist seeking his opinion on how people can use yoga to stay positive while being at home all the time. Daniel says that he is present in Qatar to help people find balance through the practice of mindfulness and self-love.
“Self-love, I believe, is the most powerful force in the universe. Over the last decade, I have travelled and studied around Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East in a personal quest to learn from the greatest teachers on earth: Amazonian shamans, clinical psychologists, Buddhist monks and new age gurus. What I have learnt and I have to share with others is that together we can create a new world of kindness, peace and abundance for all.”
Differentiating between self-love and selfishness, the modern yoga guru said: “Self-love is a positive thing. It comes from honesty and wisdom. It helps one in making good choices in life. It produces positive energy. On the other hand, selfishness comes from immediate gratification. It does not help in making wise choices in life.”
Responding to a question that how yoga in general helps people reduce stress or anxiety, Daniel said: “Many studies have found that a little yoga in the morning, at night, or even during a lunch break, can minimise stress and depression. It is believed that yoga is so effective for stress relief because, aside from the physical benefits that yoga brings, it encourages a good mood, an increase in mindfulness, and a healthy dose of self-compassion.”
The mindfulness teacher who also uses music for therapy agrees that the current situation of social distancing owning to the outbreak is very nervous. “Right now we are going through a collective nervous breakdown. We are stressed due to social isolation, health fears and economic uncertainty.
“Yoga can help clear the mind and relax the body. We cannot control our external circumstances but we can control how we respond and what we focus on. Yoga is a form of self-reflection. These are challenging times but they also present us with the opportunity to slow down, meditate, reconnect to our loved ones and remember what truly matters in life. This can be the best time for healing and personal growth, which is why I will be offering an online meditation retreat to help people find peace and courage. You can access it for free on my website: www.danielmatallana.teachable.com”
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