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How to Enhance Your Online Class Experience

The yoga world is in a period of rapid transformation, as we see studios and teachers move their class offering online.  But what does this mean for your practice?  It won't come without it's own challenges but this new way of practising can really bring its own benefits:

  • It'll be easier to squeeze that class into a busy day without having to factor in travel to and from the studio or late returns home past dinner time.
  • No childcare? No problem!  Let your kids watch you practice. Let them join in.  Let them ask questions.  And if it ends with you all in a mess on the floor, let it be :)
  • Some folk can be anxious practising in a room with others.  Online practice means your classmates are with you in spirit but you can enjoy the solitude of a personal practice (unless of course you have kids... see above!)

So how do you maximise your online experience:

  • If possible create a designated practice space in a corner of your home.  Make it beautiful with plants, candles (stay safe!) and ornaments.  Keep it clean.  
  • Hide your phone in the other room.
  • Follow the usual rules when selecting a class.  Pick a class to fit your current level - e.g. Vinyasa or Basics classes for beginners, Power for more advanced practitioners.
  • Invest in some props (bolsters, straps, blocks & blankets) or make your own out of pillows, belts & books.  
  • Honour your usual practice commitments - arrive on time to your mat.  Keep yourself and your personal space clean.  Give your all to the class (even if the teacher can't see you) - that doesn't mean pushing beyond your limits but invest in the class to reap the rewards.  
  • Try to keep your practice time clear of any interruptions - deliveries, work meetings, snacktime!  See if you can get one or two opportunities a week for complete alone time,  BUT...
  • ... don't sweat it if you are interrupted by kids, or the doorbell, or the dog barking.  This is life.  Return to gratitude and practice if possible and if not, then tomorrow is another day.
  • Whatever you do, don't look under the sofa while you're in down dog...
  • Be forgiving of tech issues.  It can be frustrating but these studios are working around the clock to bring you classes as best they can.  Give constructive feedback and know that they are working hard to fix any issues.
  • Stay safe.  You should never feel pain or discomfort so if anything doesn't feel right, come out of the posture and wait until the class moves on.  If you have any questions, send your studio an email.

Most of all, enjoy yourself and don't take this strange new world too seriously.  Just making it to your mat, even for your few quiet breaths, is a great practice.  

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