On a Friday in March, 2020, the YMCA was rather quiet. There was a feeling of uncertainty as my class participants filed into the yoga studio. There were fewer participants than usual, and before class we quietly discussed what was happening in the world, and wondered aloud what might soon happen. At the end of class, I think many of us sensed a finality. The following week brought changes we could hardly bring ourselves to imagine the week before.
I've written this piece in the form of a Vinyasa; what movement to breath is called in the practice of yoga.
On that last day, that unforeseen but later so obviously last day,
was there a tingle, a breeze, a premonition?
Spacing them far apart on mats, unconsciously enacting the coming normal,
were we rushing towards something, or was it rushing towards us?
Guiding them through pose after pose, tightening, holding, relaxing,
thoughts beginning to crystalize, reality becoming clear.
Sensing the irony of encouraging their full, deep breaths,
no longer quite trusting the air around us.
Bringing them to rest in that final savasana, the corpse pose,
hoping it wasn’t a grim prediction.
Experiencing unity for possibly the last time, for now,
then, goodbye, stay safe, my dear ones.