My first yoga class was through a tv show called Namaste Yoga. I practiced with my stepmom on the carpeted floor of our living room. It was perfect for me because I couldn't drive at the time and I was too nervous to go to a class. I could also just be in my own little world, stretching and creating the peace I needed in my life at that time. Learning this way was all I knew for a long time and I loved it. After a few years of practicing to shows and YouTube, I eventually got up the nerve to attend an in-person class. My first studio yoga class was actually a meditation class. My second yoga class was at an outdoor yoga festival. It snowballed from there to going to every studio in Tulsa as often as I could. So after learning in-person for a number of years, I wasn’t so sure about learning and practicing online again. I had the same question you have - will learning online be the same? The super short answer is - no. The more nuanced answer is - it's different. There are perks. Less driving, more time before and after, great for introverts (hi!). And... you can wear your (actual) comfy clothes or a robe. The next question is -- how can I be prepared? I've got some tips for you. Five, in fact.
1. Create and hold your time and social boundaries around your yoga practice time. I help you do that as your teacher, but when you practice at home, you might have some sort of signal that tells your housemates/new coworkers that you are yoga-ing.
2. Use your hands on your body (or video yourself) to learn yoga poses. We learn by giving and receiving feedback. Hands-on feedback as a learning tool will help you learn how to practice yoga poses. This has made all the difference in my personal practice and my clients’ practice.
3. Sign in 5-7 minutes early. Even though you are not seeing your teacher in-person, signing on early to say hi and check in will help you stay engaged and connected. This is also a good time to check volume, mat placement, and get situated before class.
4. Linger for a moment after class. You might journal or step outside for a few minutes. I know this may not be an everyday 5 minute occurrence, but even for a moment - bask in your practice.
5. Share your yoga with someone. Invite your partner to practice with you. If you’re practicing live, wave to the people in the class with you. If you’re practicing a badass prerecorded yoga video, share it with a loved one. We all need these practices, especially now.
I hope these tips help you feel more grounded, excited, and at ease about learning virtually. If you want to practice with me, check out my group and private yoga offerings at www.meganspearsyoga.com.