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What's the difference between virtual interactive classes and Instagram or Facebook live stream? Live classes can be beneficial in their own use; however, nothing can replace the attention you receive from an instructor in a class.
When I started thinking about offering a yoga class to my students through an online platform, I cringed at first. Part of the reason I love attending and teaching yoga is the human interaction. My background in the IT industry (formally a software developer) had always pushed me to keep my sacred yoga practice as far from my computer screen as possible. But, times change. And right now more than ever, my students, and students everywhere need yoga classes.
My decision to offer a majority of my online classes with virtual interaction was an easy one to make. Why though? It's simple.
- For the safety of students. I believe in teaching to the students you see, rather than what I want (or had preplanned) for class. If I'm seeing movement in shapes that could lead to injury, I speak to that directly when teaching a class. If I see most students are tired on any given day, I may decide to offer more restful options in poses. Without being able to see the students I'm teaching, this element is gone.
- Accountability. Anyone can pull up Youtube and play a yoga video. But, the key is to stay engaged during the video and not be distracted with your phone, pets, other family members, etc. By allowing the instructor and other students to see your practice, you're held accountable for being present during the practice.
- Familiarity. If you have an existing studio practice, then watching yoga videos may not feel like the yoga that you've become accustomed to. I want to provide some familiarity in this time of uncertainty.
- Social Engagement. Many of us are finding that we are unable to engage socially with as many people as we usually do in our daily lives. This has an impact on us. Students are able to join my classes prior to the start time and chat with fellow practitioners. I also will stay after class to answer any questions you may have and hear your thoughts on practice.
These are just a few reasons that I personally believe a virtual interactive class is a great alternative for an in person studio class. I'd love to chat with you more about your thoughts and see you on the screen soon!