Reimagining Yoga for a Virtual Space

Chances are, if you’ve pivoted your yoga classes to a virtual space recently, you may be very aware of some frustrating learning curves. 

How exactly can you turn your struggle to craft yoga classes virtually into opportunities to put your most authentic self forward and define the core foundations of your class?

The essentials

Obviously, not every location is ideal for filming or broadcasting fitness. We are all getting creative and also virtually inviting our clients into our homes, which can feel a little stressful.  

What does a client need at the end of the day? Simply put, they have to see and hear you. If you’re in a space with lackluster lighting, you definitely want to invest in a soft light to place outside of the frame. You’ll have to play around with this, but ultimately your efforts will pay off. 

No internet connection is perfect, but you may want to invest in an ethernet cable if you find you are continuously getting that dreaded lag while teaching. 

No one is expecting your home to be the ideal oasis for yoga, but they are expecting to be able to get both visual and auditory instruction. With your technical needs defined, you can focus your energy on what elements of class are most important to you. 

Be overly specific

Yoga is quite unique in the fitness sphere, intrinsically combining spiritual, mental, and emotional wellbeing into a practice. Your personal relationship to yoga is your biggest asset in crafting your class experience. Your roots to yoga still remain, despite your changed surroundings. 

Take this time to really analyze your teaching style. If you consider yourself to be a really hands-on instructor, you might be disappointed that you cannot make physical adjustments anymore. Instead of asking who is comfortable with hands-on adjustments, you can ask who is comfortable with individual verbal form notes through class. 

Just know that with physical touch unavailable to your clients, they will be leaning in closer to what you say and do. You’ll have to be overly specific with your verbiage to compensate. Don’t be afraid to over-explain your cues.

Take a trip down memory lane

While you may be nostalgic for your favorite studio, you can still ask yourself why those spaces made you feel prepared to teach. You have an opportunity to make your space (however limited it may be) a studio that makes you feel ready and able to guide your students. Don’t be afraid to be a little nostalgic in the search for what makes you feel grounded. 

There are environmental factors that a studio provided for you that perhaps you didn’t have to think about before. The upside is that now you have complete control in making a space that feels unique to your practice. Think about what sensory experiences make you feel most centered and prepared to share. If you don’t have a lot of space, what smells do you want around you? 

Certainly your clients won’t be able to reap all of the benefits of your environment (unless we discover a way to transmit essential oils through Zoom), but in order to teach your best class without feeling the energy of other people in the room, you will feel better when your surroundings support you. 

You can encourage your clients to have a positive relationship to their space as well, whether that be a ritual when they set up for class or if they have space to keep their materials out at all times, encourage them to make that space comfortable. The more specific you make your class, the more valuable your class becomes. Your clients will return because they have taken part in a unique experience that combines all of the benefits of yoga with your unique strengths.  

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