In the United States, some universities decided to begin 2022 online. Towards the end of December, the University of California let us know that the opening weeks of the term would be remote in nature, and now it has shared that we will not return to the classrooms until, at least, February, depending on the way things go. Each university follows its own criteria to decide what it is that they consider safe according to the data they have. But what has happened over the last few years is that when one of them decides that perhaps it would be better to stop the spread of coronavirus by beginning the term online, there is a kind of domino effect that causes that, little by little, most of them wind up making that same decision.
The fact is that today, in this class I am co-teaching at UCSB, we decided to take a «wellness pause» led by a program at the university devoted precisely to the health and wellbeing of the community. It was only fifteen minutes in the context of a three-hour class, but there was something magical in the idea of everyone being together, via ZOOM, trying to unwind our minds while we completed stretching and meditation exercises.
And then I thought about why I had not resorted to that tool before. I have a hundred exercises that help me break the coldness of online classes and make my students feel the proximity of their peers. But I never stopped to incorporate movement in my classes during the pandemic, and the truth is that I felt infinite gratitude towards the person who came to remind us that our mental wellbeing also depends on the time that we devote to ourselves, in finding our own body again…ultimately: to listen to ourselves.