Can you believe that we have been zooming and teaching online for just over a year now? I am not really sure how that happened!
Reflecting on how much we have grown, evolved and progressed through the pandemic and how we managed to adapt our in person teaching and navigated our classes through the world of online zooms and meetings – it is simply mind blowing!
I know that keeping the online classes going has been a saviour for many, yoga teachers and clients alike. The sense of community and togetherness, trial and error, laughter and frozen screens, cheeky pets and family members really helped us through these challenging times. As we are now preparing to open the studio doors again, we look back at the highlights of online teaching with fondness and sentiment.
We gained wonderful new yoga students from all over the world, which is truly special, and kept the connection going with our local yogis too, who would normally take part in our face to face classes. The support and love pouring into our studio and the Yoga Life teachers and from us in return pouring out to our clients and yoga friends has been and still is just incredible. Some of my lockdown teaching highlights include
- our teachers coming together and sharing honestly their wins and struggles connected with the online teaching and personally, supporting each other no matter what
- joining zoom classes and workshops that I would never have time to join in person
- dedicating time to self study and development, just because there was more time and everything was easily accessible online
- bringing my new puppy to my classes – sometimes a good idea, sometimes not so much! He had a good fight with a yoga strap and with me too, live!
- teaching on zoom whilst I got disconnected and my students had to call me to tell me I got kicked out of my own class (I was still in downward facing dog)
- seeing everyone on our little screens happy and grateful for the classes that we offer – it is the best feeling ever, knowing you are helping others and doing something worthy
- being able to teach from the comfort of my home and also join classes without having to travel
- falling asleep in my bed (at lunchtime) whist in a yoga nidra class
- seeing all the wonderful pets who regularly join our classes
- being able to support our students and myself through this challenging time
All in all I think we made the best out of a bad situation. I loved trying new classes, learnt a lot, especially when it comes to technology and teaching live! I never imagined I could record myself or even go live – my inner critic would really kick in! But since online teaching I learnt to just go with it, raw, real, with a little slip here and then, simply being a human being! Most of our teachers here at the Yoga Life Studio including myself will carry on teaching online even when we reopen the studio. It would be such a shame to lose the connection with our new clients who love our classes but are not local. Now we will need to merge in person and online teaching together to create a very unique and all inclusive class blend. Life is never boring and here comes our next little challenge!
I would personally love to thank everyone who supports their local and not so local teachers and studios, you have no idea how much it means to us, teachers, studios and small businesses alike!!
Tons of Gratitude, Eva Kristlova – the Yoga Life Studio, Eastbourne
Here is a little insight from the studio’s two yoga teachers, Angela Whimpenny and Safia Bowley.
‘When lockdown was announced a year ago, I had been teaching at the studio for less than three months and to say I was a technophobe was an understatement, I wasn’t on Facebook and didn’t own a computer. I had worked hard to build a regular client base and after an initial panic I took the plunge and joined Zoom.
The Zoom journey hasn’t always been plain sailing, our internet connection is sporadic so there was a time early on when I looked up from a down dog only to see an empty screen, luckily everyone managed to re-join and I now always use a hotspot when teaching.
My Zoom room is actually half a garage, the lovely mandala neatly covers the inside of the garage door and to get any sort of camera angle I have to put my iPad (Yes! I still teach on an iPad!) in the back of a cupboard and move strategically to make sure I’m in shot.
Zoom has been a great way of keeping in touch with my regulars, and I know that some of them particularly love rolling out of bed and straight onto the yoga mat, especially for my 9am Sunday morning class! I’m also sure it’s improved my verbal cueing when teaching.
There have been some funny moments too, with one lady sitting comfortably drinking tea while we were all in a strong warrior sequence. Another favourite was when two kids were having a ‘boxing match’ in the background during class, the best bit was that my lovely class participant totally ignored them and finished the class – yoga comes first! I’m sure we’ve all seen some members of our clients’ families and parts of their houses we didn’t expect to as well! There are also the ‘yoga pets’, I’m sure I only have to say the word Savasana and a menagerie of animals appear on screen.
Somehow I gained a lovely regular client who lives in Manchester, I’ve never met her and only know her through Zoom yoga, I wonder how that happened?
I’ve really enjoyed the last year of Zooming here and zooming there the whole time being at home. I particularly love looking at the sea of legs in the air during inversions and witnessing what I refer to as the zoom dance when everyone moves in beautiful unison across the screen.
Zoom has been a gift, I’m sure it’s here to stay but I can’t wait to teach in person and give everyone a long awaited hug!’
Namaste lovely Zoom Yogis
Angela Whimpenny, Yoga Life Studio teacher
‘From hurriedly clearing a space in my house for Zoom classes and ordering new gizmos, to being so used to this way of doing things now that it feels strange to think of going back to a ‘normal’ studio set-up, I am hugely, enormously grateful to the core group of Friday morning yogis who have been online with me right from the start, for a whole year. When we are next in the studio together face to face I know it will be emotional. We always have a little bit of chat right at the start and sometimes at the end of the Zoom session, which even if minimal, has kept the group dynamic going and reminded us that it’s not just the actual exercises that benefit us, it’s also the sense of community, connection and friendship.
In the first lockdown I introduced Peggy the rabbit at Easter time (we did Rabbit pose the following week!) and her sister Pepper joined me while I took part in one of Eva’s Zoom classes. Mat nibbling issues means they don’t take part much but they have become used to hearing my voice and normally settle down for a snooze while a class is in progress. Our regular Friday morning canine is Charlie the spaniel, who I enjoy seeing on screen often. I saw him recently insisting on bringing his owner a slipper while she was settling down for her yoga – there’s something so lovely about seeing these domestic details becoming interwoven with our yoga!’
With love Safia
Yoga Life Studio teacher