Everyone I have come into contact with since Saturday's inevitable announcement seems to have understandably lost a bit of the spring in their step. The prospect of another lockdown is most certainly not a welcome one. However, get though it we must and finding ways to make our lives that little bit easier during these crazy times will help enormously.
In March when we first encountered lockdown the feeling of being in a storm without a port was terrifying, but we were resilient, we adapted, we discovered Zoom and the great outdoors and these were fabulous anchors. Being in nature is always a wonderful balm for the soul and even at this time of year there is usually some time in each day when the weather is clement enough for us to dose up on fresh air and if possible woodlands, beaches, parks and fields.
As a musician I have talked endlessly about my feelings of loss of not being able to experience harmony in singing - Zoom sadly does not allow a choir to sing together. However, to be together with some individual singing, learning music , and having musical projects means that we carry singing on and into the next phase of our lives ready to return to live choirs when we can. My wonderful choral society Northwoodchoralsociety.com continues to meet every Sunday evening for an hour and together we learn music, create virtual choir pieces, learn vocal technique and, most importantly, show up and create camaraderie and support for each other. As well as the choral society I am also offering courses in vocal technique during lockdown and some Yoga and Singing Fusion lessons. See juliebalemusic.com for more details.
Also during the last lockdown I completed my training and qualified as a Yoga teacher and then took a specialism training in Yin Yoga. If you want to know more about Yin please visit my website everywomanyoga.com or check out my Facebook pages. Yin Yoga and Gentle Flow Yoga are my two favourite forms of Yoga as they are accessible to all from beginner to professional and contrary to popular opinion do not require any degree of flexibility to be able to do them and give the body, mind and spirit the opportunity to release anxiety, strengthening and lengthening the body and providing a welcome escape by allowing us for a little while to turn down the volume on the world. If you are feeling a bit anxious or need a pick me up (and frankly who doesn't during these times), then give a yoga class a try. All my classes are online and all the details you need to join are on my Yoga website (see above).
My final thought, as always in these times is, whatever you do during the coming lockdown, be gentle on yourself. Keep company via Zoom or in a Park or however you can and if you fancy coming to join a choir, voice class or yoga session with us then you would be most welcome, but if you cannot then find your way of staying upbeat and allow this time to flow by. Normal Service WILL be resumed shortly!