Several years ago, a friend who was getting married for the second time happened to have a fascination with Barbie. Maybe it was a hobby or a whimsy or a fetish, whatever you call it when an adult collects Barbie stuff. You know Barbie. Everyone knows Barbie, the doll that has been around since 1959, Mattell’s weird ideal of the perfect girl/woman that no living female could ever achieve.
Apropos of nothing, I recently got an earworm, that piece of music that continuously, uncontrollably runs through your mind. I can’t even remember when I last heard this particular song. Yet — all day, for several days — I’ve had the Backstreet Boys singing “As Long As You Love Me” in my head on repeat. Annoying, right? But worse than that, without their cute faces and stylish dance moves, the lyrics of the chorus strike me as quite problematic, if not ridiculous, in almost every context.
At the start of 2020, I was teaching two yoga classes at a local dance studio and was about to start a new weekly series for Duke University employees. My calendar was as full as I liked it, with room for other yoga gigs that periodically came my way. This all came to a Covid-19 dead stop in March. Pandemic-mania meant time for me to take a break. I was not interested in moving my classes online, either with YouTube videos or scheduled Zoom sessions. I felt the Internet was already flooded with good content, much of it affordable or free. I thought “I’ll just wait it out, resume in-person classes when the situation improves.” Are you laughing along with me?
By the end of April, the situation was not anywhere near improving and I found that I missed teaching yoga. I missed having a weekly commitment that kept me pro-active and involved — devising new sequences, considering modifications, researching and learning. Most importantly, I REALLY missed my students. I capitulated, purchased a basic Zoom account, and emailed announcements to my local students.
My first class was April 29th and, except for holidays, it has continued weekly. Having spent many hours on conference calls in my corporate life, the Zoom learning curve was short and, luckily, I’ve had very few technical difficulties. But, the teaching experience has been VERY DIFFERENT, in both good and bad ways.