If we look back to one year ago, we could hardly have conceived that so much of our lives would be lived or experienced through webcam services. Taking yoga as an example, most of the students and teachers I know, myself included, enjoyed great one-to-one relationships with our teachers.

Since Covid hit, on-demand and live web-based classes are now the new normal. As yoga outlets start to reopen later this summer, we will again enjoy those personal relationships with our teachers, but maybe in a different way and perhaps as a less frequent treat, like a spa day for example. Face to face classes are bound to feel a little doubtful at first. They will most likely cost more as classes will be smaller to allow for the necessary social distancing and extra cleaning costs. Aswell as the general suspicions of our physical surroundings, we may think about our neighbours on the next socially distant mat. Are the other yogis in my class social distancing? Do they wear masks? Have they been throwing caution to the wind socially? Have they been queueing for bargains for hours, sniffing and coughing along the way as the next fast fashion outlet opens? Who’s to know?

For me, the most welcome and surprising bonus to come out of the online classes landscape, has been the welcome chance to turn inward and reflect, both for teachers and for my students. As I endeavour to engage with my laptop screen and the people in practice behind the screens with me, I have to dig deep and really mine what supports/sorts out my body and mind and embody that in language and visuals to people I can’t see in person or make eye contact with.

There is an even bigger bonus for attendees, they can forget the culture of perfection, the physical competition and comparison with their classmates and really turn inward too. It’s a nice time to develop the beginnings of a real journey to the Inner Self. With all of the twists, turns, forward bends, back bends and spinal articulations, we can really shuffle off all of the physical stuff that overthinking and anxiety creates and then rest and observe the breath and the thoughts flowing in and out with equanimity.

As we await a vaccine for covid and hear the news about more outbreaks in other parts of the world and potential further outbreaks later in the year here, on-demand and live online classes will endure, giving people a feeling of safety and comfort so important right now, not just in their homes but in their bodies too.

For live online classes, click here

For on-demand courses, click here

Stay well and safe.

Grainne, Yogapal