My journey into the virtual world of teaching yoga online….
I would never have thought I would / could be teaching regularly online - yet here I am, twice a week.
I've been blown away by the response - it really shows the power of Dru. At first I did it for my local class and many of them are coming along - a couple to both classes each week - they are all so supportive. Folks who have been to some of my pop up classes and workshops are attending - one person from a workshop I ran at a yoga festival last year, people I used to work with in different sectors, folks' daughters, friends of others on facebook, people I went to school with, folks mum’s - I've (re)connected with folks far and wide. I’ve been truly astounded at the number of people getting in touch and coming along.
I’ve been trying to work up to creating online content for ages - my friend Ros and I are running an online course around the chakras and I found I reached a real block when it came to making the videos.
A year ago, I started filming at the beach thinking I would add voice over later - I set my standards really high - looking at others online and comparing myself - finding myself not good enough.
Last November, I went back to my life coach, the wonderful Saskia; to focus on bringing abundance, flow and creativity back into my worklife. She encouraged me to keep a gratitude journal, to write about my not enough monsters and to make a vlog about why I was finding it so hard to film myself - you have to understand - I burst into tears when Laura first showed me my draft website 2 years ago - not because I didn’t like it - it was gorgeous - but because there were pictures of me on it and I couldn’t handle that. I managed the first 2 of Saskia’s tasks but never the 3rd - the vlog. I'm still writing the gratitude journal - it has powerful magic.
My 14 year old nephew has his own youtube channel and has no issues making content - I went to him for advice - he’s been great - making me laugh, pointing out that I hold my head to one side and I fiddle with my feet, but he’s always really supportive.
Finally lockdown arrived - the end of my live classes and workshops in the village hall for a while - to begin with I felt quite overwhelmed - we had a lot going on at the time - we were meant to be finishing our house renovation and moving. I took a couple of weeks to sit with the idea - everyone was heading online…. earlier this year I had been to some great training with Business Gateway Argyll & Bute about making online content, Dru Professional Network then ran an online workshop for their teachers thinking about taking their classes online. And finally, I attended a course with Om Line Training about making youtube content - a fabulous piece of advice from Lucy was to stop comparing ourselves to others, to just get on with it, start somewhere and stop worrying about it being perfect! Oh and some good friends volunteered to be on the end of Zoom while I tried out the tech, picked their brains and generally attempted to find some confidence.
My patient husband has been great - we’re living in quite small temporary accommodation and in order to teach, I have to rearrange the entire downstairs - he goes off to hide outside or upstairs depending on the time of day. And he has to put up with me having total meltdowns when I can’t get the tech to work beforehand - last minute stress… He helped me make a video about it…and now I even have a YouTube channel.
It takes more organisation and time to teach online, I find I have to change how I teach too - can folks see me properly - can they hear me ok - one week I turned into a dalek which totally spoiled the vibe of the relaxation - exterminate, exterminate.. the joys of broadband in rural Argyll - allegedly I’m on fibre here… I’ve felt like a beginner teacher again - trying new ways, trying to engage folks who have been coming to my ‘in person’ classes for a long time whilst explain things fully for new folks. I don’t get any live 'at the time' feedback - gone are the chats about how did you find that, what worked for you and folks' chance to ask questions. Fortunately people are really good about dropping me messages with feedback - that really helps keep my energy up - at first I was nervous about that - was I just feeding my ego by looking for positive reinforcement that the class was ok? but actually, I genuinely find it helps my motivation and does help me understand what works, what could be improved and most importantly helps me to feel connected to my students.
During lockdown, the main focus for my online classes has really been about feeling grounded and at a slower pace. There are already 1,000s of great online classes which are much more 'active' or in the physical layer - I don't see the point of trying to repeat the choice that is already there.
However, it’s taken me a while to be comfortable sharing the more ethereal aspects of yoga, as for me it is very personal (and I'm actually quite shy) but I have made a commitment to myself that folks will accept this and come to my classes because that is what they are looking for - I'm trying to learn to not have to try and please everyone.
Big girl brave pants.....
This week there were 15 people (eek) at each class and we experimented with exploring the sun sequence in a gentle way as it was the dark moon - supporting our inner flame to shine light on our shadow and use the dark moon to release stuff which no longer serves into the transformational fire before the new moon today - (preparing to potentially ease out of lockdown into a new world) - and all that....I even managed to find my big girl brave pants and chant the mantra at the end of the sequence for everyone.
I'm never very sure what newcomers make of me wittering on and chanting .... Anyway - the other day I received this feedback from one of the newcomers which made me cry and I want to share it.
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed last night's class.
Thanks for reading and thank you to the wonderful Dru community and all you amazing people who share space to practice yoga with me. I'm so grateful xo
I’ve always loved essential oils – for me they are part of plant medicine – I love plants and love connecting with their very essence – through hanging out with them in my garden, growing herbs and drinking herbal tea, taking flower essences, and working with essential oils. I wholly believe that plants carry their own unique vibrations and love their place in my life.
As a woman of many talents ;) I can get very easily distracted – drawn to this, drawn to that – there are so many choices out there that it is hard not to have a go at all of them – which is fine but actually is exhausting and means I tend to be a ‘jill of all trades’ rather than settling and going deeper with one or two. And so it is with all the different ways with which to work with plants - perhaps it is time to focus more with the essential oils.
I kind of fell in to the Wellness Advocate thing – a friend and I got swept up in a wave of enthusiasm – doTERRA essential oils are gorgeous, certified therapeutic grade and not available except online or via a Wellness Advocate. However, doTERRA runs as a multi level marketing business and I’ve been shy about building it as a business. This means that I have taken this year to gradually begin to work with them in greater depth, experiment, build my own collection, share them with friends and get feedback.
One of the main reasons I got involved is I would love to use essential oils more in my yoga classes and workshops. May people don’t like the smoke from incense and find it irritating but I love using incense as a way to purify the air and cleanse the space both aromatically and energetically. Scented candles generally contain 'scent' or 'perfume' which are chemical based. But by working with essential oils in diffusers or a spray bottle I can gain the same effects and probably go further with different blends to link to the themes of the class.
During my year of experimenting, learning and taking things at an unhurried pace, I have discovered that I love working with the oils and am using them in many different ways. I've been diffusing different oils, experimenting with room spray blends, making my own natural cleaning products and taking some of the different doTERRA wellness supplements.
I've been sharing the experience with holiday guests at Elder Cottage (a gorgeous holiday cottage in Craobh Haven) using a diffuser to freshen the air, gifting tiny sample bottles as part of their welcome pack and using the natural cleaning products I've made to minimise use of chemicals.
A few weeks ago, I attended training for the doTERRA AromaTouch technique – this is an oil application technique involving 8 essential oils which can help relieve stress and support the body’s natural immune system. There is also a hand massage technique and we will be sharing this as part of lovely nurturing yoga workshops this autumn and winter. I am really excited to be able to share the oils in this way and I loved the training where we all received a treatment as well as learning the technique. I will be offering AromaTouch technique treatments from November onwards.
Please get in touch to find out more.......
Musings from wandering about woodlands, paddling in the sea and meditating by rivers ...