Musings about online vs face-to-face yoga
… “back to reality” as the song goes. It’s been a few weeks now since my face-to-face yoga classes began again and it’s just beginning to feel like reality. It was strange adjusting to Zoom during the Covid 19 lockdowns and distancing – and it’s been strange adjusting to real life again too. I guess we’re now living in a world where real and virtual will become ever more blended.
As a long-standing sci fi fan I know the digital progression is inevitable. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re ditching our phones for ocular implants. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Knowing, as I do, the addictive nature and potential downside of unbridled access to things like social media and texting. I guess we’ll all have to make sure we’re informed and equipped to use digital tools wisely and look after our wellbeing.
Pros and cons
There are, of course, both benefits and drawbacks of digital. On the plus side, virtual is convenient and it can make yoga more accessible for many people. I’m still actually attending Triyoga classes online myself. Being out in the sticks at the moment I can log on and do a class in my warm living room. It also means I can experience some really interesting and good quality teachers. However, as a teacher, a big benefit of face-to-face is that you can actually connect with people and their bodies, giving specific cues for individuals. It makes everything feel much more inclusive, interactive and less performative. And much more human to my thinking.
Gift of yoga
So, as life becomes ever more digital, virtual and stressful there is no doubt that the simple action of physically sitting down on a mat and starting to move your body, mind and breath will have more value than ever. Whatever yoga is – and that’s something I’ve been looking into recently – it’s a gift. And one that I feel privileged to be helping to bring to as many different kinds of people as possible – including ducks!
The photo is from a recent duck invasion at my over-50s class in the garden pavilion at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. She must have thought we were quackers… 😊