Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Initially online yoga classes were taken by people who were really excited about their progress and didn't want to lose the momentum.
Monday morning, the clock hit 5:50 AM and I looked at the last-minute preparation for my first yoga class of the day. Yoga Mat, checked; Tripod, checked; Bluetooth, checked, and now I just have to log in on my online platform and wait for my practitioner to join.
As of 2019, this scenario for a yoga class was very unusual. I mean online Yoga class? Like seriously !!!!
But then pandemic happened and being digital was the only safe option. Initially online yoga classes were taken by people who were really excited about their progress and didn't want to lose the momentum. But It was just a matter of time before online yoga classes really caught the attention. Access to hundreds of videos, the flexibility of choosing our own time, and light on the pocket too, The concept really is exciting.
But wait, there are some legitimate questions too!
What about the correction of the postures, what If I ended up hurting myself, what if I couldn't keep up with the breathing pace?
These are the questions that I get asked a lot. And my answer is nothing but the truth!
I honestly feel that the choice is not between safe and unsafe practices. The choice is whether or not to step out of a comfort zone. It's really about trusting yourself, being self-disciplined, and having a keenness to learn.
Following instructions is the key
As far as injuries are concerned, remember there is no way and I mean absolutely no way, you would get an injury if you keep listening to your body, and follow the instructions to the word. Pick classes of any qualified yoga teacher and you will notice the uniform approach of giving clear instructions. Clearly explained variations, various steps of the asana, and most importantly the repeated mentioning of "listen to your body", "Don't over push", "only attempt if you are ready" etc.
Always Do Sukshma Vyayama
Well, The only way you can get an injury is that you didn't warm up (sukshma Vyayama) or you got over-enthusiastic while doing any asana, and ignored the instructions of the teacher. As long as you avoid that, you are good.
Choose the right format-
This would be a really important decision. The deciding factor would be the level as well as the objective of your practice. I have mentioned the pros and cons of some of the popular formats, so you can make an informed decision.
In my opinion, beginners are always advised to practice under close supervision until they become self-reliant. Intermediate and advanced practitioners can choose, depending upon their learning objectives.
Now, Let's look at all the different options of taking a virtual yoga class.
1. Online Group class- Availability- Live
Almost all the fitness /Yoga studios are offering such classes.
1. There would be many people with you so you will be motivated.
2. You will be bound to a fix time, so it will be a disciplined practice.
3. Group classes are cost effective too. Many studios offer some free classes as well for
you to get comfortable with the learning medium.
1. Larger groups risk lack of attention from the teacher.
2. Bare minimum interaction with the teacher. Even the best of teachers experience this as
a concern in larger groups.
3. Group classes don't have the flexibility of changing the time even in case of emergency.
You are bound to the assigned time. Missing the classes would result in financial loss too.
2. Offline classes-Availability-Recorded
Many popular yoga websites tied up with yoga teachers and launched their recorded yoga classes. These classes sometimes include daily or weekly challenges too which can be really fun to the enthusiastic.
1. A wonderful opportunity to practice the sequence arranged by popular teachers. Many
you would recognize from Instagram or YouTube.
2. Time flexibility, as these follow the "do it as per your convenience" format.
3. One-time investment only.
1. The sequences are not customized as per individual needs.
2. You are completely on your own. There is no supervision.
3. Self-discipline is the only way you can achieve success with this format.
3. Personal class- Availability- Live
These classes are offered by most of the personal yoga teachers. Maybe yours is offering them too!
1. It's just like taking an in-person class.
2. Lots of interaction with the teacher, you will get the freedom of discussing the postures,
customizing the sequence as per your body needs.
3. Many teachers allow adjustment of time if pre-informed.
4. Suitable for all age groups.
1. Although cheaper than taking an in-person class, This is more expensive than the other two formats.
Have faith in yourself
Let us not forget that one of the prime objectives of a yoga practice is to develop trust within ourselves. Through yoga, we learn to generate ultimate body and mind coordination. We learn to develop harmony amongst all the systems of the body. As long as you keep this in mind you would continue having a successful practice, irrespective of the format you choose.
Have a happy practice!
If you need guidance in starting virtual yoga classes reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org I would be happy to extend whatever support I can offer.
Nidhi (Senior Teacher @Ayushman Yog)
Level 1- 200 hrs., Level 3- 800 hrs. (YCB)
MSC (Yoga), MSC(Vedanta)