How do I know if I’m doing it right?


This is one of the most commonly asked questions that we get from people; and it’s a very fair point which is levelled particularly at online providers like us. We originally took a stab at answering it in our FAQ section, but then I quickly realised that there was quite a lot I wanted to say about it.

The first thing is that verbal cueing and demonstration are still the primary method of delivery for all in-person classes, so none of that is lost here. We pride ourselves on the quality our verbal cueing – simply meaning the clarity of the instructions. We often find in our in-person classes, people make comments such as ‘why didn’t someone just say that before?’

In a group exercise environment, you may also get either personal verbal feedback or physical corrections also referred to as ‘tactile cueing.’ The thing that we find is that although many people value this, an almost equal number hate it. In our studio we created a system called the ‘back away buddha!’ which allowed clients to indicate whether they felt comfortable with being corrected. The Back away buddha was a little laminated cut-out that you could discretely place on your mat if you didn’t want tactile corrections.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has rather changed how people feel about this. For nearly a year, it was illegal for me to come within 2 metres of my clients. We taught for a number of months via zoom; all of which meant that the style of instruction had to adjust to the environment that we found ourselves in. I personally feel that this also improved the quality of my verbal instruction as a way of combatting this.

Despite what some people think, learning in isolation online can in fact enhance your progress because you do not pick up bad habits from other participants or feel pressurised into pushing yourself further than you should to keep up appearances. A dance instructor friend of mine found she came out of Covid-19 with the best set of exam results her students had ever received. She put this down the to fact that they had to listen more carefully and were not able to copy others in class. This meant they had to genuinely learn the movements for themselves rather than what can end up like a physical version of the game ‘Chinese whispers.’

There is also a wider argument here about whether or not you can be right or wrong in yoga. A really big part of it to me is around the connection that the student creates with their own body. Yes, we believe in correct alignment, and what an optimum position would be; but outside of that, a better line of inquiry is actually ‘how does this feel to me?’ We actively encourage an exploration of the poses and breathing deeply into the positions within our teaching, so it is our hope this is facilitated just as well over the internet!

So, what additional help do we provide here? Well at the Virtual Yoga Studio we give clear and precise instructions as well as more in-depth videos on the technical side if people want to learn more about particular poses. These videos can be found in our exercise library. As ever we are always at the end of an email, so if clients ever did want some personal feedback or advice on particular elements of their practice; we do of course take and answer questions over email at any time. So always feel free to drop us a line if you would like some help at info@virtualyogastudio.com 

I really hope some of these points are useful for you. As ever, leave us a comment below and let us know how you are getting on.


Christina x

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