Spirituality Crisis makes many seek refuge from higher forces – Yoga and meditation have helped Aurora Airaskorpea find happiness during exceptional times

According to research, the coronavirus pandemic has increased Finns’ awareness of their own mortality. Young adults in particular have sought discussion help from the church. Those who practice meditation or yoga seem to have had a stronger experience of the meaning of life.

Life a sudden crisis often erodes basic human security. Many lose control of everyday life when they are unable to influence the crisis or its cause.

A crisis can be triggered by an illness of one’s own or a loved one, the death of an important person, a sudden economic collapse – or like a pandemic that combines all of this this year.

Help, explanation, or safety is often sought from higher forces unaffected by a worldly emergency. Religious spirituality or non-religious spirituality: the God of Christianity, Eastern doctrines, esoteric or alternative spirituality.

The terms spirituality and spirituality are often confused in everyday language. It’s no wonder, because when translated into English, both words take shape spirituality. This poses a challenge for researchers in the field as well.

Simplified, spirituality means an interest in the basic values ​​of life and its purpose and meaning. Spirituality, on the other hand, seeks answers to the same questions, but in addition, religiosity and the values ​​and principles that religion brings with it.

Spirituality, then, is spirituality with a religious dimension.

Helsinki Living in a rock Aurora Airaskorpi has noticed how his yoga hobby has been support and security in the midst of exceptional times. It has helped him reorganize the everyday life that revolutionized the spring.

“I’ve been thinking about that, how I would cope during these exceptional times, if I did not have the tools of yoga brought by apunani,” Airas Korpi says.

“Especially in the spring, I found it difficult to break away from work. Yoga became a ritual I did in the morning, at the end of work, or before going to bed. It helped me reset my brain. ”

Yoga has been in Airaskorven, 34, for 12 years a part of his life. The initial impetus was the pursuit of physical well-being, but over the years he has found new dimensions in yoga. It has become a holistic way to care for the mind and body. For the past four years, she has also been a part-time yoga teacher.

According to Airaskorvi, the yoga hobby over the years has developed the ability to be present and satisfied with what is. This was helpful especially in the spring, when hobbies and social contacts had to be abandoned in the face of compulsion.

“Yoga has provided the tools to be able to tolerate the prevailing conditions. They have also helped to find satisfaction, joy and happiness in a diminished circle of life, ”says Airaskorpi.

“The upheavals of spring were easier to accept when one had practiced finding satisfaction and peace in oneself and not in outside circumstances.”

Aurora Airaskorpi describes yoga as a tool kit that provides help for both mental and physical needs.­

Finns seem to have relied more on traditional spirituality than usual during the coronavirus crisis, says university lecturer Suvi-Maria Saarelainen From the University of Eastern Finland.

Saarelainen is involved in the Finding Meaning during a Pandemic research project, which examines the effects of a pandemic on experiences of the significance of life in Finland, Poland, Italy and Spain.

The research team is particularly interested in how religiosity, spirituality and other values ​​of life are manifested during a pandemic. The survey material was collected in April, when the first wave of the pandemic rippled countries with a heavy hand.

1,162 people responded to the survey, of whom almost 400 were from Finland. There was plenty of response here, and the response box had to be closed before others so that Finns were not over-represented in the results.

According to Saarelainen, more than half of the Finns answered that faith brought them meaning or stability to life in the midst of the fears created by the pandemic. On the other hand, a third disagreed or completely disagreed with the claim.

According to Saarelainen, people who were more religious than average responded to the survey.

For spirituality The support has been helped by the fact that in Finland the church has played a prominent role in crisis relief.

It is about both spiritual support and practical help, such as distributing food bags. The number of contacts received by the church for telephone or online conversations plummeted in the spring and summer compared to last year.

According to Saarelainen, the phenomenon is familiar from the recession of the 1990s. Even then, in the midst of the crisis, the Church emerged as an important pillar of support, providing not only spiritual help but also practical help.

Church Research Center reports according to young people in particular have wanted to discuss their fears of death and illness during the epidemic.

Although Finland’s mortality rates are globally low, news from the rest of the world has brought the possibility of death more prominently and in a new way closer.

For the Church, in turn, dealing with death is a normal part of everyday life. Therefore, it may have been easy to contact when there is a crisis at hand that suddenly comes to everyone’s skin.

Also in the Saarelainen research project, almost half of the Finnish respondents said that they became more aware of their own mortality during the pandemic.

“Especially for those under 30, the encounter with mortality became more real. They realized that this crisis could also take young people away, ”says Saarelainen.

According to Saarelainen, Nordic studies of relevance have found the same thing: the older the respondent, the stronger the experience of the relevance of life.

“In other words, the younger the respondent, the greater the crisis.”

Especially In recent decades, there has been a separation of nests with traditional religions in the West, and the number of members of the Church in Finland has shrunk year by year.

At the same time, a new kind of non-religious spirituality has raised its head, especially among young adults.

The meaning of life is hunted through meditation, mindfulness, yoga and self help literature. They emphasize individuality instead of communality.

Read more: A new kind of spirituality is becoming more common in Finland, and it appeals especially to young women – Eveliina Holm’s journey began with an Indian vision

The phenomenon can also be seen in the publication of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in the four-yearly report. According to it, those born in the 1980s and 1990s are more sensitive than older generations to, among other things, invisible worlds and beings, alternative therapies, and divination.

The mornings of the Aurora Airas ear start with a quarter of an enduring yoga. In the evenings, he often does a slightly longer soothing exercise or meditation. However, routines are not slavish and can be deviated from if necessary. The purpose is to avoid stress, not to create more of it.

“The biggest difference compared to normal time is that I do yoga more often but shorter snippets,” Airaskorpi says.

Aurora Airasorvi’s yoga hobby started from the desire to control the back pain that followed the sedentary work. Today, he teaches yoga about once a week.­

Also The research project of the University of Eastern Finland took into account spirituality independent of religion. In the Finnish material, yoga was not considered a significant help in a pandemic, but meditation brought peace of mind to more than a fifth of the respondents during exceptional circumstances.

“Meditation plays a much stronger role in Finnish material than in other countries,” says Suvi-Maria Saarelainen.

“Cautiously, our material could be interpreted as meaning that meditation or yoga had a positive effect on the experience of the meaning of life.”

One of the phenomena of novelty during the pandemic can also be considered the world of thinking that follows the Qanon movement, which has spread in the circles of well-being and yoga.

It sees the whole coronavirus pandemic as just part of the monetary elite conspiracy. Masks and vaccinations are useless, the scientific community is lying and the mainstream media is obscuring information.

The HS dealt with conspiracy theories in some yoga circles in an article published in early November.

In this equation, too, Suvi-Maria Saarelainen sees intersections with the 1990s, when the term was used negative religious coping that is, negative religious survival. A phenomenon has been identified in the scientific community in which unhealthy traits of religiosity or spirituality grow in small religious and neo-spiritual circles.

“In small religious circles, someone has stopped cancer treatments because he has thought prayer cures an illness. Here is the same phenomenon, but it has been brought to a different spiritual circle and to the present day, ”says Saarelainen.

However, this is a marginal phenomenon, and Aurora Airaskorpi, for example, has not come across Qanon thinking in her own yoga circles.

Communications Agency Airaskorpi, who works as a creative leader, does not consider himself a religious person. He prefers to use the term mental.

“I managed to build myself a provision of the spirituality of yoga fragments. For some, it arises through religiosity or something else, and I see that they are different gates for the same thing, ”Airaskorpi says.

He emphasizes that yoga is not an absolute value or a key to the meaning of life. According to him, it provides a state of stagnation from which one’s own life can be viewed.

“At least for myself, yoga acts as a space to go to, whether one is in a good or bad mood, stressed, irritated or frustrated. Being present with the feelings helps to accept them. ”

Above all, yoga gives Airaskorve a break amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, inadequacy, teleworking and the uncertainty of the world.

“No matter what the presidential election, the coronations or the telecoms chaos, I can only breathe in the moment.”

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