Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?
- Sathya Sai Baba
15 January 2021
As a practising yogi and yoga teacher at RootToRise, in this second part of my blog on taking yoga online I wanted to share a few of my tips for setting up your online practice space to ensure that you get the most out of your livestream class.
Make sure that you have all of the technology set up and working, and Zoom downloaded! It may seem like an obvious one, but I’m sure that all of us have experienced temperamental devices, programmes and internet connections, so to avoid stress at the start of your class try to test everything beforehand if you can.
Experiment with different set-ups for your practice space (more tips below), to give you as much room as necessary, and to allow your teacher to have as clear a view of you in the poses as possible.
If you are able, it is good to experiment with your mat and camera position before the start of your class so that you are ready to go when it begins.
Let others in your house know that you will be practising yoga at a particular time so that you are not disturbed during your class and can fully absorb yourself in the flow (much as you would in a studio).
Take the same approach with your phone. Unless you are using it to stream the class, put it away from your space, and out of your mind.
Sign into the class a few minutes before the start time so that you have time to settle onto your mat, or say hello to your teacher/fellow yogis before the class begins.
Generally, it is most useful for your teacher to see you side on, rather than from the front. Of course, you may also wish to be able to see the teacher while you practice (although this should not always be necessary, as it is better to follow verbal cues if you can), and if this is the case, perhaps experiment logging on with two devices (one camera at the side of your mat, and the other at the front for you to look at if you wish).
In order to allow you to get the most out of each pose, it is good to make sure that you have an arm’s length of space to each side of your mat, and half an arm’s length to and the front and back. This means that you will be able to open out your arms and legs fully when we come to poses that stretch and reach.
If you have the space, it can be good to remove items or images (or even mirrors) from your eyeline which could cause distraction. Practising yoga at home will always come with more distractions than in a studio, but we can make that part of our practice by learning to turn away from, and sit with distractions, whilst staying present in our body and breath regardless.
Having said all of that, I understand, of course, that we are all practising from home in spaces which might not allow the ideal view of you on your mat, so please do not worry if you can’t get it exactly right. Teachers will always work with what they’ve got!
Keep your camera on if you can and are comfortable with this. This will mean that your teacher will be able to see what you are doing, and give you specific cues to help deepen and strengthen your practice (and to ensure that you are staying safe too). If you need to keep your camera off, that’s ok too!
Let go of any worries that you are not doing it right, or feelings of self-consciousness that you might have. No one will be judging you, certainly not your teacher. We all have wobbly, tight, inflexible days. The main thing is that you have shown up to practise; it doesn’t matter how you look (as long as you are safe).
Make sure that you are on mute to avoid disturbing others.
Resist any temptation to leave before the end of savasana (unless you have an urgent need). Treat it as you would a studio class and stay fully in the moment until your teacher ends the class.
Pause to thank you teacher and say goodbye or chat to your fellow yogis. Make the most of the opportunity to connect with others!
If you have come across any other good tips that help you to get the most out of your online yoga practice, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org.) – I’d love to hear from you!
Maybe put these tips into practice by coming along to the livestream yoga classes which I offer at RootToRise! Have a look at my online class schedule here. I offer a variety of classes (Beginner’s Flow, Power Flow, Slow Flow, Yoga for Rowers, Yoga Nidra), so hopefully there is something for everyone! My Intro Offer is great value too (4 Online Classes for £15)!
I’d love to see you on the mat soon!