If a part of yoga is to gain flexibility, yoga teachers have shown this path by seamlessly transitioning to a digital studio at this stage. While gyms and studios are still closed and can remain closed until the end of July, yoga studios and gurus have moved video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet to the classrooms. In fact, the teachers we spoke to for this story said that the demand for education has increased because people spend more time at home and have more flexibility in their schedules. But the online yoga class is different from real animals. As International Yoga Day falls this Sunday, Lounge spoke with the three gurus to see how their practices and teaching methods have changed.
Head, yoga, treatment. Fit as a fiddle.
The actual physical link between teacher and pupils cannot be reproduced online. In the search for the best, and given that health, especially respiratory health, is the focus of everyone’s attention, we have developed our training to make it easier for students to perform asanas at home. We have changed the order of our lessons so that the students cannot harm themselves, even if the asanas are wrong. The basic principles we follow are that each class must contain asanas that allow the spine to move in six directions, that inversion (reverse movement) and rotation are the same, but the actual asanas are simpler. The inversion can be done with a pear tree, for example, but we prefer that people don’t just try it at home, so we switch to a downward facing dog stand, which gives the same result. The courses are structured in such a way that they are accessible to students in the initial or intermediate phase.
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Sarvesh Shashi, founder, Sarva Yoga, Mind and others.
Founder, Sarva Yoga, spirit and more.
To make the online group lessons as interesting as possible, we try to bring a social element into the classroom by promoting fitness and community via the SARVA application, which sends messages to everyone who has registered for the course. Once in class we try to rehearse the studio model. Although the core of our lessons is always based on three basic principles: Asana, dhyana and pranayama, the flow of classes has subtly changed to include more breathing and meditation practices needed in our time. We have also introduced modules such as yoga to improve immunity. To prevent students from traumatizing themselves by doing something outside their physical abilities, we have reduced the intensity by about 10-12% and tell students which forms of yoga (we teach 25) they should choose based on their abilities and physical barriers such as trauma.
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Pradesh Raj, founder of Shakti Yoga.
Founder of Shakti Yoga.
I won’t deny that I miss being physically present in the classroom with my students. I miss the personal contact and I think it is easier to follow the students and help them learn better in real life. In addition to what the students receive from the classroom, the guru also feeds on the energy of the class and with constant feedback and absorption. Still, I think the ability to teach online has helped me and my students. Many students who had left school earlier because they had moved to the city or were physically unable to attend classes have returned. I think that in the future, when we can start exercising again, I will continue to give some of my courses online.
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