The Unlikely, Yet Actual Gift, of On-line, Interactive, Live Yoga

HeIlo, friends. It’s been awhile. I have held you in my heart, regardless.

My hope is that you are finding your way through this crazy, confusing, confounding time. Perhaps you have even found some gift in all of it. I know some people have had significant additional challenges to navigate in the midst of it. No two people’s experience will have been the same.

I do know that the practices and attitudes that I have cultivated over the last four decades have held me in good stead. It may be unbelievable, but I have felt largely at ease during the last six months, filled with ease and gratitude for all the grace and goodness I have in life. And yet I know it could just as easily be the opposite.

In spring, in addition to pivoting private clients to on-line meetings, I offered on-line group yoga via Zoom to a small number of students a couple times a week. This quick alternative provided all of us with

  • social connection,
  • a sense of purpose,
  • regularity in schedule,
  • connectedness with the body, and
  • effective action to meet the stress of a virtual lockdown.

I didn’t offer too much group practice over the last couple of months because summer found me wanting to have the freedom to garden, hike, and practice for myself.

View from Eiffel Lake Trail toward Fay Glacier and Moraine Lake

At the end of July, instead of traveling to California for a ten-day silent retreat, the instructors offered a week-long virtual retreat with no silence required. There were differences from my experience of last year’s live event but I think I liked the on-line offering even better!

Some of the 30 or so participants in the July Advanced iRest Retreat, this year offered flawlessly on-line.
some of the 30 or so participants in the July Advanced iRest Retreat

Advantages to on-line yoga, meditation and spiritual direction are many.

  • Generally, the technology works pretty well.
  • No travel hassles or costs. So there is less fatigue. And less time expended due to not having to travel.
  • Use common items from your home as props and for comfort.
  • No social need to shower or fix yourself up beyond the basics. You can even use highly-scented products if you want and you won’t affect others!
  • If you are feeling grouchy or tired, you can choose to keep your interaction to a minimum.
  • You can turn off your camera if you don’t feel like being seen and your microphone if you don’t want to talk. These mean that you can cough, go to the bathroom or have a beverage or eat without disturbing others.
  • With exceptions, you may not have to resort to babysitters or pet care.
  • You can practice to your capacity if you are feeling unwell, without exposing others.
  • You will not be exposed to outside people who may be unwell.
  • No imposition on your personal space and vice versa.
  • On-line we can still chant and actively work with breath but during COVID-19 relaunch we couldn’t if we were together live.
  • Develop your own home practice through the process; incorporate the learning right into your life!

And there are a few downsides or extra effort involved in participating on-line. Here are some of them:

  • Occasionally the technology is splotchy on the receiving or sending end.
  • You may have to learn how to use the technology (although it is getting more intuitive all the time and there is lots of help available).
  • You need to determine how to configure a space for practice.
  • You may need to spend time experimenting with your computer / device so the camera captures your full figure (in the case of wanting feedback from the teacher).
  • You need a degree of privacy and quiet in your space.
  • You need to have even more respect for your physical, emotional and mental limits as the teacher is not as able to sense what is going on for you.
  • You may have to reign in your attention from distractions of home.

No Recording, for your privacy and comfort.

To honour privacy of participants, I largely have decided not to record Zoom offerings. However, do know that Zoom recordings only include the active screen which presenters can set up as only their own. I also ask students not to record audio, video or to screen shot anything that involves other students’ images, voice or text.

Ready to take the plunge?

So are you ready to join me?

I am planning gentle yoga / meditation classes

  • 10 – 11:30 Tue mornings and
  • 7:30 – 9 Wed evenings

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