Pauline Gibbons

Pauline Gibbons

A quick transition to teaching online helped Tring Yoga Studio bring a vital sense of normality and continuity to its community. Here, studio owner Pauline Gibbons tells OM that it was a learning curve for all

My initial reaction to the lockdown in March 2020 was PANIC!

Professionally, we’d spent four years building up a strong community in our dedicated yoga studio in Tring, in Hertfordshire, and now overnight, this was under threat.

We didn’t have an online offering at all, we had to adapt, we had to get to grips with a new way of supporting our clients and quick! It was a steep learning curve for a technophobe like me; new equipment to purchase, software and booking systems to set-up and learn.

We started with a private group on Facebook, and ran classes via Facebook Live, but that soon fell away as people became familiar with Zoom, it was clear this was the way forward – we were up and running online within a few days!

Pauline Gibbons

Being able to teach online was a huge relief – to be able to offer the familiarity and comfort of yoga practices to our community at a time of so much change and uncertainty was a great help to many, myself included. As I live on my own, I found comfort in still going to the studio to teach. It was good to be able to see familiar faces and stay connected to students.

The way our yoga community responded to our online offering was brilliant.

Old or young students really embraced our online classes, and it wasn’t long until we started to offer more.

We ran weekly coffee mornings, Sunday night meditations and regular online workshops, which were all very popular…we even celebrated our fourth birthday with a ‘virtual party’ which was great fun!

Pauline Gibbons

Our community has been very vocal about how important classes were to them during lockdown, with many expressing gratitude to be able to maintain their practice, to stay connected to the Tring Yoga studio community and to have some sense of normality.

We also had a lot of feedback from students saying that Tring Yoga Studio had been a huge support for their mental and physical health. I really think online yoga kept us all sane, students and teachers alike!

Pauline Gibbons

It was lovely to see that students seemed willing to try a wider variety of classes than they had before; no one style of yoga became more popular than others. For example, those who practiced more dynamic forms of yoga, gave Yin yoga and Kundalini a go, and vice versa. Similarly, the workshops, which were varied (inversions, breath work and understanding the chakras, to name just a few), were attended by a wide range of students. Perhaps people were more open to trying things because they were in the comfort of their own home and thought why not?

The one thing I’d pass on after all we’ve been through these past two years or so, would be: This too shall pass. We all know this to be true from experience. It’s an ever-changing world; nothing is permanent, everything shifts, everything changes. There have been and will continue to be many challenging times for us all but we’ve made it through the last two years, we adapted and transformed…we can do anything!

I can’t say I have enjoyed this challenging time as, like everyone, I have had to deal with heartache, fear and loss but online classes have definitely helped us through and I believe will continue to do so into the foreseeable future and help to spread our yoga community far and wide throughout the world.

If you haven’t yet discovered Pauline Gibbons and the team at Tring Yoga Studio now is the time! Find everything you need at:

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.