Yoga studios are empty.
The music is turned off, and instructors can be found teaching in rooms in front of their couches with a laptop pointed at them from across the room.
As more of the world goes under quarantine to limit the spread of COVID-19, yoga studios too, have moved online to connect with clients and stay afloat. Shree Yoga Taos co-owner Genevieve Oswald says it’s a chance for students to de-stress and maintain a degree of normalcy in their lives.
But it’s also a critical offering for studios and Yoga Instructors, many of which would otherwise see their income drop to zero.
The classes, like those offered by Shree, are frequently held over Zoom.
The app allows studios and instructors to re-create some semblance of a normal yoga class. The instructor is front and center, taking up the big box on the video chat screen, and students can all see each other in the little boxes that seem to rotate at random at the top of the app.
Some instructors, like Genevieve, have been adding Spotify playlists in the chat section, so they can stay in sync with her and attempt to re-create the mood that would be set in the actual studio. For props, she recommends makeshift options that can be found around students’ homes, like a rolled-up towel in place of a blanket, stacked books for blocks, or an old T-shirt or belt as a strap.
It’s not the same as an in-person class, but seeing others who you normally see in class means a lot these days. It’s like, okay, we’re not alone in this. I’m losing my mind at home too like they’re losing it. We’re not alone.
Because the classes are remote, instructors’ ability to interact with their students is limited and Genevieve says she’s trying to focus more on guiding people through the routine and helping people stay calm during a high anxiety moment in time.
Since going online Genevieve says they haven’t had a problem finding an audience. In addition to her regulars, she said she’s had far-flung friends joining her classes. She’s also been happy to see old students of hers from other states joining in.
Shree has moved the studio’s entire class schedule to online. Much of the word of mouth that’s helping to spread these classes beyond existing students has come from Instagram where they have a robust presence.
It also helps to have an audience ready to move online. It didn’t hurt that Genevieve is super tech savvy, as are many of her students but for those who are not, Shree makes it super easy for students to download Zoom and get online through their clear instructions.
Zoom, bless Zoom, has made the isolation a lot less isolating, and given us a way to practice together, keeping Shree alive during this crisis. Reads their April newsletter. The classes have been going quite well! There have been some glitches, but after a week of classes, we are getting really comfortable with the new normal. Students get a peek into the teachers’ homes, and we get (an optional) peak into the students’ lives, and have all appreciated one another’s ceilings and wall decor! Distance brings us closer. On that, many of you responded to the last newsletter, and we appreciate that. Please do reach out, let us know you are OK, or not. We are a family, and we care.
At the end of last Sunday’s class, the response from the students said it all! They were all so grateful for the opportunity to continue their practice and stay engaged.
“Right now, I think it’s more important to honestly just move your body and to feel like you’re part of something,” Genevieve says.
For much more on Shree Yoga Taos and their fabulous instructors, and to book online, please visit their site linked below.
Posted by Lydia Martinez
Images thanks to Shree
Bottom image stock files