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Tips for attending an online Yoga Class – How to get the best out of it

On this page we will share with your some tips for attending an online yoga class. This is to enable you to get the most out of the experience of attending an online class.

Being in a remote class is a different experience to being physically present with a teacher in a group setting. You may be attending remotely because it is not possible to physically attend your regular local class. Perhaps you attend a remote class because it offers the opportunity to work with a teacher who ordinarily lives too far away for you to attend regularly. Or you may just attend an online class because it suits you better and you prefer it!

Remote teaching is offered by BWY teachers in a number of formats. You may be attending a live streamed secure session that enables interaction between you, the teacher and the other participants, or you may be watching or listening to a prerecorded session that has been provided by your teacher. BWY best practice guidelines stipulate that live streamed secure sessions with teacher/student connectivity and interaction are the optimum model for remote teaching; but this will not always be possible or practical.

Therefore, in whichever way you are enjoying your yoga practice; the following tips for attending an online yoga class will help to make sure that your experience of remote teaching is as enjoyable as possible. Following these guidelines will enable you to maximise your experience of remote sessions and, in live streamed classes, to connect with the teacher and your group, albeit virtually.

Tips for attending an online yoga class
Yogasmiths beaming live into your home!

Health Questionnaire and Assessment

Before taking part in a remote session you must have completed a health
questionnaire and acknowledged your understanding of the remote learning disclaimer. If you are an existing student you do not need to complete an additional health questionnaire but you will still need to acknowledge the remote learning disclaimer. Teachers draw your attention to this disclaimer in different ways, usually by inclusion in their documentation or emails. If you are a new student to your teacher, you must also go through a brief online assessment interview. This is a one-off process and may be by telephone or email correspondence. A verbal screening before each session will still take place and this is when you should bring to the attention of your teacher anything that is new and current, in relation to your health, for the session you are about to participate in.

You can find our online Yogasmiths disclaimer policy here: Disclaimer

Your Responsibilities:

Remote learning has insurance implications and responsibilities for you as a student/participant. BWY teachers are fully insured to teach remotely, either live streamed or pre-recorded. This must be via a secure platform and to a private audience. However, they are unable to risk assess the space in which you are practising, or you, to the same degree that is possible in face to face teaching.

Therefore, you must be aware that by participating in remote sessions you agree to be responsible for ensuring you are practising in a suitable remote environment, and that you are healthy enough to participate. All BWY teachers follow best practice guidelines and it is your responsibility to follow these student guidelines, as your commitment to keeping yourself safe and injury free.

Guidelines for Optimum Learning in Remote Sessions

Below are some tips for attending an online yoga class from a practical perspective;

You will be sent a private invitation or link to a live streamed secure remote session, or a pre-recorded session will be shared with you personally. No links, passwords or access to any sessions, whether live streamed or prerecorded should be shared with anyone else.

There may be a waiting room facility on entry to the session in order for the teacher to keep the session private and only available to those people invited. Alternatively the teacher may allow you to see other members when joining the sessions, you will be able to see and chat to other attendees as you would in a face to face class.

If you are using the technology for the remote session for the first time allow 15 mins prior to the session beginning. This will enable you to get set up properly, be comfortable and in the right place at the right time.

Use an ethernet cable to connect your device to your router if possible. Close all other web browsers and data heavy applications so that your internet connection is secure and stable, and you minimise any drop in signal.

Mute alerts on your phone and the device you are using for the session.

Think about connecting your laptop to your TV via an HDMI cable to give you a bigger screen. If you want to do this, have a trial run beforehand to make sure you can do it easily on the day.

In a live streamed secure session arrange your screen so that your teacher can see as much of you as possible and then you won’t have to keep moving the screen or adjusting yourself. You will probably need to be a minimum of 6 feet away from your device. Adjust your lighting so that your teacher can see you clearly and you can avoid screen glare, silhouetting and shadows.

You may prefer to turn your video off whilst you practice and this is down to personal preference. Obviously with your video stream off, the teacher will not be able to see you.

Your teacher will let you know in advance what equipment you will need; make sure you have everything ready beforehand. This includes any props (e.g. blocks, belts, blankets, cushions) notebook and pen/pencil and water.

Dress as you would if you were attending a face to face yoga class. This will eliminate the possibility of any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions! Remember, in a live streamed secure session other people in the class may be able to see you on their screens.

Make sure you have plenty of room to move your arms and legs and that the space around you is clear and safe.

In a live streamed session you may like to have some music on in the background. Ensure that the music is off if you need to speak to the teacher. If left on it can distort and/or be in competition with your voice. Also, ensure that if the teacher unmutes the microphones of the group that your music is not playing.

If you are in a live streamed secure session opting for gallery view (if your teacher is permitting this) will bring images of all participants onto your screen and you will have more of the experience of a group class. Depending on the size of your screen this might not be practical. Experiment and see which works best for you. The downside of this is that the image of your teacher will be smaller, but your teacher may choose to pin speaker so that he/she remains as your main image throughout, with the other participants images much smaller. In our Yogasmiths online classes we will put our video stream on “spotlight view.” This prioritises our video on your screen and means the picture does not change.

If your teacher is not pinned the main image may switch to whichever participant makes a sound so keep your microphone muted once started, unless you are in a group chanting or philosophy discussion. In a live streamed secure session, you can use the chat or raise hand button on whichever online platform you are using, if you need to speak to the teacher.

All teachers operate differently in remote sessions. You may be able to see and interact with the other group participants or you may not. Therefore, if you cannot see or hear the other participants and you ask a question, be aware that everyone in the session will hear the answer. Please consider this and only ask questions if you are happy for the whole group to hear the answer. You can always speak privately with your teacher either before or after the session.

Laugh, it may be a new experience so don’t worry about being perfect. Be human, be authentic, be you and enjoy the session!

Further Resources:

British Wheel of Yoga website:

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