It has been an emotional 5 months, filled with uncertainty, fears, limitations, new possibilities and change. Covid and Zoom transformed yoga for students and teachers alike. Whereas it was deemed superior to teach yoga or yoga therapy in person, suddenly necessity made online yoga not only acceptable but also desirable. Obviously, I am grateful to have found continuity, connection with other people and fun by teaching yoga online, but I still marvel at how my work so suddenly changed to being fully online.
For students, Zoom yoga meant that they could keep moving when gyms were closed and everyone had to stay at home. It enabled them to stay more relaxed when the news was all but positive. Zoom yoga was a way to stay connected and centred in this time when boredom, uncertainty, fear and change were a daily reality.
While Zoom yoga for groups still provided a sense of doing something alongside other people, this connection is less distracting than practising right next to another yoga student. This allowed everyone to focus more fully on their own body and mind. Furthermore, practising yoga became associated with one’s own home, which may have induced more self-practice. Perhaps these changes have helped to make the results of staying at home, the imposed isolation and self-reflection more positive.
Apart from the psychological and physical benefits during this time, Zoom yoga was especially practical, as yoga students didn’t need to waste time getting to and from classes. There was no need to live close to the teacher any more as going to class simply became a matter of switching on the device and clicking on the link. Finally, the simplicity and time efficiency have made it easier to attend more than one class a week.
For yoga teachers
For a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, Zoom yoga removes the three-dimensional view, the hands-on adjustments and the subtler elements of non-verbal communication. I can’t wait to teach my students in person again, and also to see those students who were unable to use the online technology. Nevertheless, with clear verbal guidance and good observation of what is happening on the screen, I feel that quality care can still be given to both individuals and small groups.
I have also enjoyed teaching yoga via Zoom. My private sessions continue to work around the student’s health needs and wishes for practice. My group lessons, normally informed by what my students request and how much energy they bring, had to adapt. As I did not get the same kind of chattiness and feedback in the Zoom setting, I experimented with different themes each week. The themes ranged from hip flexibility, back health and neck care to stress relief, releasing tensions, uplifting yoga, grounding, the chakras, etc. It was fun and provided variety.
Zoom yoga is here to stay, at least in the near future. Even after hands-on therapies will be allowed again in the UK, I expect to continue the Zoom classes while also slowly restarting in-person sessions. I do long to teach my students in person, but realise that this novel way of online teaching has opened different possibilities and given us a new kind of flexibility.
If you would like to try Zoom yoga, in a group class or one-to-one setting, do check this page https://beneyoga.co.uk/zoom-classes/ for more information and contact me on the contact page: https://beneyoga.co.uk/contact-for-yoga-classes-in-chiswick/.
I hope to meet you soon!