Yoga In The Zoom Room: Roberta Strickler

 The other day I taught a yoga class on Zoom. Well, in fact, I taught a class on Zoom every day this week. I am calling this My Current Adventure. If you know me you know that my favorite mantra is ” Without risk there is no adventure.” Ok. Back to the true subject of this blog about yoga on Zoom. Think of it as Adventure.

People ask me what I think about teaching yoga via Zoom. Here are a few of my responses:

  • I love it. I can teach from home. It’s efficient and easy. An hour of class takes an hour of work – plus the planning time of course.
  • The vertical and the horizontal. That is the tricky part. It’s one thing to participate in a meeting or a cocktail party on Zoom. Faces or no faces. Doodling on your desk or not. Going to another room if there is a crowd. But a yoga class might go from sitting to kneeling to standing to lying flat. Perhaps this happens several times within one hour. ” Tilt your screen” is what I say now. In the past I just said: “Come to Standing” or “Sit Cross-Legged”. So try to fit ” Stand and Raise Your Arms Above Your Head” into a horizontal screen. Impossible to know if this student can do that or not. More impossible to know if they can do that without coming all out of alignment. After we have spent 20 minutes getting the body and the mind all lined up.
  • Planning is tricky. You have to get where you are going without a lot of ups and downs,
  • Butt up ? Just keep in mind that you want to keep your crotch facing forward when you stand up. And then…..you need to consider how much time the student wants to watch your crotch Full Screen.
  • Most of all: Yoga on Zoom is harder on the student than it is on the teacher. For the most part, a student is figuring out all the logistics. At the same time she is camera shy and does not want to see the body in comfy clothing in a tiny square compared to everyone else. A few yogis like to go to class in front of a mirror. Most yogis like to have their backs to the wall, or to the other students. It is difficult, for sure, to avoid being SELF- conscious…I’m going to suggest that the best way to look better, over time, is to take a few tips on how to become a better Zoomer.
  1. Turn on the lights. Shine a light on your face.
  2. Put the dog, the cat, and the kids in the other room,
  3. Ask the teacher to record the class and plan to watch it within 24 hours. Sometime you just cannot avoid the dog and the cat and the kids. You’ll want to catch up later.
  4. For some reason, laptops work best. Its easier to tilt the screen and the pixels seem to be clearer. PLUS you are smaller in being self-conscious about how you look.
  5. A yoga mat is 6 feet long. Your screen will work best at about 6 to 8 feet from the back of your mat. Come on. You can move the furniture and clear out some of that clutter. After all, this is an adventure that wont go away, even if you return to the studio. Probably.
  6. On your phone ? That probably will not work. Too tiny. Too limited. and very hard to keep it from falling,
  7. Just like being in yoga class: No one else is paying any attention to you or how you look…..except your teacher, of course. Switch the role for a moment. Would you be able to work in careful dialogue with a black square for an hour?

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