The upsides of teaching online
Nothing beats the human connection from in-person classes but there are some upsides to teaching online, writes Paula Hines
If you have been teaching or attending live yoga classes or workshops online over the past year you will almost certainly at some point have experienced any number of ‘fails’. These may include (although this is far from an exhaustive list!):
- the Wi-Fi reception deciding to be patchy
- dodgy sound
- the front door buzzer going in the middle of Savasana
- pets and children competing for space on the yoga mat
- persistent takeaway delivery personnel refusing to accept that you are not the address they are supposed to be delivering to (maybe that last one is just me)
You get the picture. There’s no doubt that having a sense of humour about it all is very helpful.
However, the downsides of online yoga are far outweighed by the upsides, I feel.
I don’t take teaching in-person for granted. When lockdowns have meant that teaching in-person is not possible, I do miss the connection with others. Yet, connection can still be found online and one of the big positives is that if you are fortunate enough to have Wi-Fi and an appropriate device then yoga offerings are now more accessible than ever.
Given my initial trepidation, I now enjoy teaching online far more than I had ever imagined I would.
Plus, I have been able to (virtually) meet people who would not have been able to attend my classes or workshops in a studio, whether that is because they have been shielding for health reasons or because they live in another city or country. For me, it has also been wonderful to re-connect with students and fellow teachers who had moved away.
And teaching online also makes for a much shorter commute — something that is very welcome on cold, wet days.
As a practitioner, there are teachers based outside of the UK that I had wanted to study with for a long time and over the past year, via the wonders of technology, geography has no longer been a barrier.
An especially important thing I have learned via feedback is that for people who may feel wary or uncomfortable about entering a yoga studio space, being online offers a way of taking part that feels safer for them.
I’ve valued these online connections just as much as the in-person ones.
I now know that so long as I have Wi-Fi, I will continue to teach online in some form for the foreseeable future. This has reminded me of the importance of being open to doing things differently. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can bring very pleasant surprises.
Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer. Find out more about her online yoga offerings at: ucanyoga.co.uk