Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?

- Sathya Sai Baba

Embracing Online Yoga Classes – Part 1: Why do Yoga Online

08 January 2021
Emma White

After almost a year of restrictions and various levels of lockdown, we’re all getting very used to connecting online, whether it’s for work meetings, social catch-ups or fitness classes.  In this two part short blog series, I want to consider first how this move to an online world has brought advantages, and second share some tips on how you can get the most out of your livestream yoga class.

Personally, I was lucky that my regular yoga studio was quick to react to the first lockdown last March, and began offering livestream online classes almost from day 1.   I have been practising yoga regularly online ever since, and whilst it is a very different experience to practising with others in a busy studio, I have found that there are many advantages to this new practice environment.

1) Being able to practice yoga from home cuts out the travel time to and from the studio, and so has allowed me to attend classes which would otherwise not fit in with my schedule.  If work is busy, it is possible to fit a 45 minute class into a 60 minute lunch break (with time to spare), and at the end of the day, it’s easy to join an evening class directly after logging-off from work.
At RootToRise, I offer a variety of online class times and durations (30, 45 and 60 minutes), to make it as easy as possible for you to join me on your mat.

2) Early morning practices are suddenly so much more appealing.  It’s possible to maximise on sleep by almost rolling out of bed onto your yoga mat (if you choose), and, particularly at the moment, when mornings are dark, cold and sometimes wet, there is no need to venture outside in order to get to class.
At RootToRise, I offer morning classes starting at 7am (60 minutes or 30 minutes).

3) Depending on your home set-up, having a home-based practice space can actually provide more space to try out slightly trickier poses, such as headstands, handstands and other balances.  I have built my confidence and ability in my headstand as I have been able to practice without the fear of falling and bumping into someone else, or disturbing the class for others.  Just make sure that you are comfortable with how to enter and exit any tricky poses safely and without physical assistance before attempting these at home to avoid injury!
At RootToRise, I use clear and careful cues to guide you into any trickier poses that we encounter, and will always give alternative options for you to access if you do not feel safe or strong enough on that particular day.

4) Online livestream classes tend to be cheaper than those in the studio, so it’s a money saver too!
At RootToRise, my regular 60 minute online classes are £7.50.  My in-person classes are £12.

5) And of course, in these times of COVID, we are able to all stay safe, whilst maintaining our physical practice (so looking after our physical and mental wellbeing), staying connected to our teachers and sharing our practice with others.
At RootToRise, I will always open the class a few minutes before it’s scheduled start time, and leave it open after its completion so that there is the opportunity for chatting and connecting with fellow yogis.

Livestream vs. On-Demand / YouTube

From my own experience, I now always choose a livestream online class, rather than a pre-recorded video or YouTube clip if possible.   I find that watching others on screen, and knowing that we are all practising and flowing together (even from different spaces) helps to build a sense of connection and community at a time when we are at risk of losing this important human need.

Teachers often make an effort to connect with each of their students (if class size allows), and can start to understand what they are looking to get out of their practice, and what works for them within the class.   This allows them to take their students on a journey of progression, much as they might in a studio.

When practising as part of a live class, there is the added, and important, bonus, that the teacher is able to watch as you move (if you choose to have your camera on), and give directions and cues to ensure that you are getting the most out of each pose and avoiding injury.

At RootToRise, I keep online class sizes small so that I can see all of the participants on one screen.   This allows me to connect with you all individually, understand how your move and keep watching you as you flow so that I can give appropriate cues and help you to get the most out of your practice.

Hopefully this blog has inspired you to give online yoga a go!   If you’d like to try it out, please do 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!

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“Emma is excellent at nurturing both the mind and body during the yoga sessions. I can come to one of her classes after a busy day of work and feel serene and strong.”

- Zoe