Things are starting to return to their natural rhythm in the yoga community, and I see countless yoga studios and gyms in the Twin Cities increasing their in-person capacity, while rapidly decreasing their online presence. I understand the desire to be in-person with your yoga teacher and community, and I am also curious what do you value in a (yoga) teacher? What does it mean to you to show up, or to hold space? What do you look for in a yoga class, or better yet, what makes a yoga class good? I saw this post on Instagram recently, that really resonated with my current feelings surrounding, "going back".
credit: Instagram @yogijmiles
Ahhh... "Don't abandon the yoga teachers, who...". Finally, someone put the words I have muttered to myself relentlessly during this pandemic season, into a brightly colored square, and sent it off into the wild, wild internet. I did not make the decision, to offer my teaching skillset online, lightly. This was an intentional and deliberate decision that required the researching of filming equipment, upgrading my Zoom account to support storing class recordings, and finding the best space to film in. I even recently purchased a new modem and router to ensure the user experience was as high of quality as I could possibly deliver. My interest and passion as an asana teacher is to show up for you and help provide you a clear path on your journey as a student. I want to teach you the tools that will help support you, not just in your downdog, but while you're out interacting in the wild. And, as folks are eager to get back in studio for in-person classes, I feel it's important to say, I'm still here, offering online yoga classes 5 times a week, and, I will continue to do so.
I also recognize teaching online hasn't always been easy and has come with its fair share of disturbances (internet issues, hello?!). Just like in-person offerings, no two teachers are equipped with the same level of awareness and motivation, and for some making the shift to teach online simply wasn't desirable. Simply put, some teachers have managed to navigate the digital world better than others. I admit that teaching in-person, and attending classes in-person, is a much different experience than online, but I can see the value in both. For me, it's not one or the other, it's online and in-studio. We can have both.
It has been rewarding to watch all of you find sacred space within your home and to commit to a yoga practice that looks different than it has in the past. I have heard the argument from fellow colleagues that, "it's safer to practice in the studio vs at home because of xyz....". But, is it? Something that was made clear to me very early in my yoga teaching career is that we can not guarantee anyone's safety. Period. I like how participants could choose to turn their camera off, which helps squash out competitive culture that we so often see in yoga studios and gyms. You get to be in your body, feeling your feelings, without any pressure to perform a certain way. Students can also decide what they do, or do not do, and they can even be in control of how long they practice. Dedicating an hour to a practice can be challenging. I like that I can help someone find the right balance with physical, mental, and time limits, if these things are typically difficult to manage.
I don't have skin in the game when it comes to owning a brick and mortar business and I understand the necessity to "go back to normal", whatever that may look like for each individual business. I will continue to challenge myself and offer anyone that attends my class as much feedback as I can given the circumstances (i.e. how the student has their space set up, is their camera on, etc). To me, this is no different than in-person. The bottom line is, teaching online allows me to deliver affordable, high-quality content that you can enjoy live or via recording. I will continue to show up for you virtually, week after week, sharing the gifts of practice with you, so long as you continue to find value in them, and keep showing with me.