One Atlanta-Based Yoga Teacher Shares Her Vision for What a Post-Coronavirus World Could Look Like

As Georgia re-opens its economy, yoga studio owner Octavia Raheem implores us to stop scrambling to be productive in the way that mattered yesterday.
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Sacred Chill {West} is a yoga and meditation studio on the westside of Atlanta. It's committed to being a refuge to people who have been dismissed or treated like they are invisible in other yoga spaces. Our group of dynamic and experienced teachers reflect the diversity of our city and teach in a welcoming and accessible way.

osctavia-raheem

This pandemic is disproportionately impacting communities of color in our country. At Sacred Chill we serve a community that desperately needs access to yoga and wellness. The challenges we face in this right now are exponential.

We're temporarily closed and we will NOT be reopening Sacred Chill West, despite the Governor of Georgia announcing plans to start opening the state while coronavirus cases in the United States surpass 1 million.

See also As Georgia Reopens Its Economy, A Small Coalition of Yoga Studio Owners Remain Closed

We will open when there is scientific proof and data that supports that the pandemic is clearly in decline. We will open when there is a clear plan for testing throughout the state and nation. We will reopen when we know that we will not be putting the most vulnerable and marginalized within our community at further risk.

We believe our practice demands that we consider more than ourselves at this moment in time. We believe that another world is possible if we are willing to face this unprecedented challenge with an open heart, integrity, and from a place of profound interconnectedness.

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I take inspiration from this quote by Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things:

Another World is Possible

Listen. We are descending into quiet. Being thrown into it, really. I hear a sound so striking in its silence that it has displaced us all. It has put us in our place.

Human.

We can no longer out run this without collectively slowing down. We can not profit from this without the bottom meticulously falling out. We can not package, sell, or otherwise capitalize on this without paying with our very own lives.

We can no longer be American in the way that we have learned to be:

Individual

Grinding

Hustling

Calculating

Competitive

Consumed with work

Away from our families while saying… family matters.

We can not out run this. The only way to beat this is to stop, now. And still. Some of us may lose.

There can be no screaming match here. If we keep yelling over everything and everybody we will miss it.

So stop. Really really stop. Go read. write. rest. take care. paint. cry. dance. love. sit in the rain. grieve. reconnect to the source of your strength. cook at home. call your elders. Pray. be transformed.

Please stop spinning. Please stop scrambling to be productive in the way that mattered yesterday.

Honor the lessons of yesterday and let everything else about that recent yet distant past fall away.

Something is happening NOW that demands that we are present for it.

If we keep going like nothing is happening. We will miss it.

It- being the world that is coming.

I’ve seen glimpses of it in my dreams.

Beloveds, it gets worse. My God, it does.

We get better. My God, we get better.

And then… hallelujah. glory.

It.

It gets better as we get better.

It gets so much better.

Another world is possible.

We are descending into quiet.

Listen.

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