Updated: Sep 20, 2020
From my living room to yours
Studios have been replaced by living rooms, blocks and bolsters by cushions and pillows, mats by shaggy rugs and you can even practice in your PJs! Your pets and kids are welcome and you can bring your cup of coffee. Sounds dreamy, right?
Live online yoga
Live Online Yoga - is it really that different to practicing along with a free pre-recorded video on YouTube? You're right to be slightly curious. I was, and I'm teaching it! But before I went online, I delved head first into all that was out there. I signed up to a big live online yoga company and participated in a selection of their classes, and took a few others by various individuals who were moving their studios online too. It turns out, there is a big difference. Not least the sense of community you get from all lying there in Savasana. Eyes closed, breathing deep, knowing there are a handful of you around the country, or World, all practicing together. Your own little slice and experience of Collective Consciousness. It feels pretty good, and leaves you feeling somewhat grounded and humbled. Not bad qualities to be taking back into your day.
Some other pros of lives verses recordings:
A little bit of humour and spontaneity that doesn’t exist in pre-recorded and edited classes
Current and with the times, the Moon, the weather and current events
Two-way communication, so ask questions! You may have rolled on your ankle the night before or slept badly and hurt your neck. Tell the teacher how you’re feeling and they’ll be able to offer appropriate variations for you.
Let's assume you're intrigued, and might sign up for a class (c'mon treat yourself!), how can you make sure you really get the most out of it? Do you need to be a tech whizz? Or better still, a millennial (whatever that means!). Absolutely not. You will require a device of some sort and yes, the Internet. So, what's next?
Feel totally welcome and show up
However you’re feeling. "I wish I hadn’t just spent an hour stretching and relaxing," said nobody, ever! Whoever, wherever you are, however you’re feeling, show up. Book in advance so you feel a little more commitment to the class (but check the cancellation policy so you don't lose out if you do decide to cancel), set an alarm if it's early and you are in danger of sleeping in, and know if you're not feeling shit hot, that's OK! Everyone has downers, the teacher may even be feeling a little blue too. But the class we undoubtedly pick you up!
Set up your space
Make a kind of sanctuary, your feel good spot. Surround yourself with home comforts, a nice candle, an essential oil in a diffuser or oil burner (obviously taking care of naked flames), a cosy blanket and a couple of soft cushions or pillows. Treat it like a good long bubble bath and take time to prepare your space. Even two minutes, and shove the kids toys or clutter behind the door. Out of sight, out of mind. Have your tea or coffee close by, or a simple glass of water. Wear comfy socks, or your favourite sweater, especially if it's early in the morning or late at night and the air feels cool. Turn down the heating (if you're practicing near a radiator). Yoga pants absolutely not required. Encourage an atmosphere of stillness and calm. And if there is household noise, try putting some nice relaxing music on in the background to help you zone out. A student also recently wore earphones and streamed the class straight into her ears. Disclaimer: use wireless ones only!
Even if you are a tech wizard, still be sure that you’re properly set up. If you arrive 10-15 minutes early you'll be able to check your audio and video and fix any hiccups should they occur. If you're all set in a couple of minutes, mute your camera and your mic, and continue painting your nails or feeding your dog until class begins! Or use the time to chat with your teacher or get to know some of your classmates. You might even make some new friends.
Common questions for participating in an online class.
Do you need a mat?
Nope. I use one because it helps me keep in the space on the camera. Otherwise I might end up on the other side of the room. For you, that’s totally fine, use your space. Of course if you have one, it might feel kind of nice, but it is certainly not a must. They often move around on carpeted floors, and if you've got a nice thick rug, that might feel better anyway. Or if it's sunny and you've got a patch of grass, even better! An outside practice is immense (wear suncream). They do help on wooden floors or concrete, but you can use a big beach towel or similar if you don't have a mat.
Do I need my camera on?
Nope. It can be nice and help you and the teacher to create ‘community’ but again, not a pre-requisite. A student of mine practices in a big open plan living area, kids, pets, husband roaming free. If it feels better for you to have your camera switched off, that privacy is your right! And if you really haven't got dressed, brushed your hair, had a shower, never mind. This is your hour, do whatever you need to feel most comfortable.
If you do decide to use your camera, you can set it up in a way so the teacher can see you and be able to offer support or verbal adjustments if you'd like it. Some top tips:
Be sure that the light is infront of you not behind you (or you’ll be a shadow), for example if you're practicing near a big window
Set the device up on a table and far enough away so if you’re lying down you're not completely out of view, or it you’re standing up, we don't only see your ankles
Set yourself up in selfie mode first and check out the frame first!
Do I need to mute my mic?
Yes please! It can be distracting for other students and may lead to loss of sound and instruction for the other students. Also, that way you can giggle, shout, cry, fart, whatever you like and nobody will hear!
So, come try a class out. See our full online schedule and book your first class here. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours. Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.