Now that the whole yoga community is operating online, students have even more choice in an already very crowded market. The trouble with too much choice is that it creates confusion and overwhelm. In the beginning you may try lots of different classes hoping to find the right fit, but this could take a long time and leave you confused.
So how do you go about choosing the right yoga classes to suit your new lifestyle?
1. If you are already a member of a yoga studio and you are happy there then the choice is simple. Most studios have quickly moved their classes online and will contact you with the technical aspects of this transition. By supporting your yoga studio during this time, you are also ensuring their survival so that you will have a place to go back to after isolation. Most studios are providing livestream through Zoom or Vimeo in real time, so you login at the prescribed class time. If you prefer to practice in your own time, they will most likely provide you with a replay.
2. If you usually go to various studios e.g. with Class Pass or similar, then you may want to reflect on who your favourite teachers are. Choose 2 or 3 and follow them on social media to find their online offerings. This is a good choice if you like variety, and it means that you can pick teachers with different strengths for a well-rounded practice.
3. If you haven’t found a teacher to connect with then ask what kind of yoga you’d like to focus on at this stage of your yoga journey. Maybe you are due for a change? Maybe you need to slow down and explore more meditative practices? Maybe you feel idle and need to move more? YouTube is a great resource to help you find the style of yoga that you want to focus on during this period of isolation. Once you find a style that suits you, you can try out different teachers that specialise in that particular style. Once you have 1 or 2 teachers that you resonate with, you can follow them on social media to find their online offerings.
Livestream vs Video
A livestream class is the closest thing we have to a live class in that other people login at the same time as you. You can choose whether to be seen or not, and whether to be heard or not. Usually there’s a bit of chit chat before and/or after class, with the teacher and/or other students. If you have good internet, a bigger computer screen (or ability to connect to a TV) and a good microphone on your computer then this can be a good choice. If not, you may find that technical issues may get in the way of your experience.
With video you have the choice of when and where to watch, you also have the ability to pause (for example if you wanted to stay in a pose longer) and the visual/sound quality is usually better.
It’s a good idea to try both methods and see for yourself what allows you to focus on your practice without too many outside distractions.
If possible, set up a dedicated space in your home where your mat and props can stay. This will remind you and encourage you to practice regularly.
If you’d like to sample my teachings, I have some free classes available on my YouTube channel.
Most importantly, don’t let your practice slip. More than ever, this is the time to really dive into our yoga to keep us healthy in body, mind and spirit.