Do you have any advice for leading a class virtually whether it be live or even just a prerecorded video? I am a fairly new instructor in general but as a human I thrive off working with others face to face no matter what it is I’m doing. However, with the current situation of COVID-19 and needing to be distant, I know that if I branch out of my comfort zone and teach virtually I could make a positive impact on others. But I want to make sure I make the best impact I can given all circumstances.
Any advice of tips and tricks and even a mantra or affirmation to remind myself of would be much appreciated.
Teaching Yoga during COVID-19
Dear Teaching Yoga During COVID-19,
Four weeks ago, my Instagram feed was filled with fellow yoga teachers offering private/group classes through ZOOM. I was impressed by these brave souls, and never thought that I would be one of them as I had never used ZOOM before and tend to shy away from new technology until I am absolutely required to become fluent in it. Fast forward to today and here I am, fluent in ZOOM and leading my regular studio classes, along with a few of my own private classes, on a weekly basis.
This transition was abrupt and frightening for everyone. We were asked to shift from a high functioning, busy lifestyle to a firmly grounded and isolated situation within the span of a week. Everyone is a nutty mess, especially us yoga teachers who see a need for connection, and yet are unable to connect in the ways our training taught us to (ie: physically). So here is what we can do: Adapt.
Us showing up for our students and modeling our own ability to adapt and evolve in the face of adversity is the best impact we can hope to have during these uncertain times. We are living, breathing examples of constant change--all humans, not just yoga teachers--and right now we all must form intentional connections with the world outside of our homes while remaining inside of our homes. Yoga teachers innately teach intentional connection, it’s part of the job title, and it is one hundred percent possible to hold space for a group of other humans through a screen.
It doesn’t matter what style of yoga you teach, what matters is that you offer true connection and solidarity in your teachings. This is not a time to spout love and light, this is a time to be honest and real; to peel back the layers and show others that you are experiencing this moment in history just as profoundly as them, and that it’s OK to admit that it’s hard/scary/awkward/disempowering/depressing/sad. This is a time to truly let people just be. Within that being is where we feel the most safe, and ‘safe’ is something we all need to feel right now. Connecting with the Self, the body, the breath reinforces our sense of safety and allows for us to adapt and evolve with confidence rather than stress and confusion.
We all thrive off of working with other people in person. Right now we cannot risk the chance of spreading the virus, so we have to thrive off of working in solidarity together, separately. If there is one thing I want you to take from this response, it’s this: you are a leader, and right now you must show your people how transformation is possible in the wake of vicissitude. You’ve got this.