There are a LOT of yoga videos and audios going out on Facebook and Zoom and websites and the like. Here’s the deal, for many of us it’s a way to stay connected to our students while we can’t be in our “studios” (whatever studio might mean). We want to be able to offer something back in a time of turmoil when yoga is so needed, but we can’t be physically present for our students.
Here’s the flip side, there’s a lot of arguments out there in the yoga world. Some teachers, and studio owners, are very scared. Like many, their livelihood is at stake. The current argument is that by offering all these free options on line we are both invalidating our place as professional teachers who should be paid AND those offering free yoga options are taking away from those who are charging for their online “studio” classes. Money that studios may need to keep running if the shut down lasts for too long (there is still rent to be paid).
For me, I am offering yoga audios and videos because it is something I occasionally do as a gift to my students when I’m away or I want to offer a special treat. I do not charge for my yoga audios because I don’t want the pressure of having to “do a good job”. I simply want to offer a practice until we can come together later in a real class.
That said, my real classes aren’t going anywhere. They take place in a church and a town hall…I don’t have any overhead there. When it’s time for me to go back, I’ll go back and my “studio” will be there.
Also, don’t hesitate to enjoy these internet classes. This is a sweet opportunity to try out a teacher you might not normally try. Enjoy these gifts these teachers are offering.
You might consider a gift in return. Each teacher relies on income they are losing out on and they may need support to make it through this shut down. If you love a yoga teacher, and money didn’t just get scary tight for you as well, you might consider offering those teachers a donation. Some might already have a donation button (the donate button, might be a sign that they need support, but aren’t asking for it), donate if you see something awesome or have a teacher you don’t want to lose (even if the quality of the video isn’t up to snuff; this is new territory for many teachers). You might also choose to look for yoga teachers sharing their video income with local charities: Karma Yoga.
I simply throw that out there as food for thought. That said, my offerings are a gift. They will be flawed. Enjoy them anyway, no return expected.
Remember that this is a time of coming together and supporting one another (even if we are socially distancing), we can all Pay it Forward in some way: remember the local businesses you love and the charities you support. Remember the people who are working less and the people who are working more. Everyone will need a little extra support (even just encouragement–make a phone call, write a card–people are scared and love balances fear).
We can do this, and be better because of it, if we come together and support what and who we love.