How has my Yoga Teaching and Practice Changed since March 2020 (start of Covid-19)

It was March 21, 2020 when the world shifted dramatically. Shelter in place began in the Chicago area till end of April. The world seemed so small as the numbers increased and the disease spread. It was horrible and scary. There was little known about the disease. I remember being glued to the TV for the updated news of this invisible threat that closed everything and shifted our world. Terms like “new normal” slowly immerged as a way to accept the changes we were experiencing. There was a panic in getting disinfecting wipes, masks and toilet paper. Even getting groceries was a challenge. I remember trying to submit a food order for myself and my parents at 3am. There was of course great loss that occurred during that time. I can personally name a few individuals that passed away due to Covid-19.

In my viewpoint, most things in life are not 100% good or bad. There were some positive things that occurred. People found ways to connect virtually and help each other. As a yoga teacher, I shifted from in-person classes, to providing videos for my students. I deep dived into audio video equipment and slowly began, with tons of trial and error, to improve my video clarity, lighting and sound quality. It was something I never thought I would do, and now I prefer it to in-person teaching. I can take my time to record a class when I am at my best energy level. Each video is something I am truly honored to share. At the time, I did not use Zoom to do live classes since we were in the middle of a home remodel. I did however keep in touch with my students to see how their practice was going. In my personal practice, I shifted to a more restful time on the mat. This is what led me to get certified in Yin and Restorative yoga. It makes sense, my nervous system was so up-shifted to fight/flight/freeze, that I needed something to calm myself down and restore some balance.

Now two years later, I am still creating video content and loving it. I have three wonderful subscribers to my videos, who enjoy my way of teaching, and I am grateful for them. I have zoom classes available, but only my dad shows up to my chair class. I have no plans for teaching in-person classes. I am not sure when I will feel comfortable being inside a small room with a bunch of people without masks on, even though I am vaccinated and boostered. Would I have more students if I taught in-person? Yes of course. But I have to remind myself to not be someone who rates themselves on the amount of students they have, instead on the quality of their content and the dedication to their own practice and continued learning. It has been very difficult to market myself as an independent yoga teacher (aka not associated with a studio). I do my best with social media, even at 41 years old, I find it difficult to navigate. Plus I feel like I am just posted to mainly other yoga teachers and not students themselves. I began a newsletter which is a nice community to share off the mat yoga ideas. I also just began a Zoom office hours to make myself available for any questions that students have while on the mat. I continue my education with podcasts, books and monthly workshops from other dedicated and skilled teachers. In my personal practice, I still find stillness in supported poses on the mat. However, I have slowly begun to include more active movement. I like to take zoom yoga classes and videos for my own practice. I have one teacher in particular who does a back care class each week that I try not to miss. I found that the more I learn, the more selective I am on whose class I want to attend. It gets distracting when a teacher says incorrect anatomy cues (meaning ones that are based on old teachings) like manually move the pelvis in Warrior I (free your pelvis everyone!).

Where will I be in two years from now? Not even going to try and guess. I hope that I can continue to help others with creative, accessible and realistic yoga that is beneficial to their overall health and wellness.

Want to connect or learn more about my videos, newsletter or office hours? Feel free to email me at CarolBaileyYoga@gmail.com

How has my Yoga Teaching and Practice Changed since March 2020 (start of Covid-19)
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