How You Build Community in Yoga Classes Online
Building a community in a yoga class is challenging enough for individuals, and many students avoid their practice to any part of their busy life. Now, many courses are only held online, which seems to be completely impossible.
Especially when the teacher finds himself teaching a black square. Despite what those dull cameras bring, people still desire to connect. Not only can it be created in a live course, but the opportunity can be more mature than when we were in the studio.
Although this requires some commitment from teachers and the willingness of students, building communities in online yoga classrooms is not only possible but also fruitful.
Spend Some Extra Time
Jyothi encourages teachers to treat their online yoga classes like a studio. This includes early arrival and late check-in. She said that this extra time is not only an opportunity for students to talk with their teachers but also an opportunity to talk to each other.
You have noticed that many people stay online just to listen to other people’s problems. When she teaches yoga for beginners and therapy, Jyothi always asks if someone is new and if they have any injuries. She found that this creates a more personalized environment and stimulates dialogue among students.
Places Play a Key Role
I am always surprised that people take courses from such a wide range of places. I let people from several continents practice at the same time.
You must admit it is cool! I like to ask students where they are from, and when the chat is full of their answers, sometimes I even point out to the students that they are in the same place, especially if it is far away from me.
I find this reminds people that not only are they not alone, but they are not as far away from others as they feel.
Utilize Chat Option At Fullest
One of the best resources for connecting to live streaming courses may be the chat feature in Zoom. This is especially useful in larger classes, in which case you might get a little confused because everyone is trying to speak at the same time.
I saw an old friend I haven’t seen for many years reconnecting and sending love messages. When people ask questions about their home decor and four-legged partners, I see the formation of new friends.
This is also a great forum for students to ask their teachers questions. As Jyothi pointed out, it inspires other students to stay and listen to the answers.
Reconnect With Already Known People
For more than a decade, Naveen Kolli has been leading teacher training, workshops, and retreats around the world. As a result, he actually found it very easy to build a community in his live courses, because the students who participated came from those past events.
After class, Naveen likes to “open the Zoom room” to see the people he met in past retreats and exercises to reconnect. In my class, I also try to point out people who have often attended the same face-to-face courses but may have never met.
Try Connecting Like-Minded People
In daily life and yoga classes, I like to gather people who I think may have common interests. In the studio, I pointed directly at people and said: “XX also has a German Shepherd!” or “XX also comes from Madhapur.”
I found that pointing out common interests on the screen is very good if you can see that people seem to Willing to do this, for example, if they open and start a conversation.
Spread A Message of Oneness
The most effective way to build a community may also be the most subtle. It is not so much a literal connection, as it is our words and deeds.
For example, refer to the group as a whole by calling everyone a “family” or “team”. Or remind students in the process sequence, such as sun salutation, that we are moving as a whole, even though they may not be in the same room.
It is looking around your “zoom room for yoga” to monitor everyone in the class. The students may be in a downward-dog state, not seeing you watching, but hearing signals specifically designed for them, and even the broader “good choice, so-and-so” can help people feel that you are with them. They are with you.
Nothing can replace the feeling of moving with a large group of people or embracing old and new friends. But in fact, we are not physically restricted by live courses, which means that we are now in contact with students from all over the world, otherwise, we might not meet these people.
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