My Experience Teaching Yoga in a Pandemic

Since the start of the pandemic, how I teach has changed massively, but so too has, what I teach.

It’s fair to say that yoga, like many other industries has been massively changed since the start of the pandemic. In the beginning of our lockdown, when we couldn’t stray from home or see anyone at all, I began to teach to my regulars online. While I truly believe it’s important for yoga teachers to charge for their work, for their time and energy – on this occasion I decided not to. I was in a fortunate position that I didn’t lose my job, I was still getting paid as a secondary school teacher, and giving these classes to my loyal students, gave me a positive focus and a sense of connection when I needed it. I felt that I was doing some good. It was something that I could hold on to week after week. It was something I could control in a situation in which many of us felt powerless.

So for the first few months I did these classes for free, but I gained so much. I had so many heart warming moments of karma when I would get a text from a student saying there’s a package at the end of your lane, and I’d go down to find bottles of wine, or organic soaps or homemade masks. It was so touching and meant much more to me than if I had charged, because it wasn’t a transaction, it was just kindness.

Throughout this time, how I taught changed too. I was practising far more somatic yoga. This is less about alignment and more about the felt sense – listening to the body, in the moment, and responding. I was doing more pranayama (breathwork) and other techniques such as tapping and shaking out, to encourage feelings of being grounded and embodied. It was what I needed and I felt I wasn’t alone in that.

This year has been tough, but the time I spent making my self-care a priority, was time well spent. I feel more resilient and aware than ever, like I’m healing. I incorporate some of what I’ve been learning and practising into my classes and the feedback from students has been really positive.

Summer Yoga on the Farm

The summer came and we practised together again, outside on the farm. It felt like a celebration, so full of joy and gratitude, and chats! Unfortunately, in the last week we’ve moved to level 3 and so I’ve had to close the studio to classes once more. I’m more gutted this time. Practising yoga in a space you love is very special, and no online yoga can beat it. But for me live streamed yoga is the best alternative, it offers a sense of community and connection, and helps to keep us motivated. So even though I don’t love technology and never intended on learning so much about it, right now I’m very grateful for what I’ve learned and grateful to be able to teach at all.

Online Yoga from the Studio

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