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Why I Changed My Mind About Zoom Yoga Classes

My initial experience teaching yoga was to live, in-person classes -- something I never knew I'd have to specify. 

In mid March, we all transitioned to teaching online. 

Far more seasoned teachers than me also had a newfound nervousness within the confines of a format we were unused to, but that's just another addition to the list of things that are the "new-normal."

I didn't like the idea at first and thought people would not want to come to a virtual yoga class.

Not only was I (happily) wrong, but now I don't think I would ever teach exclusively in-person, even "after this is all over."

At-home yoga is perfect for covid/quarantine times, especially with the winter weather coming. 

It doesn't require a lot of space or equipment - just your body. 

You can substitute props with common household items. 

What should really seal the deal is that studies have shown that it can support your nervous and immune systems through decreasing anxiety, depression, inflammation, and promoting good sleep and mindful habits.

Regardless of the distance, real-time online classes help people maintain their practice

The rapport and having a scheduled time to be on the mat can be a motivator, with the added benefit of not having to pack a bag or drive somewhere. 

Sometimes, that's just enough to get someone "in the door" that day, who normally wouldn't come to a class in person.

That goes for anyone, in any year, not to mention: those who are rightly cautious of Covid, the socially anxious, self-conscious, perfectionists, over-scheduled or unshowered, those who can't be away from children, normally can't include it in their budget, or wouldn't be attending otherwise for any number of reasons.

I recently took an amazing web training (Embody Inclusivity's Decolonizing Yoga and Wellness) that pushed me to be even more conscious of the way I offer and present classes.

Far more people than I realized find stepping into a class as "the only..." emotionally taxing. The only person of color, or plus-sized, or non-athletic person in the class.

Regardless of what the teacher or any of the other students look like, a yoga practice should be the last place where a piece of your mind is occupied by that.

You come to relax and unburden your mind from the stressors of daily life - not to invite more in.

If that is enough to keep someone from practice, then that is enough to make me want to provide zoom classes to expand inclusion and reduce barriers for people.

Yoga teachers want to share yoga, and want people to begin or maintain their practice.

With them, with another teacher or on their own.

In whatever shape and form it takes, in a way that resonates best with the student. 

The best exercise is the one you actually do. 

We know yoga is most effective when the student can get to a state of being comfortable and relaxed, and attuned to taking the modifications that are optimal for them on that particular day, without self-judgement.

Des Plaines Public Library offers literally hundreds of yoga resources for you to choose from, at your convenience.

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