The closest you can get to a studio yoga class right now is a livestream class.
No, it’s not the same, but it’s actually not a bad substitute, especially for a group class. You can take classes at times you normally couldn’t, with teachers and trainers you may never otherwise access in person.
Yes, one day we will be back in fitness and yoga studios together. But you best believe things are going to be different. There will be a lot more/different offerings, and a lot of them will still be online. So now is a great time to get comfortable taking classes via livestream services like zoom.
For those of us who had already been using zoom for years, this was no big deal. If you, like many of my yoga students, thought it was a magazine for senior citizens, you are not alone…if you, like my parents, don’t even want to hear the word app, that is OK…if you are registered for a class and the zoom link is being emailed to you, you can open it in your browser. You do not have to download an app.
Here are my top 7 tips for attending a live class via zoom.:
- Camera is optional. Yes, it can be helpful if your teacher can see you. It allows them to see whether or not their message is coming across clearly and it gives them energy to see you participating (and maybe even enjoying yourself – maybe). But if you just don’t feel comfortable with that / haven’t showered since St. Patrick’s Day, you can absolutely Stop Video and your name or profile photo will appear instead.
- Please respect the work of your teacher/trainer. ‘We’ realize that it is easy to replicate and share video recordings, but your studios and teachers have worked really hard to create these classes for you and rely on it as a part (or all!) of their livelihood. Knowing this and, per the legally binding terms and conditions that you have agreed to in attending this class, we ask that you please refrain from sharing meeting or recording links and passwords.
- Listen to your own music. Everyone handles this differently and we are all learning here. From my students’ feedback, no music creates the best experience. I have been emailing my students a playlist before class. They can play it during class to emulate the experience I would want them to have in real life. Of course, you can also listen to your own music or playlist. My advice is to turn the volume on your computer or device all the way up and turn the volume on iTunes or your music-playing app almost all the way down so that you can still hear the instructor and hear your music as background music.
- Mute yourself. Most hosts will know to do this before class begins, but you can help them out by muting yourself when class begins. This keeps the audio pure and keeps your screen from popping up as the Speaker View for other participants who are using Speaker View (see next tip).
- You have choices about what you see. If you would like to see your teacher the entire time, select Speaker View (usually in the top right-hand corner of your screen). If you would like to see everyone who is participating, like a big Brady Bunch, select Gallery View. If you would like to see primarily yourself (to watch your form maybe), find the 3 dots at the top right corner of your video and select Pin Video. Please note that where these options are located will depend on what kind of device you are using (phone, tablet, computer, etc.)
- If your video freezes, try Stopping Video for a moment and then Starting Video again.
- Taking a class and the teacher is sharing their music through zoom? Sometimes the audio can become unsynced with the video. This isn’t a problem unless it’s a choreographed class where the music is key! To remedy, go to the bottom left corner of your screen and click the arrow between the mic and the Stop Video icons. Select Leave Computer Audio, then click Join Audio. Ta da!
Looking for a great, live zoom class? Here are some of my favourites:
- Yin Yoga with Jill Forsythe, Sundays, 11-12:15 p.m. PST
- Vinyasa Flow with Stephanie Snyder, Sundays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. PST
- Breathwork with Andrea Ferguson, Mondays, 12:45- 2p.m. & Fridays
- Somatics & Pilates with Nikki Naab Levy (days and times vary)
- Zumba Fitness with Ashley Bishop: most Saturdays, 8 a.m. PST