Steps for Effective and Efficient Online yoga Classes. The whole world is battling coronavirus and economies are badly hit because people are in a lockdown. Very little or rather no business is being conducted as usual other than essentials. People have had to get creative to survive and have ended up doing their work online. Not only businesses but even education has become online. Physical activities like yoga and dance classes too are being conducted virtually. Since social distancing measures are in place and no one can meet their friends or extended families, people have started having online parties and playing games like tambola online. Companies that provide services such as video conferencing and online group meetings seem to be the only ones making some profit in these difficult times.

I tried out the first Online yoga Classes before the Circuit Breaker came into force with some students online and some in the studio. The feedback was great. It gave me the confidence that the model could and would work. After a few more sessions the feedback from people attending the online sessions was continuously positive, encouraging me to continue. Everyone was happy and felt that they were benefitting as much as in the studio. Yes, the personal touch was missing but keeping the current scenario in mind something was better than nothing. It was either online or no yoga at all. A simple choice for my regulars and advanced students to make.

Here are some steps that helped me adapt to the new ways.

1. Keep all the required technological devices ready:
Keeping all technological devices ready to use before conducting the classes is an extremely important aspect. This will help to avoid causing any disturbances or technical glitches during the class. Depending on whether your class requires physical movement or not, you could use a wireless or a wired microphone so that your students can hear you clearly. Similarly a set of headphones, wired or wireless, would enable you to hear everyone clearly without causing disturbance to the others around you. A tripod stand to hold your device would be essential so that it does not keep falling or shifting causing delays. Also ensure that the device is hooked up to a charger as online streaming drains the batteries really quick.

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2. Keep the sessions more interactive:
You need to keep the sessions very interactive. To use yoga classes as an example, I ask them to give me a thumbs-up if they are fine with the postures and are not facing any difficulty. Ensure there are pauses between postures so that they can ask their questions or clarify their doubts. One has to make the session lively and not allow the students to feel bored. Check their postures frequently, speak to the students by calling them by their names and ask them to adjust their postures if you feel they need to be corrected. In yoga and other kinds of classes questioning them constantly about their comfort, understanding etc. would lead to students being on the same page as the teacher. These questions also help the teacher understand how the students are faring and whether they are able to cope, if the pace is to their comfort and whether they are able to follow the instructions.

3. Make them feel comfortable and ask them to be prepared for any technical hitches:
Set the expectation of the class clearly at the beginning. Tell them that you might have some technical glitches, lag in the voice or a connection issue may arise. Don’t get frustrated but adapt to whatever happens. Also set expectations that certain things may not be possible to do or may cause confusion since the session is online and not face to face.

4. Constantly ask for feedback:
Constantly ask the students for feedback. Before, during and at the end of the class question them about how they felt about the technology used, what went well, what did not go well or how one can improve. It will show them that you are putting effort into giving them the maximum benefit of your offering and will help you to stay connected with them.

5. Give clear instructions:
There is no doubt teaching online needs more effort as you need to constantly engage the students with your task or activity. Keeping their attention span and surrounding disturbances in mind, you need to be very clear and detailed in your instructions. Clear and precise instructions will help in better understanding and keeping them attentive and focused.

These are some steps that I followed to make my Online yoga Classes more engaging and effective. The positive feedback from my students after every class assures me that these are the right steps to keep in mind while conducting classes online. If you have better ideas or do things differently please share your thoughts so everyone conducting online classes can benefit from the same.

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