The last few months of yoga has all been about Zoom, Zoom and more Zoom. Like many other yoga teachers I took a deep breath and gave it a go.
I started out just teaching existing students. If I was going to make a fool of myself then it was going to be in front of a forgiving group of friendly faces. My first class was actually a Facebook Live so the interaction back from students was via messages. I could tell this was going to take some getting used to.
Then I tried Zoom. This worked much better, it was easier to see the students and we could talk before class started. I quickly learnt that I had to mute everyone to start teaching otherwise every little noise from a studentís home meant they showed up on each otherís main screen. Then Zoom disabled the ability for me to undo the mute, a bit frustrating but it just means students need to un-mute if they want to talk to me at the end of class. I getting used to the Zoom rules changing as they develop the App to support the growing number of users.
There then followed weeks of getting to know how best to use Zoom and deciding what equipment I needed. I toyed with getting a microphone and looked at whether I needed extra lighting. I discovered that the microphone in my IPad did the job and lighting-wise I am fine as long as I donít have a window behind me. I position myself with lovely large windows to my side and behind the camera (my IPad) and it works well. I have the added benefit of a beautiful view into my garden.
I found myself starting to relax into this new way of teaching, accepting I donít need to be perfect and getting used to the different way I needed to hold the space for my students. Rather than walking round the class and inviting people to move in a certain way, I now talk and demonstrate the options. After 2 months of teaching just my regular students I decided to open up my Zoom classes for others to book in. Zoom classes are now on my website for people to book.
So, what about the future of teaching and learning yoga?
I will always prefer a face to face class, for me nothing beats being in the room with the student or being part of a class with other yogiís. However, many of my students have said the option of Zoom gives them some flexibility to join a class if something stops them coming along to the studio for a face to face class.
So for the moment (until its safe) Iím going to stick to Zoom with the occasional class in my garden but once lockdown is lifted and studio classes resume I am planning to continue with some Zoom classes. But who knows? Life feels so uncertain at the moment none of use can be certain what the future holds for us.
So how has your yoga practice changed? Have you joined Zoom classes or are you spending more time alone with your yoga?
Author: Sally Pearce (sallyjaneyoga)