“Slowly, day by day, it got easier and not as weird”
A yoga teacher discovers the Zen in Zoom.
I am a registered yoga teacher and have been teaching yoga in Mono and Orangeville for the past three years. I had built my business around my young family, visiting people in their homes and businesses for yoga classes. I was busy every day travelling around our beautiful region doing a job I love.
Covid-19 hit and the lockdowns began just after we arrived in Mont-Tremblant at the end of a 10-hour drive with three kids for our March break. During the long drive home, I was feeling fed up as the reality of the challenges my business was about to face started to sink in.
Yoga is about the connection of the body and mind, and feeling connected to whomever I am teaching is very important to me. It’s why I love teaching in people’s homes. During the drive home, I balked at my husband’s suggestion that I could stream classes online. I am not of the Instagram generation that is happy to do selfies and see myself on camera. I’m the girl who hates hearing or seeing videos of herself. I cringe! But we have always tried to teach our kids that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade … and I was going to have to suck some lemons.
I contacted a friend and asked her to be my guinea pig. Then, with help from my hubby, IT department and staging co-ordinator, I did my first-ever Zoom yoga class from my home studio in Mono. And yes, teaching poses to a screen was weird. But I adjusted and figured people needed a little yoga now more than ever. So I apprehensively got in touch with all my clients and, apart from one or two who didn’t have a fast enough Internet connection (this is Mono after all), everyone was on board and supportive. Slowly, day by day, it got easier and not as weird.
I began a free weekly Zoom class for my in-laws and a few others I knew were home alone, asking only that they pay it forward. I started similar classes for my mum and my five aunts in Ireland, and now I get to connect with them every week as well. I also ran a mother-daughter Zoom yoga class on Mother’s Day weekend to help others reconnect after being isolated. It has been different, but it has been fun. It’s not something I would like to do forever, but in this current world, it gives a little bit of time to re-centre and just breathe.
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