My whole life, like many others, changed overnight. On 3/19/2020, in my late 40’s, I got married for the second time. We got married and then everything shut down. I took a week off from work not knowing that I wouldn’t be back for over four months. My entire life changed. My social circle completely changed. My yoga studios shut down, for good. I found myself truly experiencing what it must have been like for a woman who got married and changed her entire life. I was lost. And everyday I was seeing more and more people affected by COVID. I was scared and didn’t know what or how to cope with all the stress. On top of all this, I was only four months into my job. While I had worked at my company for 15 years, this was a new position, a promotion and I had to learn to navigate it from my home.

Every day was a new day. Learning to navigate Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams and realizing I was working a lot more, with less breaks and more stress. I started doing yoga online and connecting with people I didn’t know or would ever meet. I used an app that showed me how many people were participating but I didn’t see anyone, just a name and where they were located. It was then I knew what I needed to do to connect to those at work that I missed so dearly.

I volunteered to do a Zoom yoga class for everyone in my company. I set aside four Friday’s in July and committed to a half hour of yoga. I figured out how to set up a camera so everyone could see me, set up the zoom meeting and then just hoped people would join. It was the most amazing experience. There were days I was sad, happy, overwhelmed with my job responsibilities, stressed, tired and excited. I started to realize the minute I got on that mat, in front of that camera, it no longer was about the fear and anxiety I was feeling in my new life. It was about being there to help someone feel good. To bring joy to someone’s day. To help them relax and feel at ease.

I would set up my mat, my camera, put on calming music and essential oils. I knew people couldn’t smell the relaxing scents, but I felt that if I could feel calm, I could help someone else feel calm. Inside, right before I started the class, I would feel such angst but the minute I started the class, thanking those who showed up during their lunch hour, it all went away. At the end of class, I would feel this overwhelming sense of love and calm. I knew then, that to get through this, I needed to connect with others, to help them and in turn, they helped me.