On March 11, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was declared a worldwide Pandemic. At first, I didn't think it would affect my Yoga business much, but a few days later the province of Ontario declared a State of Emergency. Everything began to shut down, and I realized that my in-person classes were going to have to be postponed until the pandemic was over.
My First Online Home Yoga Class
I have been in rehearsal for a musical for months now, but with the Pandemic, we began to do our rehearsals online through a platform called Zoom. After a few rehearsals, I realized I could use this platform for Online Home Yoga Classes. I put it out there to my students, and one group of my students decided they would like me to do a class online with them. After that first class via Facetime, I decided to advertise the virtual classes and see what happened. My first Online Class was on Thursday, March 19, and I had 8 students. From there, I made a schedule and sent an email out to announce my new Yoga platform.
There are some pros and cons to teaching classes via an online platform. Though they can ask me questions, all my answers and cues are made verbally. I cannot physically adjust any one of my students. Personally, I find this difficult because I like to move about the group and adjust all of my students to ensure they have proper posture. Without proper posture, injury can occur, and they also don't get the full benefit of the pose.
All Of My Regular Students
I like teaching online because I feel less “on the spot” and more relaxed while teaching. I also am enjoying going at a pace that suits all of my students. Though it gives a slight push to those who transition less quickly than my other students, it means less waiting around for those who transition faster or enjoy a faster paced yoga class. I also enjoy teaching online because it gives my students an opportunity to practice body awareness, as well as opportunity for me to practice my verbal cues, finding new and easier ways to explain certain postures.
During one of my classes I decided to practice two balancing poses, not thinking much of it. After that class was done, one of my students gave me the best feedback I have received to date. She told me that she thoroughly enjoyed having an extra balancing pose to practice. She explained that in these crazy, unprecedented times, when the world is completely unbalanced, having an extra balancing posture is very helpful to her. I felt that this could be beneficial to many, as it gives more opportunity for our bodies and minds to balance, and allows my students to finish my practice feeling much more at ease. She also enjoyed the added challenge as the new posture was slightly more difficult than a tree pose.
My Largest Class To Date
I began to add the extra balancing pose to every class and changed my hip opener pose to something much easier for me to cue. Lizard Pose is also less likely to cause injury to the knee as opposed to Pigeon Pose due to the necessary weight distribution over the knee. Pigeon Pose often requires adjustments in class. I had a student in a private lesson complain of a slight knee pain in the first week of my Virtual Classes and decided then and there to use an alternate pose unless I felt confident that my students knew exactly how to practice it.
I am so thankful and grateful that I am able to continue my Yoga classes during this time of confusion and panic. I am also thankful that I can continue and grow my own personal home practice. I truly hope that the spread of COVID-19 will finally come to a halt and that life will go back to normal soon. I miss my students greatly and cannot wait to give them all a big hug and, of course, adjustments during an in-person class. Please stay safe and healthy and do your best to take care of yourself and of your loved ones.