Teaching my Yoga Classes online is bittersweet. It makes me feel happy and sad all at the same time.
I never planned or expected to teach online Yoga classes I spent much of 2019 building and launching my intimate Garden Studio. I love teaching people in small groups or one to one. It feels so special to gather with a little Yoga community in a beautiful and sacred space. It is important to me to create a nurturing environment. Essential oils, soft lighting, calming and uplifting music, gentle touch….
Making a Difference
Clients arrive at my studio looking worried and weary. As they lie down and begin to relax, I see their bodies soften and their breathing settle. I pay close attention to every aspect of their experience. Each pose, every meditation is part of a journey. Watching and listening to their responses tells me where my students need to go next. When they tell me they feel so much better, I know I have made a difference.
Then Coronavirus arrived, and I had to close the Studio and teach online. I’ll be honest. It hasn’t been easy.
So much seems to have been taken away. The smells, the music, the lighting – all out of my hands. When I teach online it is difficult to see how individual students are managing the poses and movements. I can’t be there to ease a cushion under a thigh, or adjust the angle of a neck. It is hard to pace the class by gauging people’s responses. And sometimes the technology halts and stutters, interrupting the flow, and making me feel inadequate.
It is far from ideal.
But there are blessings too.
Our Yoga Family
I love my Yoga students, and it is wonderful to see you online. We are all missing the presence of friends and loved ones right now. Our Yoga family is a little community, where we all support and care for one another. Meeting by Zoom has its limitations, but seeing familiar faces and hearing friendly voices feels extra special. Our online smiles and greetings and sharing of news keeps us all going until we can be together in person again.
Why am I continuing to teach online? Almost entirely because clients are telling me they feel helped and supported. It is humbling to hear that my very imperfect online class made a difference to someone’s day. That somebody felt calmer or more able to cope because I had helped them relax.
Supporting Pregnant Mums and New Mums
I am also continuing to teach Pregnancy Yoga and Mummy and Baby Yoga online. This is a very isolating time for pregnant mums. Hospital antenatal classes have all stopped. Mums with babies are missing all the usual groups and social meet ups. Getting through long days at home with a little one takes real patience and dedication.
My online classes allow mums to see and chat to one another. I am including lots of birth and parenting education in the Pregnancy classes. We can all share advice and tips and ideas. It feels wonderful to be able to support heroic mums doing a brilliant job in difficult circumstances. Thank you so much for trusting me.
Sharing Community and Calm
Yoga is so much more than a great form of exercise. And I am learning that it is more than a special space too. Even in these days of physical distancing, we can share community, calm and encouragement.
I am honoured beyond words that people still want to practice online Yoga with me. I am sorry that my offering feels so much less than I want it to be. I am blessed to have something to share, however simple, in these days of limitation.
Yoga is an embodied practice, and I miss being present in the body with you. But we can still be present together in mind and spirit.
Thank you, from my heart, for being present with me.
Karen Lawrence teaches Yin and Restorative Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Birth Preparation and Mummy and Baby Yoga. She has is currently teaching online classes from her Garden Studio in Billericay, Essex.
You can find out more about Karen’s Yoga classes at www.thecalmspace.co.uk