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Interview with Dr. Jarvis Chen for Yoga Teachers and Yoga Students About COVID-19

by Nina ZolotowAfter Jarvis Chen’s post Some Considerations for Yoga Educator re: The Covid-1 9 Situation was published, I decided to interview him because I had a few questions I thought you’d all like to see answers to. In addition, because things are changing promptly, I knew that Jarvis had derived in his thinking about some of key issues, such as studio closures. Fortunately, Jarvis was able to find time for me in his busy schedule to let me ask him various important issue. We both hope that members can find this helpful. And, Jarvis, thank you again and again for your time and expertise! Nina: Briefly, what are the most important things for yoga educators, studio owners, and yoga students to understand about the COVID-1 9 pandemic? Jarvis: Well, to give a brief summary, over the last few months, the whole world has come to recognize the seriousness of this viral pandemic. SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes the disease that we have listed COVID-1 9, is highly infectious and has a case fatality rate that is probably at least 10 times greater than that of the seasonal flu. We’ve seen how outbreaks of COVID-1 9 have played out in China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy, and epidemiologists have learned a good deal about who is most affected as well as what approaches may help us control the impact to our societies.As of March 14, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control( CDC) reports 1,629 cases of COVID-1 9 in the United Mood. Nonetheless, the likely number of actual contingencies in the US is probably many times greater than this. The consensus between epidemiologists and infectious disease physicians is that we already have sustained community dissemination going on in the US. Unfortunately, we don’t know the true extent of that transmission because we have not had testing capacity to determine it. And because we don’t have experimenting, containment programmes( marking cases and contact find) have been difficult to implement. So, we have to rely on mitigation approaches like social distancing( described below ). The recommendation of epidemiologists is that if we can implement mitigation policies like social distancing now, we can greatly reduce the rate of transmission and thereby “flatten the epidemic curve.” The main goal of dropping the swerve is to reduce transmission fairly so that the healthcare structure is not overwhelmed by an blowup of cases that needing hospitalization. This video clarifies the goal of flattening the curve in more detail.< iframe allow= "accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen= "" frameborder= "0" height= "3 15 " src= "https :// www.youtube.com/ embed/ vww1nIIoqmw" thicknes= "5 60 " > These strategies are particularly important to protect older people and beings with other health conditions( such as asthma, cardiac infarction, and diabetes) or who may be immune jeopardized( for example, people with HIV, cancer survivors, and transplant recipients ). For these vulnerable populations, the risk of dying from COVID-1 9 is many times more than the reported case-fatality rate of 3.4%. It is important to understand that mitigation strategies like social distancing are not going to eliminate the risk of getting fouled perfectly. In happening, infectious disease epidemiologists think that 20 -6 0% of the world’s population will be infected with the virus that motives COVID-1 9 over the course of the next year. The hope is that by slowing down transmission and dropping the epidemic arc, all the persons who do get infected and have severe canker needing hospitalization can get the care they need so that we can control mortality.Nina: Let’s talk about what social distancing is. The CDC defines it as “Social distancing makes remaining out of congregate rectifies, by-passing mass meets, and maintaining interval( approximately 6 hoofs or 2 meters) from others when possible.”Jarvis: Yes. As “youre seeing”, “social distancing” envelops a range of strategies, from maintaining physical distance and forestalling contact while in the same room to more radical stairs like social isolation and city-wide lockdowns. I want to stress that recommendations about making drastic gradations around social distancing are based on evidence coming out of China and non-eu countries. In China, we see that when progressive social distancing measures were implemented in cities that were at an earlier phase in their epidemic curve, it greatly reduced the rate of infection.I know that some people are finding it hard to think about taking drastic paces now, considering the fact that the number of reported cases of COVID-1 9 in the US is still relatively low. But what epidemiologists are saying is that the time to implement social distancing to “flatten the epidemic curve” is NOW. If we wait to see many thousands of cases before deciding to implement social distancing, it will be too late to avoid many cases and countless fatalities. We’re seeing this in Italy now, where the healthcare organisation in some areas has been overtaken by COVID-1 9 patients who need care.Nina: In your professional mind, is it time now to cancel yoga castes and temporarily close yoga studios? Jarvis: Yes, closing yoga studios for a period of several weeks is more concrete acces for the yoga community to contribute to social distancing. In comparison, behavioral approaches like putting away props, maintaining 3-6 ft of space between students, and shunning hands-on settings do not have the same evidence base. We think that these practices, like pas cleansing, will reduce transmission, but we don’t know by how much. In distinguish, “were having” strong attest from non-eu countries that social distancing works to slow the rate of transmission, thereby avoiding numerous illness and numerous deaths.I understand what a difficult choice this is for yoga teachers and studios. Yoga teaches depend on teaching for their livelihood and our students need yoga all the more during stressful and uncertain times. Right now, some position and local governments are limiting large-scale public musters to no more than 100 or 250 parties, so choosing to cancel yoga grades is still an individual choice that is up to teachers and studio owneds. Actually, as of March 15, in Massachusetts, our head has only been recently announced a ban on public musters of more than 25 people. Given the potentially fateful jolt of unchecked society communication of COVID-1 9, personally, I would lawyer yoga studios to close for a period of at least 4 weeks and then re-assess. This recommendation is in line with what we are seeing school neighborhoods, colleges and universities, workplaces, and now position and local governments implementing in the United States.Nina: How will yoga studios know when the right time to re-open is? Jarvis: That’s a good question. I suspect that we are going to see stronger mandated social distancing on the part of the government before this thing is through, so it may be that the government will adjusted the following schedule of us. But I would say that as improved testing comes online in the US, if we’re continuing to see numbers of cases increasing where we live, we should definitely continue to practice social distancing.Please keep in mind that if beings get tired of social distancing and communities relax mitigation early, there will be a resurgence in the rate of transmission, as the relevant figures at the beginning of this interview shows.Nina: I will make a pitch of impeding our books informed when we know more about this. Next, in your professional ruling, who should stop going to world-class now? Jarvis: Definitely those who are in the high-risk radicals for mortality should be seriously considering thin term they expend outside of the house, and that includes not going to public yoga grades. I should add that if you’re not in a high-risk group but you spend time around people who are at high risk of fatality( for example, if you care for an aging parent ), you should also consider avoiding public yoga classes.An important thing about the social distancing word is that this is not just about our own individual, personal hazard; “its about” our collective, communal responsibility to reduce the population risk for everyone. So, people who are not in high-risk radicals can originate the decision to practice social distancing in order to protect others. This is ahimsa( non-violence) in action.Nina: Finally, how can coaches support their students to reduce stress and maintain health and equanimity while they are not teaching classifies. And how can students keep up their yoga practices and continue to repeat reap the benefits of yoga when they’re not going to public yoga classes? Jarvis: I am trying to see this as an opportunity to engage with my students differently with their practice. For pattern, I am considering demonstrating my students pattern namings of short-lived cycles to practice, and then to asking them to reflect on their experience of practising it at home. I will be asking them to develop their own sense to learn how to correct themselves or make adjustments for themselves, rather than just relying on the teacher.I will likewise be asking students to reflect not just on the physical position of their rule, but on the psychological and mental positions. This includes: Addressing fear( abhinivesa) as it is arising in our lives, and how we can practice pratipaksa bhavanam( farming of the opposite, Yoga Sutra II. 33 ). How do the yamas and the niyamas help us to act ethically to care for ourselves and our community? What is the role of faith( sraddha) in living and in our practice? As Patricia Walden says, “Yoga is a lifeboat.” For yoga students and teaches alike, I think there are many opportunities to shake us out of our habits. We are able to obtain habitual about how we “attend a yoga class” and this is pulling the rug out from under the americans and seeing us be borne in mind: What is REALLY important in study yoga? What is my relationship to my yoga coach? And to my practice? And to my yoga community? If I can’t be there in person, how do I show up mentally, emotionally, spiritually? So I is our hope that, as BKS Iyengar would say, we can transform disappointment into appointment.Finally, I visualize precisely we should just reiterate the essential message that yoga is a refuge and that no matter where we are on the yoga route, whether we are a beginner or a longtime practitioner, the refuge of yoga be prepared to us whether we are in a class or at home on our own mat.Dr. Jarvis Chen is a social epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health. His research focuses on social prejudices in the area of health, and especially racial/ ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in cancer outcomes. He is also a Senior Intermediate I verified Iyengar yoga teacher who lives, practices, and coaches in Boston. He studies with elderly Iyengar yoga teacher Patricia Walden, whom he are contributing to classifies and seminars. He also circulates to Pune, India regularly to study with the Iyengars. In 2008, Jarvis was recognized by Yoga Journal as one of 21 teachers under the age of 40 who are “shaping the future of yoga.” See his Jarvis Chen Yoga Facebook sheet for more information.

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