COVID-19 yoga ideas for teachers. By Dr Tracy Johnson
Get online, but don’t worry about it being perfect If it’s something you can do, offering live or prerecorded classes online can be incredibly helpful for keeping your community together as well as potentially attracting new clients. I’ve seen a lot of chat on social media on what the best platform/camera is, but the key is to keep it simple and do what gives you the least stress and the most accessibility to your clients. I am going to offer a combination of short live classes on Instagram and some rough and ready recorded classes on my YouTube channel. There are free apps you can use to edit and add some polish but, ultimately, your clients just want to see you and have the yoga teaching they are familiar with. It doesn’t have to be perfect to get the job done.
A few things to consider as you think about COVID-19 yoga ideas:
- Be sure to check your insurance and give a verbal disclaimer at the start explaining that home exercise is always at the client’s own risk.
- Use as clear a space as possible but don’t be too worried about things looking too ‘homemade’ in the current circumstances. Kids will scream and dogs will bark!
- Let go of assisting students; they are going to have to adapt their own practice and this is a good learning opportunity for them. Getting it perfect is less important than just doing it.
- Decide what you want to offer for free and what you need to charge for. I will offer live classes for free and ask for donations, where people choose to give. You can charge for access to pre-recorded classes on platforms where people need a link or log in to access. We all need to make a living in these very challenging times, so don’t be squeamish about asking to be paid for your skills.
Stay in your lane
Yoga can be balm to mind and body, but it is not a universal cure for what ails. As well as being a yoga teacher, I am qualified in coaching, fitness and personal training and in nutrition, and some of the ‘advice’ on avoiding coronavirus by the ‘wellness’ industry in general needs to be given a wide berth. Do not offer advice on areas in which you are not qualified. This is the work of medical doctors and scientists. Focus on delivering good quality, safe virtual teaching that offers solace and stress management in the special way yoga can. Steer well clear of breaking professional boundaries.
Be careful too of what you post on social media. The reality of this situation is very tough for most and a nightmare for some. Positive thinking memes may be inappropriate (I have certainly been irritated by ‘look on the bright side’ posts already) for those for whom self-isolation is heightening pre-existing mental health issues, and there are many struggling at home with difficult family members, financial issues or even abuse. Just offer the yoga.
Look after your own health
You can’t support others if you are exhausted. Most self-employed people I know are completely drained from the stress of the unknown factors in this current scenario, as well as concern about friends and family. We are unable to offer hugs or comfort except from a distance. Try to sleep, eat as well as you can with what is available and use your own practice to meditate and move your body. Don’t be too fussy about your diet right now, and just do your best. A glass of wine shared on a video call with friends can go a long way to maintaining important social bonds. At the time of writing, we are still allowed out to walk and run, so take advantage to stay healthy but maintain a safe distance from others. If you are reading this during lockdown, try to maintain daily routines and a regular practice, accepting that you may well not get the privacy or peace you are used to. Yoga is meant to teach us to find stillness in the madness, so this is certainly a good time to practice.