Teaching Yoga on Zoom: My Path to Acceptance

At the start of 2020, I was teaching two yoga classes on Wednesdays 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 dead stop in March with our first Covid-19 lockdown. 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?

Teaching yoga at home
On my mat in my “Butterfly Yoga Studio”

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.
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Bringing Serenity to Your Mat

Did you know… that yoga is not just a physical exercise program that you might choose in place of other gym offerings like kick boxing, weight lifting, or Zumba?

Yoga Prayer FlagsIf you delve in the history and philosophy of yoga, you will find that it is much more than the body-centered approach (Hatha yoga and its spin-offs) that has become immensely popular in our society. Yoga can be traced back 5000 or more years with ancient texts such as the Rig Veda, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gîtâ, and Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras.

Like the Bible and other sacred texts written so long ago and in a different language, our modern English interpretations vary.  I am most familiar with Patanjali’s definition of yoga as an eight-limbed path that can lead to enlightenment. It includes asana (the poses) as only one of the limbs.  It can get complicated.
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Yoga has helped me…in ways I never expected!


Like many people, I came to yoga in the 1990s mostly out of curiosity. And, like many people, I was interested in yoga for its physical benefits. I had always been involved in some type of exercise or sport, starting in high school with field hockey and volleyball, then continuing through the tennis and racquetball boom. In the late 70s, I worked at the YMCA for three years and have maintained a gym or health club membership ever since. Running, aerobic classes, stationary bikes, weight machines…did them all. For me, yoga’s best offer was a subtle promise to stretch my spine. As a short, small-boned woman whose grandmothers and aunts all had the shrimp-backed, sure signs of osteoporosis, this had great appeal. Any help with concentration and attention would be a bonus. Surprisingly, there were other unexpected benefits.

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