Not many would have envisaged the changes to our lives and routines that have occurred over the last 6 months. Sticking to the positives, it has been great to see more people outside walking, cycling exploring beautiful Finchampstead as well as people engaging with some online fitness programmes available.
On a personal basis, cancelling the local public yoga classes I teach was necessary but saddening. Whilst the essence is health and wellbeing, the social element is as much a part for my classes, getting away from the house and engaging with likeminded people in a pastime that gives so much back.
Rather than sit it out and hope to pick up once lockdown was over, I determined to teach online streaming classes. It is not the best medium for teaching a class that is as much about alignment and good position as it is breath awareness, but I felt that maintaining the routine in people’s lives was as important as the practice itself. Simply rolling out a yoga mat at home for even 10 minutes of yoga is a great way to distance your mind from the issues of the day.
At first it felt a bit alien, a totally different delivery approach is needed for a teacher, articulating the minutia of detail needed for people to engage with the movements, sequencing and postures, but it soon came together. We try not to take ourselves too seriously in my classes and people were very forgiving. Having the ability to ‘mute’ the class is something that is also new to me!
My intention as a yoga teacher is to get more people into yoga, men women, any age, any level of fitness. Lockdown and the economic impact to people’s lives was foremost in my mind so I offered my classes free to anyone, simply access the online meeting and join in. It has been great, and I have derived much satisfaction from seeing new people join in and getting great feedback.
It seems that now we are easing out of the restrictions, public classes are reopening, I expect my classes will resume in time, but I am going to continue with the online classes simply because they are so accessible. I will start to charge a modest price per lesson but please don't let that put you off. You don’t even need to leave home, simply create some space, lay down a mat and join in. People don’t feel self-conscious, they can decide which of the sequences they wish to follow or take a really long stretch and then join back in at their leisure.
There are so many online resources and classes now to help our health and stay mobile and fit. What may have seemed a bit odd 6 month ago is now well worth consideration and I encourage everyone to give it a go, if not mine, although you are very welcome!