Information for attendees of the Polar Bear Yoga class.
From Emily Heath, Sr. UX Architect at the BBC and Mental Health First Aider
I teach gentle, functional yoga for all bodies and levels of experience. It is more of a work-in than a work-out, allowing time and space to connect with yourself – and find some calm in these particularly difficult times.
The goal of this yoga class is to create space and time in which you can gain a felt sense of your own body. By noticing what’s happening mentally, physically and emotionally, you can take more intentional actions. This is more of a bottom-up than top-down practice: I tell you the intention of the movement or pose, and you discover a way through or into the action that works best for your body in the present moment. Welcome to user-centred yoga.
Attending an online class – what to expect
Prepare yourself and your home ahead of time
- Allow time before you join me on Zoom to find a place in your home with enough space to practice. This means the length of your body when lying on the ground with your arms over your head and room to spread your arms out wide either side.
- You don’t need a yoga mat, though it is helpful. As an alternative, if you are on a hard floor, a blanket or towel will provide some cushioning.
- Wear comfortable clothing and try to have a near-empty stomach
- We will start with 20 min therapeutic ground work (breath and restorative movement) before building a little heat later, so wear layers that you can peel off if you need to (socks, jumper).
- Have a glass / bottle of water handy if you tend to want it during class
Position your deviceYou’ll want to position your laptop or device as far a way from you as possible – which might be on the other side of the room (unless you live in a mansion). The further away the laptop, the more of you I can see for giving you cues and corrections 🙂 If I can only see up to your knees, or the top of your head, I will only be able to correct your foot/head placement (but I will be able to admire your excellent choice of lampshade/rug).
Test your video on Zoom: On a Mac laptop: go to Zoom menu to find Preferences which opens Settings. Choose video, and you’ll see yourself.
Since we’re all now experienced remote workers, I’ll assume you already arranged a good wi-fi signal, but you might need to shoo away your needy pets and partners, I mean children. 15 mins before class: enter the Zoom room to get ready for practiceI will open the Zoom room 10 minutes before the class is due to begin, so you can:
- Set your device up so I can see you (we usually start lying down so this will be low down/pointing downwards)
- Tell me if you have any injuries to be accommodated.
Controlling your screenYou probably already know how to use Zoom by now, but just a reminder you might want to use “Gallery” view before and after the class to see all your classmates, and choose “Speaker” view when class begins. I will put everyone on mute while I’m teaching.
Connection issues and videoIf your connection gets sketchy during class, try turning off your video camera (so you can still see me, I just can’t see you). If for any other reason (like privacy of you or your household) you need to turn off your video please feel free to do so.
Asking questions / getting my attentionIf you have any questions for me during the class, you’re welcome to unmute yourself and ask. I can’t monitor the chat window during class, so your voice is the best way to get my attention.
Due to the limitations of the online teaching, your teacher, Emily Heath, cannot accept any responsibility, nor can she be held responsible, for anything that you choose to do with your body in the comfort of your own home.
Emily Heath accepts no responsibility for injuries suffered or damages sustained to you or your surroundings while practising these techniques at home. Nor can she be held responsible for any failure on behalf of any internet providers.
Whether taught online or in person, Yoga is a method of self enquiry in which the responsibility lies firmly with the practitioner to ascertain what they should or should not be doing, by paying close attention to how they feel. You are strongly advised to listen to your body, to rest whenever your breathing feels laboured, or you feel tired, and to let the teacher know if you have any medical issues either by email before each class, or by using the chat facility in the online meeting space 10 minutes before the class starts.
The techniques and suggestions presented via online classes are not intended to substitute for proper medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.