Are you ready to make your online yoga experience way better? You are in the right place!
Since March I’ve witnessed the evolution of the yogis I teach – not only in their practices, but in the spaces in which they practice. In many cases, I’ve taken a tour of each of their homes, as they try to see if one space will work better than the other. And, I’ve noticed the innovation and tools they’ve used to make their time on the mat as accessible as possible when learning through the camera lens.
I also have had an evolution in my home yoga studio, working on finding the best angles to teach from, finding ways to do adjustments and corrections without being able to perform a hands-on correction or spot them in an inversion or deep back bend. It’s been an interesting ride and one that has come with a ton of lessons.
But, as more and more yogis begin to embrace online yoga, having discovered that it saves them time and makes their yoga practice way more accessible than before it’s necessity and popularity, I wanted to share my own list of tools I use to get the most out of class. These were also confirmed by the Meet Me on Your Mat Online & Inspirit Community when I asked what they thought yesterday.
To improve your online yoga experience, here’s what you need:
A moveable port for your device.
Taking classes through Zoom does offer some challenges. And, one of them is getting the best angle for each posture. This is not only the teacher’s challenge, but the student’s as well.
If you want to receive adjustments and corrections begin to learn whether you will learn more from facing the camera or turning profile to the camera.
Also, if your space is tight, using a tripod or rolling cart for your device is key to up leveling your online yoga experience. This way you can quickly transition to the wall for inversion or back bend work, or when you move from a standing series to the floor. Many of my students believe this was the number one and easiest thing they could do to get the most out of their time in class and on their mat.
An HDMI Cable.
“What is that?” some of you might be thinking – especially if you’re not too tech savvy. So, I’ll explain.
If you are able to practice in a room with a large screen television, you can attach your laptop to the tv via an HDMI cable. This will make the view you receive way larger and better.
As an instructor, it’s the only way to roll. I can be in a posture and see everything, giving me the opportunity to offer real time corrections from my mat. As a student, you won’t miss the tiny details of each posture and it really does make it feel like we’re all in the same room. This cable is an easy and cheap fix.
A silent space heater.
As winter starts to take it’s grasp on the Midwest, my yoga room is getting drafty. I no longer crave wicked high temperatures, but 80 degrees feels perfect.
The trouble is the space heater I had used in my yoga room for years was loud, blowing hot air into the room in a raucous fashion. So, I started looking around and found an incredible silent space heater that was completely worth the extra money.
Less than a hundred dollars, this heater is not only quiet, but on its mid setting got the room (with vaulted ceilings) up to 85 degrees with no problem. It’s the best!
A blank wall & basic tools.
Wall work is essential for most yoga practices, giving you the assist in inversion and back bending practices, so clear a wall for your time on the mat.
Now that you are practicing from home, you also will need basic tools for practice. Invest in your practice. Get the beautiful tools that, when taken care of properly, will last you a lifetime.
If you don’t need a towel/mat combo anymore, get a serious honest to goodness thick, sticky mat. Order two blocks. Get a strap. Those are the basics. You might get fancier in the tool department the longer you practice, but for real: a wall, a good mat, two blocks, and a strap. Go.
A designated time for class.
This was an interesting one that popped up with my students, but they think it is why their practice has seen serious growth since they started practicing online and in home.
There’s something about having a time when you are meeting other yogis for class that makes you feel accountable to show up.
And yet, I have students that can only very rarely show up to the live classes and take almost all of their classes through the recordings. How do they keep it up? They have a devoted time that is theirs to practice.
Face it. It’s super easy to blow off your practice from home. Your couch is right there and with the click of a button you could binge two hours on Netflix in a heartbeat. But, if you scheduled the time, you’ll get it done.
And, if you have instructor and community support, that does help, too. For the students I don’t get to see live often, I check in on them and want them to know I’m available to them to support them in their practice.
They are connected to the community of yogis that show up to the classes, so they can ask questions in a forum and receive feedback. For, though I and the students that show up live for class might not see them very often, they are considered a valuable part of the community. And, it wouldn't be the same without them.
I hope these tips help.
It’s easy to give up your practice right now, throw up your hands, and declare the world is crazy. But, these are the times where your practice will mean the most to you. And, just a couple of tweaks in how you set up your yoga space can truly set you up for success and give you the best online yoga experience possible.
When it comes to home practice, it’s the same as when you are in-studio. Do your best with what you have, commit to showing up, and witness the positive changes a yoga practice can gift you, your life, and every life you touch.
Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.