Tips For Teaching Yoga Online

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had many looking straight at the unknown. Our routines have been disrupted but that does not mean new ways of being cannot be embraced. I have been teaching online for about a year now on a platform called Vivaya Live that has offered me many lessons on taking yoga into the digital age. With so many teachers and practitioners of yoga being shifted to the online realm, I thought I would offer up some tips and insights to ease your transition from the studio to the sacred space of your home!


The single most important thing in beginning your teaching journey online is to create a sacred space that is dedicated to your yoga practice and teaching. During this time at home, clean out a room or corner of your house and decorate it with crystals, a salt lamp, tapestry, house plants, or anything else that resonates with you. Making a space within your home for teaching allows you to create the energy needed that will translate from your home to your student’s home. Yes, you can actually transmit your teachings and energy virtually to your students as long as your intention is there! Set these intentions in your sacred space and watch as the magic starts to happen.


As far as the actual act of teaching goes, verbal cueing is the single most important tool when keeping your students safe and ensuring they get the most out of their practice. Because teachers are no longer able to offer physical adjustments like they would in a studio, it may be wise to start with less vigorous sequences. Slow down the practice and allow your students to feel the verbal cues and adjustments you are giving. Practice your verbal cues by picking adjustments that you know work in your own body first. 


If you are now teaching online either via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or Facebook/Instagram Live it can feel a little odd not having students right in front you. But the truth is they are right in front of you! It is likely that you are thinking, “WTF, This is so odd.” Embrace your thought process as you transition from the studio to virtual reality. It is likely that this transition is one of many in your teaching career. So stop, remember to breathe, and honor the thoughts and emotions that are coming up for you. It is likely that your students are feeling the same. Remember that we are all in this together. 


There is a huge debate in the yoga industry that if a teacher is demoing too much that they cannot possibly have their eye on the students and their safety. I am here to tell you that demoing entire sequences is OKAY! And for many students during this transition, demoing may be essential. By demoing poses and sequences it sets the pace for the class. By setting a pace and embodying the practice with your students they begin to feel more connected to you and the practice. This allows for the creation of a virtual community and breath to flow more freely. 


As mentioned before, we are now in a time of major disruption and transitions. It is likely that your home has other people, pets, and things that are constantly needing your attention. Embrace it! Your home is a sacred space for many reasons. As you bring your teachings into your home, allow space for the dog to bark or the kids to barge in during a class. It is ok to joke and laugh and make mistakes. It is when we are vulnerable that we grow and learn lessons.

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