At this point your favourite yoga teacher has moved his or her yoga class online and if you want to keep up a regular practice you’ll be getting to grips with technology like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook live or another live streaming app. Live streamed yoga classes are a temporary fix in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but amid the debate about what will change when normal life resumes, I wonder if for many of us, online yoga with live streamed classes will be a thing to stay.
So how do online classes weigh up against your face to face classes? Well, as with anything there are both pros and cons.
PROS AND CONS
Choose from a wider schedule
Pro: As travel time no longer factors in your decision as to which class to pick, the yoga timetable opens wide up for you. You can pick a class that starts straight after the kids go to bed, or if you’re an early morning riser you may prefer to live stream your yoga class at 6am. You might even squeeze in a cheeky little class in the middle of your ‘working from home’ day. Have you? I won’t tell if you don’t…
Con: Choosing the right time to practice can be the difference between an uninterrupted yoga practice or getting up every five minutes to help your family out with something. There’s something to be said for leaving the house and turning off your phone knowing that however long your yoga class lasts, that’s your time. Distractions and interruptions are going to be far more frequent when you live stream a yoga class.
Variety is the spice of life
Pro: In addition to having more yoga classes to choose from, you’ve now got an endless array of yoga styles to try. Maybe you’ve only explored one style of yoga so far? If that’s the case, there has never been a better time to try out different yoga styles. Choose from live streamed yin yoga, restorative, hatha, vinyasa, power, ashtanga, and iyengar classes (plus more besides).
And variety doesn’t just extend to the yoga styles available for you to try but also the huge selection of teachers that have moved their classes online for the next few months (at least). With distance no longer a factor, you can finally try the teacher on Facebook’s class you’ve always wanted to try if only you lived closer.
Con: All that variety can be a little overwhelming. When faced with the whole internet to choose from, where do you start? Furthermore if you attend a yoga studio the teachers are usually vetted by the studio to make sure they’re up to standard. That’s not the case with independent online teachers. I’d suggest asking friends for recommendations, have a hunt and see if teachers have offered any free videos that you can trial. You can apply the same technique when researching which yoga styles to live stream, free content is your friend.
Make the space your own
Pro: Have complete autonomy over your own environment. Light incense, burn candles, paint the walls, do whatever you like to create a yoga haven in your home. In contrast you can also roll your yoga mat out in any room in your house.
Con: The ambience may not be quite the same. We don’t all have an eye for creating the perfect relaxing space for yoga. so you might miss your favourite studio set up.
Pro: Ok maybe don’t practice naked! I’ve already shared the video clip of the poor guy attending his work zoom chat in his birthday suit a few times this week. In an interactive live streamed yoga class your camera may well be on so that your instructor can see you better. Better that they don’t see more of you than you intend! But a pro is that you can turn the camera off and enjoy the class without having to think twice about what you look like. You can also turn your mic off so that no one can hear you grunt and groan… but remember if you’re going to fully relax and pass wind, check your mic is off first!
Con: As above.
Too shy, shy..
Pro: If the thought of going to a physical yoga class makes your stomach flip and your palms sweat then a live streamed yoga class is perfect for you.
Con: I felt a lot of anxiety before I attended my first yoga class. But when I finally plucked up the courage to go the teacher was so lovely I soon forgot everything that had been holding me back. Online classes are great but they can’t replace the connection that’s made in person. Your teacher will not only make you feel welcome but also provide feedback throughout your practice to help you on your journey. Your online teacher will also give you feedback but its dependent on a good internet connection and your camera working so they can see what you’re doing.
Pro: Try before you buy – many teachers offer online discounts to entice students meaning that online yoga can be more affordable for many students. You can practice yoga in the comfort of your own home on a budget that wont break the bank.
Con: There can be a big price discrepancy from one teacher to the next. Its worth nothing that an expensive teacher doesn’t necessarily equate to a good teacher, just as a budget friendly teacher doesn’t equate to a bad teacher. Their price point will be a reflection of the kind of students they want to attract and also what they need to make ends meet at the moment. These are strange times and many yoga teachers find themselves on very unfamiliar turf as a result. So, shop around until you find a teacher that you like that also fits in with your budget.
I hope that’s helpful 🙂