Whether you realised it or not, A.I. is steadily creeping into our everyday lives. Alexa and Siri have replaced the imaginary friends of childhood. Robot janitors sweep our grocery aisles. Smartphones house multiple apps and functions from navigation to social media platforms that survey even if you’re not glued to your screen.
The new frontiers of possibility would be unimaginable years ago. At the same time, a 1948 of 2020 doesn’t seem like science fiction anymore. Neither does a future where humans may not even see the world without the lens of a screen, or where there is more interaction with robots than the person you live with.
But a recent yoga class reminded me of what technology couldn’t, or would have a really, really tough time to, replace.
In a class where everyone is present and focused, and the teacher dedicated and sensitive to the mood of the class, there is an observable transformation of energy. The room gets warmer. Here is a space where each individual is allowed to carry distinct levels of strength and vulnerability, and be where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The teacher is the pivot, the steward, the pilot, steering the sails of the class accordingly. Some days the spirit is higher, some days sluggish. There are days where class feels mellow, others more contemplative.
A big fat caveat that I’m not someone partial to thinking about yoga as spiritual. The term “yogi” makes me cringe.
But I always leave class with gratitude for the ability to revisit this connection between mind and body, presence and community. A connection that’s simple, real, and alive.
For better or worse, technology remains tools that can’t replace what belongs to humans: the inside-out warmth of sharing a good bottle of wine with family and friends, a lover’s touch, music flowing through the body untamed.
For as long as there’s blood running through our veins, we still are alive amongst other living beings.
I’ll certainly still drink to that.
An experiment to map yoga with AI led to new constellations.