You’ll never beat a real life yoga teacher. By Lexie Williamson
Are the days of the yoga teacher numbered? I’m talking about the real, ‘live’ walking, talking kind that that prods your pelvis in Trikonasana and whispers you out of your Savasana stupor.
I mean the kind who has a hole in his sock, mixes up his lefts and rights or stumbles in two minutes late to class but is an actual living, sweating, breathing human being.
I only ask as nowadays you can summon Rodney Yee (or other top instructors) to your sitting room, at 2am. He’s ripped, tanned and sockless and standing in front of an awesome Atlantic Ocean vista.
Welcome to the virtual yoga teacher. My Yoga Online and Yoga Glow are just two examples of online hubs featuring 1000s of hours of classes searchable by body part, level or teacher.
These teachers are never late and are highly predictable. You don’t have to brave rainy Beckenham High Street to see them. You can even speed through the dull bits (once you get used to the buffering).
I was informed of this revolution while attending a bike shop event as my capacity as a ‘yoga for cyclists’ specialist. A customer sidled up to chat. “Did you know that Yoga Glow offer yoga for cyclists?” she asked helpfully, and proceeded to fill me in.
There followed a small silence. I couldn’t compete with teachers that you can command to you to do your yoga bidding at the touch of a keypad.
Or could I? If there is, indeed, a revolution going on, why is my inbox bulging with requests for group and private yoga sessions from cyclists, runners and general yoga fans.
Business is booming for me, and all the teachers I know. Studios are crammed to the rafters with punters. One teacher tweeted yesterday that he had just taught 65 students. This is an epic number for a run-of-the-mill class.
And then it struck me. We spend half our lives now in front of a computer screen. The yoga class is one of the few places we can escape it. Then there’s the social aspect. In a class we can huddle together like the social pack animals we are. I might not speak to my neighbour but I hear her breathing and moving through the asanas as I do. This feels right and reassuring.
The virtual yoga teacher will also never reach out of the screen and prod you if your Trikonasana is out of alignment.
And if this does happen, then it’s probably a good time to log off and go to bed.
Lexie Williamson is a yoga teacher and health and fitness writer (pulseyoga.co.uk)