Staying on the Path During Quarantine

kung fu quarantineDuring the great Coronavirus Lockdown of 2020 through which we are all now living, we find ourselves reluctantly gifted with a different perception of time. Amid the constant anxiety and uncertainty over employment, insurance, imminent death and the dreaded disruption of the supply chain, a certain opportunity may at least be found in chaos (though it is not one that we would have wished for). For the first time for many of us, we find that our days and nights are no longer bound by an external schedule

As weeks roll past in the eternal now, we begin to see our formerly-precious schedule as an imaginary construct made to serve a lifestyle that no longer exists. Many under lockdown have reported that time, memory and the rhythms of the body have become fluid and subject to unforeseen changes. Long, quiet days of enforced solitude seem a natural environment for contemplation and revisitation of life’s most recurring themes. Whatever one’s vocation or obsession or life path was up to this necessary turning point, there may now be an urge for reappraisal. Here it can be beneficial to let one’s intuition lead the way, particularly in the realm of personal health and keeping fit. In these times it is more important than ever to keep moving, not just to keep our own immune systems strong and healthy but to help others as the need arises

Here are some guidelines:

1. Commit to daily practice for the sake of the practice itself, without regard to an outcome or goal. Allow your body to explore the space you are in now, in whatever time frame it sees fit. In the absence of a schedule, you may wish to explore training at times that would have been impossible or impractical previously

2. Practice with feeling. This can be thought of as a form of mindfulness training. Try to get outside and feel the air on your skin, be attentive to physical sensation and the mental reactions they evoke. Try to resist the urge to intellectualize or put things into words.

3. Consider simplifying your practice so as to focus on basic principles rather than the acquisition of complex skills. A single action done with focused spirit and intention over many repetitions is worth more than multiple actions done half-heartedly. There may be surprising and unexpected depth found at the heart of movements and techniques that you thought you already knew well. This fresh insight can feel like a gift from your higher consciousness

Good luck and hope to see you all soon!