With so many options for learning yoga online, it can be difficult to decide what to choose. There are YouTube tutorials, Instagram and Facebook live, and other pre-recorded online courses. Some of these require a fee, but most are free of charge. So why would you join a live online class? Here are some great reasons…
1. Instruction and Safety
Traditionally a yoga aspirant and their teacher would have developed a close bond. This helped the teacher know exactly what the student needed. Though pre-recorded classes have many benefits, they cannot offer this intimacy. Because, in a live class, your teacher can see you, he or she can help you through the class in a way that is suitable for your body. If you are struggling too much, the nervous system gets agitated and the practice is futile. A good teacher will be able to monitor your progress and lead you in the right direction. This gives peace of mind to all involved, prevention of injuries, greater safety, and a better overall outcome.
2. Live Interaction
In a live class you can raise your hand if you have a query and your teacher can help you on the spot. There are often also opportunities at the beginning and end of class for sharing your experiences or reflecting on the practice, just like in regular class.
Without your normal weekly schedule it may feel like there is a sudden lack of structure in your life. Structure helps us to feel grounded and is good for mental and emotional stability. Your Zoom class will normally take place at a specific time during the week. This will help to add this much needed element to your weekly routine.
Loneliness and a sense of isolation are very common in these Covid-19 times. Even if we are cohabiting and are not physically alone, our disconnection from community activities can leave us feeling bereft. This is particularly true for extroverts. Joining an online live class can help you feel part of a community again. As you chant, meditate and do your asana and breathing practice in communion with others you get to be part of a shared energy field that nourishes you and everyone else.
5. Flexing Your Presence Muscle
Being present is a life skill, and just like any skill, the more you practice, the more proficient you become. While pre-recorded tutorials have the advantage of a pause button, being at a live class requires your presence. The power of a yoga session comes mainly in the uninterrupted maintenance of a present state over 60-90 minutes. This is why nothing can really beat an in-person class or Yoga Therapy session, but a Zoom class is the next best thing!
6. Supporting Local Teachers
We have all heard the term ‘shop local’, but sometimes forget to extend its ethos to our local Yoga and Meditation teachers. Big international yoga corporations offer almost irresistible deals, but give little back to local economies, and don’t attempt to assess your personal needs. The essential teacher/student bond discussed earlier is likely to be lost should pre-recorded and impersonal classes become the norm, and local teachers lose support. While they play an important role when there is no local teacher available, they are no replacement for the teacher that knows you and your needs.
Equally, becoming a truly skilled yoga teacher or therapist requires one's full attention and is very difficult to master alongside other full time work. It is an occupation which requires many years of learning, integration and practice.Therefore, your teachers also need your support. You can help support local teachers by continuing to attend online live classes, keeping in touch with them and sharing their work. In return you will be truly seen, guided and cared for every step of the way on your yoga journey.
For more information on live Zoom classes click here.