Close-ups, cats and clutter: what the online yoga teacher saw

Teaching via Instagram and Zoom is both more and less intimate than a real-life class

Fifteen people lie down in rectangles on my screen. I am telling them to relax their jaws and soften the muscles around their eyes. I am also having a silent, hand gesture-based conversation with a five-year-old girl in one of the rectangles. This morning the girl’s mother sent me an email that read: “I’m going to attempt as much of the class as she will allow me to do – sometimes she is fine with it, and sometimes not.” In the next box, a cat strolls into view and settles down on its owner’s back as they rest in the child’s pose. Elsewhere, a dog is causing chaos at the back of someone’s mat. This is what I’ve learned from teaching Zoom yoga; mostly, small children and pets rule a household.

I’ve observed couples having conversations in class, giving me a delicious feeling of embarrassment and curiosity

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