Get the most out of your online yoga classes

Get the most out of your online yoga classes

6th April 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic has come an increased number of people practising yoga online, so I want to share my best tips for getting the most out of live and recorded online classes.

Finding the best class or teacher for you

There are lots of wonderful yoga teachers sharing online classes right now, but with all the different styles and descriptions, finding the right one for you can feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider before you start your search: 

  • Are there any yoga teachers you follow online who you already trust and resonate with? If so, see if they offer online classes. 
  • Are you a yoga beginner or have you been practising for a while?
  • What days of the week and time of day are most suitable for you?
  • What do you want to get from your class? Perhaps something to get you going in the morning, energise you at lunchtime or help you unwind at the end of the day.

Live or recorded. What’s better?

Just like the above, it all depends on what you’re after. Live classes are great because there is a real-time connection between you, the teacher and the other attendees in the class – you’re all in it together, then and there. Live classes are also good because, once you’ve booked your place, you’re much more likely to show up and be committed.

Recorded classes certainly have their place though. They are far more flexible and you can do the classes whenever you like, picking and choosing depending on what you need at that time. Once you’ve found some classes you enjoy, you can also do them again and again!

Don’t miss out – book your spot

If you’ve got your eye on a live online class, don’t forget to book your place in advance just as you would an in-person class. This means that when the day and time of the class rolls around, you’ll have all the details to be able to access the class.

Booking at least a day in advance is a good idea too, as most live online classes have a limit on how many people can join.

The lowdown on Zoom

Zoom is a great tool for hosting live online classes and many yoga teachers, including myself are using it right now. As a live class attendee it’s really simple to use, you just need to make sure that you sign up for an account and download the app on the device that you want to do the class from in advance. You can do this here – it’s straightforward and takes less than 2 minutes.

Once you’ve booked your class you’ll usually be sent an email with a Zoom link to join the class. When you log in for the class make sure that your microphone is muted through the app if it isn’t already, by clicking the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen. When it’s turned off the microphone icon will be red and you’ll see a line through it. This is important because if you leave it on, every time you make even the tiniest noise everyone will hear it and you’ll appear on everyone’s screen instead of the teacher!

One of my recorded free online classes – 43 minutes of delightfully deep stretches to release tension

Find out what you need

It’s safe to say that you’ll probably need a yoga mat for your class, but it’s a good idea to check the class description or booking confirmation email for any other props that are suggested. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have everything, I’m a big fan of improvising and making the most out of what you already have at home; books or cushions can make good block alternatives, you can use a belt or scarf instead of a yoga belt and pillows or folded blankets work in lieu of a bolster. 

Wear your comfiest clothes

The best thing about online yoga is that you really can wear whatever you like: no one is going to judge you! But do keep it comfy and something that you can move around in. If it’s a slow-paced class make sure that you’re warm enough (a pair of socks to hand never goes amiss) or if it’s a sweaty class, perhaps wear something breathable.

Relaxing evening yoga in my PJs is my favourite 🙂

Be prepared

When it comes to live classes, make sure you have all the booking / login details to hand and log in a few minutes early so that you don’t miss the beginning of your class. With some online class setups the teacher won’t be able to admit you after the start time so be punctual, just as you would in-person!

Put all distractions away

When you’re practising at home it can be all too easy to get distracted and fall into bad habits. One minute you’re in a downward facing dog, the next you’re reading a Whatsapp message that just pinged in. Before the start of your class put your phone and any other device on flight mode and put them away or in another room. Out of sight, out of mind.

Set the mood

The beauty of practising at home means that you can create an environment that feels comforting and inviting for you. I like to put away any clutter, pop some essential oils in my burner and light a couple of candles.

Get the music going

On the subject of mood, if you’re playing music in the background of your online class (either from your own playlist or one supplied by the teacher) I highly recommend playing it on a separate device from that which you’re watching the class on – just make sure notifications are turned off! This means that you can adjust the volume of the teacher and your music separately, and have the sounds coming from 2 different places.

Show your face

If you’re joining a live class it can be really nice to put your camera on so that the teacher and your classmates can see you. It’s a small thing but truly does help you to feel connected and part of the group. If for any reason you don’t feel like being seen, just turn your camera off. There is no pressure. 

Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your teacher after a class if you need clarification on anything. Asking questions is a really important part of understanding and developing your yoga practice. 

Find something you like, and stick to it!

With so much choice in the world of online yoga it can be easy to get sucked into wanting to do it all! However, when we dabble in different styles and teachings it can be harder to make progress in your practice. I recommend trying a few different classes to start with and find what works best for you, then stick with that for a while. 

Don’t forget that with most things in life, consistency is key. If you’re joining live classes, book them in advance and pop them in your diary. If they’re practising recorded classes commit to doing them at certain times during the week.

I really hope these suggestions help you to have an enjoyable and hassle-free online yoga at home practice! 

To support sustainable businesses during this pandemic, I’m offering special live online classes at very affordable prices. These classes are created to help employees deal with the unique physical and mental challenges that come up from working at home and with the stress of this uncertain time. If you’d like to know more, all the details can be found here.

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