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Yoga in a digital world: The tales of teaching a virtual class

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

So perhaps this isn’t the situation I imagined I’d be in right now. It is less than ideal for anyone working in the fitness and wellness industry, an industry that relies on gatherings of clients, that we cannot gather in groups to teach and workout. But boy are we trying to adapt.

Here we are, trying to navigate the crazy world of online classes and virtual teaching. This is not a post on how to become an online sensation, I know I am far from telling anyone how to run an online wellbeing business. This is a post to share the tales of the journey, to provide some solace to those who are going through the same, to hopefully deliver some laughs or at least wry smiles as you relate my journey. So here it is my list of tales, tips and terrors.

1. WiFi - Okay so my biggest howler, let’s start there. Hands up who has dodgy WiFi. Yep me too.

You probably can tell where this is going but go with me. I was ready for my first live venture, my mat was laid out and I had checked 100 times that it fitted into the film frame. I was being super ambitious and doing both Facebook and Instagram live at the same time. The WiFi had other plans, my Facebook live clung on for 20 minutes and then cut out, the Instagram live lost connection halfway through but picked it back up so that was a good thing I guess. The best bit though…..well I had absolutely no idea so was just teaching like everything was fine even though half my clients couldn’t see me. It was only when finished class and shut down my lives I found loads of comments and messages telling me the WiFi must have cut out and they had missed the class.

Teacher Top Tip: if you have reliable 3G/4G then use it and if you do multiple streams make sure your bandwidth can support it

2. Volume and Microphones – the crazy non tech approved things we do

Anyone else as crazy as me and turns the media volume on their phone up to full just in case that increases microphone sensitivity? We all know that if the volume is on full, the microphone obviously has better sensitivity…right.

3. Slippery carpets are the new slippery mats

Seriously, who knew that yoga mats could slide around so much on carpets. I swear it happens twice as much when you’re filming too. I now I have to subtlety hop of my mat and haul in back in place mid live class so my head doesn’t creep out of the frame.

4. Handmade signs and warning countdowns – if you live with anyone you’ll get this

I run round the house 5 or 10 minutes before I film announcing to everyone that my class is starting and the obligatory period of quiet shall begin. This means, no coffee grinders, no vitamix blenders (seriously those things are like aeroplanes), no running up the stairs (who knew I lived with a herd of elephants) and no shouting to each other across the house (seriously why do we all do this aha).

As well as the warning countdowns I have my trusty handwritten sign that very accurately says ‘filming’. This was created after someone in the house walked into my filming session, and if you film in a one take style you’ll know that this is a problem! My little sign now sits on the stairs or outside the room I’m filming in and seems to have worked so far, though I am yet to get the dog to read it. Any tips let me know.

Teacher Top Tip: Make a sign and warn your house just before you teach, even if you told them that morning they probably won’t remember so just remind them.

Learning all the new skills of how to shift our teaching and business online is hard. Technology doesn’t always play ball. If you are like me you will be googling what seem like the dumbest questions, but when we look back at the tales and the terrors of teaching online it is quite amusing even if it wasn’t at the time. When we one day return to teaching in real life just imagine what a pleasure that will be when the biggest issue is turning on the lights and setting up your music.

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