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News and social media have been full of stories of a government advisor’s breaking of lockdown rules and the prime minister’s defence of same.

This isn’t a political blog and I’m not trying to wade into a debate. What this issue brings to mind though is the importance of considering when (and how) our actions affect others and acting with mindfulness.

unity

Photo by Mark Hayward on Unsplash

As humans we are fundamentally connected to each other and our environment. Our behavior matters; this is the principle of karma.

Karma is defined, philosophically, as the sum of our actions in this life and previous lives that decides our fate in future existences. However, you don’t need to believe in reincarnation to understand or embrace the concept of karma.

Karma means means having respect and self-respect so that we see other people as unique, valuable individuals, and avoiding harmful behaviours.

Acting for our own interests or gratification might seem like the way to be happy but thinking only of ourselves leads to isolation.

Yoga helps us return to connection, to find unity; it reminds us that our actions affect others and through them, return to affect us.

In the current COVID-19 crisis, taking care of ourselves means taking care of others and not increasing the risk of contagion and illness. It is difficult to adhere to social distancing or relinquish favourite activities, but in doing so, we’re creating a healthier environment for everyone, and hopefully accelerating a time where we can all go back to a more familiar way of life.