How to Safely Take an Online Yoga Class
Taking steps to ensure you are avoiding strain or injury - By Emma Mills
Reading time: 3 minutes
Taking an online live or pre recorded yoga class can be incredibly beneficial and convenient, creating a way to easily incorporate a yoga practice into your everyday routine. Of course on-line yoga can’t precisely replicate the immediate feedback and posture corrections an in person teacher can provide but there are steps we can take to ensure we are practising with caution and care.
As with all classes you should consider consulting your doctor or seeking advice before taking your first class, paying close attention to any precautionary measures if for example you have recently suffered an injury, have a medical condition or think you could be pregnant.
Additionally here are 5 tips to keep in mind before you begin your online class -
- Decide on your experience level – When selecting which class to take, or video to follow evaluate which category you fall into, beginner, experienced-beginner, intermediate-advanced and advanced. This will give you a starting point when searching for classes suitable and accessible to your needs.
- Listen carefully – Closely follow your yoga teachers cues and options for modification, most yoga teachers will offer alternatives or ways to take the pose differently whilst still maintaining the effects of the pose. If you feel like a pose just isn’t right for you at that time but you didn’t hear an alternative, take a pose that does feel best for you.
- Use props – The use of props does not mean your practice is any less than anyone else’s, they are a great way to help correct posture and support the body into a pose that is a better fit, you can make use of a stack of books, pillows or rolled up blankets.
- Move with control – When coming in or out of a pose move with control, don’t slingshot out of a shoulder stand or shoot up to hands over head from a reclined pose, even during a Vinyasa yoga practice we want to be moving between each pose swiftly but with control and focus.
- Do not ignore pain – Yoga is not painful, it is a series of deep stretches which should feel good. If you feel pain or discomfort, gently come out of the pose you are in and assess the situation, if the pain does not disappear consider visiting your GP.
Starting an online yoga practice or program can have all the wonderful benefits that in person classes provide, improving flexibility, providing mental clarity, helping provide relief from insomnia, fatigue, stress and so much more.
But just as with in person classes, its important to check in with self every time you exercise, assessing how you feel that day. Trust yourself and your instinct on what feels right for you. Building upon your practice will allow the body to gain strength and flexibility gradually without pulling or over doing it. Try to be patient with yourself.
Overall make your yoga practice your own, choose a class and teacher that meet your needs and wants, create a safe area in which to roll your mat out and, although its good to keep the above points in mind, have fun with it, being creative will allow you to play around with poses until they suit your body.
Thank you for reading, see you on the mat!
Emma is a 200hr qualified yoga teacher, specialising in Hatha Yoga and breathwork, aside from this she has completed many CPD yoga courses and recently completed a 'flexibility workshop'.
She is currently teaching voluntarily online and being inclusive to every student is always at the forefront of her mind when setting up a class.
Using social media and the discovery of Instagram she has been able to reach out and share the joys of practicing yoga with many other likeminded people.