Yoga Teacher Resources for the Coronavirus

How Yoga Teachers Can Survive the Coronavirus (COVID-19): 

A Guide to Online Streaming and Self-Care

online yoga school

Yoga is all about union and connection with others.  For most of us yoga teachers, the isolation that is resulting from the global Coronavirus pandemic is lonely and unnatural.  In an effort to support the members of our community, we have compiled some information to keep you informed during this unprecedented international health crisis.  As yoga teachers, we work in the capacity of ambassadors for wellness and we have a duty to stay apprised of up to date information on relevant health and wellness issues. The sources we have used to gather this information are the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

What Yoga Teachers Need to Know About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) will result in the following symptoms within 2-14 days from the date of exposure:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath


Emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention, according to the Center for Disease Control include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Blush lips or face

Prevention of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)



  • There is no vaccine for prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • The best method of prevention is avoiding exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Current information indicates that the virus spreads from person to person in 2 ways:
    • person to person within 6 feet of one another
    • through respiratory droplets that transfer from person to person in the air when someone coughs or sneezes
  • The CDC says that these droplets can land on the mouths or noses of people standing nearby or can be inhaled into the lungs.  (THIS TELLS US THAT CLEANING IS HELPFUL BUT ISN'T ENOUGH TO PREVENT AN AIRBORNE DISEASE)

Protect Yourself and Others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


  • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 (twenty) seconds 
  • Wash your hands immediately after coughing, sneezing, touching your mouth, nose or eyes and after being in a public place
  • If you cannot use soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol
  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you're not feeling well
  • Use good hygiene - cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, throw away used tissues, etc
  • Wear a facemark if you're sick or if you're caring for a sick person
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily

What Does the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mean for Yoga Teachers?


Yoga teachers should refrain from hosting classes in person for the time being.  As we honor the practice of ahimsa, our first Yama, we realize we have an obligation to promote global wellness and do our part to limit exposure to the highly contagious virus.  To practice ahimsa means that we practice non-harm.  We must protect all people -- those we know and those we don't.  

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is airborne.  While cleaning is necessary and helpful in prevention, it does not limit exposure through respiratory droplets.  This is an airborne disease.  The virus is passed from person to person through the air within six feet or less.  There is so much that is unknown about the Coronavirus.  We know that not everyone who is exposed will experience symptoms, and we know that symptoms can be more severe (even deadly) for some populations than others.  We believe that it is dangerous for anyone over the age of 65 and for small infants.  Those of us who aren't in that category have a duty to protect those who are in that category.  One of the ways we do this is by refraining from gathering groups of people together right now.

Maintaining Community Connection Through Online Yoga Classes 


As we work together during this time to promote wellness, there are still opportunities for connection with our students.  Many yoga teachers are turning to online platforms to teach yoga classes that would have otherwise been canceled.  There are many platforms available and we will discuss a few of the most popular and the reasons that people choose them.

Yoga Teachers and Coronavirus


Facebook /Instagram Live


Facebook Live and Instagram Live are popular places for streaming online yoga classes and meditations, mostly because it's simple to use and requires little technical preparation.  Facebook Live/Instagram Live can be a good option for quick meditations, although it may not be the best option for full yoga classes.  The comments can be distracting for the user.  

Another important point to make is that anyone who has you on Facebook can join.  Depending on your goals, this may or may not be a good thing. If you've already got an existing client base and your students have paid for memberships and/or classes, it would be unfair to those students for others to have free access that they've paid for. On the other hand, if you're new to teaching yoga and aren't charging for the class, Facebook Live is a great way to build your community.

You also may want to think about safety considerations.  People are more likely to jump in and out of the class when you're using Facebook Live / Instagram Live.  If students jump in the class during your peak pose without properly warming up, they may be more susceptible to injury.

Youtube


Youtube is another popular platform for video upload.  It also offers you options for making the video public, private or unlisted, so if you have students who are paying for the class you can email the link to those who are permitted access.  You won't have the disruptive comments and notifications that you get on Facebook Live/Instagram Live, you are able to manage access to the class, and you're also able to create a video library.  

Zoom


A lot of yoga studios who have existing client bases are using zoom to teach yoga classes right now.  Zoom requires an invitation to join, so nobody can take your zoom yoga class for free unless you invite them to do so.  Studios and teachers can use their existing payment and scheduling platforms for class registration and payment, and then they email a link for people who have registered.  Zoom is a free platform for up to 100 participants.  You can check out the prices and plans at this link: https://zoom.us/pricing 

Zoom helps to manage access to the class better than Youtube because people can share the link to the YouTube class, but with Zoom you will be able to see who is logged in during the live class.  

Other Popular Streaming Sites


There are other popular streaming sites.  Vimeo is one (Vimeo.com) that offers a professional experience, but also requires a really high internet connection for easy viewing. Vimeo used to be more popular for yoga teachers than it is now.  As more competitors have come into the market, we have seen a decrease in yoga teachers using Vimeo to stream classes.

Namastream (namastream.com) is popular with yoga teachers and has several plans available. It is a little pricey and works best if you plan to offer yoga classes online on an ongoing basis.  If you're only planning to temporarily teach online, it may not be the best platform for you.


Finding Contentment in Chaos (The Practice of Santosha)


Most importantly, please find stillness in the midst of this storm.  Our second Niyama, Santosha, comes to mind during this time.  Finding contentment will give you the peace that you need to get through this difficult time.  Everyone is worried about the looming health scare and financial crash, and with good cause.  Yet, there is also an opportunity for us to let go of the uncontrollables, sit comfortably with the distractions and find contentment in the moment.

Please enjoy your loved ones, your back yards and your time away from the masses.  Please remember to practice self-care and give yourself some extra love during this time.  Observe the extra moments for your personal yoga practice and the quiet times you wouldn't otherwise get to experience.  As we physically separate ourselves from one another to protect our global wellness, let's energetically come together to honor and support one another.  

In love and light,
Steph 

Comments

  1. Hi Steph and to everyone reading this. I'm a substance abuse counselor at the North Cottage Program in Norton MA, and about 3 1/2 years ago I was able to introduce yoga/meditation to the program. I now teach yoga here twice a week, and I've seen this become a big part of many clients recovery programs and have an overall positive effect on their lives. I've recently started the Online Yoga School's 200 YTT, and I'm finding it to be just excellent for my needs.
    The NCP is now dealing with the reality of Covid-19, as is everyone, and per DPH requirements we've had to alter the psychoeducational and other groups we provide for clients. I'm continuing to teach the yoga classes, with a limit as to number of clients that may attend for obvious safety purposes, and it's been as beneficial to me as it is them. I'm grateful that I'm able to apply the knowledge I'm learning in this training gradually, as I am able to complete the training in my own time. My personal practice has been evolving similarly.

    As I'm sitting at my desk reading through this article, I'm grateful for the connection.

    I wish you all well-we WILL get through this.
    Karen

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