It’s easy to get started online – but whether it’s your first time attending an online class, or you want to improve the experience – here are tips for getting the most out of your practice.
You’ll want a device with a video camera and microphone, so that we can both see and hear you (like a laptop, tablet/iPad, or smartphone). The bigger the screen the better so that you can see your teacher clearly.
Before you begin your class make sure you
- find a space with enough room to practice freely
- have any kit you might need at hand (cushions, socks, an extra layer)
- have Zoom installed on your device and can sign in to the class
- position your device where you can comfortably see it but far enough away that the teacher can see the whole of you
- turn up the volume on your device so that you can hear your teacher
- have natural light in front of you rather than behind you
- extra lamps to the side or in front of you can also help too
- have a good internet connection (video uses a lot of bandwidth)
We use Zoom to deliver our online classes. It is a popular video conferencing platform that you may already be familiar with.
If you haven’t used Zoom before, don’t worry, it’s easy to set up. First, you’ll need a Zoom account. Head over to Zoom’s sign up page and create a free account linked with the same address you used to book your class with The Yoga Rooms.
Although it’s possible to use Zoom through a web browser we highly recommend that you download and install the mobile app for your Apple or Android device, or the desktop software for your laptop.
Then you can sign in from your device to check your audio and video works, and you should be all set to join your first class!
When you find a class or course you want to join, you need to book on through the class page. This will take you to our booking software which will ask you to register your details and pay for the class or course in advance.
Once you have paid, within a few minutes you will receive an email that contains a link to your online class. Don’t forget to check your junk folder for the email, and if you find it there remember to mark it ‘not junk’ to prevent missing future emails. Keep the email safe.
We typically send an email reminder with the link an hour before the class and if you provided your phone number we may send a text reminder too.
The link in the email or text will allow you to join the class in either an app or you browser.
Ready to begin
Your teacher will open registration for the class 10 minutes before the class is due to begin. Please take a few minutes to get yourself settled when you first arrive. We recommend that you create a space for yourself where you have some room to move, a good wi-fi signal, and minimal background noise.
The teacher will greet you as you sign in and will ask you to gather any blankets or cushions that you’ll need for the class.
Controlling your screen
Within Zoom, you have the option to change what you see on your screen. You can choose between “Gallery” view (where you can see a bunch of different talking heads in smaller windows) and “Speaker” view (where you see only the person currently talking, in a large window). “Gallery” is nice before and after class so you can chat and recognise friends. “Speaker” view is usually best for the actual class.
Position your device
Usually it’s better to place your device higher up on a table or shelf so that you can see your teacher from a variety of positions. Please have your mat rolled out and ready. Or if you don’t have a mat, you can just practice on your carpet or a rug on wooden floorboards. Some people find a large towel on a carpeted floor works well too.
If your connection gets sketchy during class, try turning off your video camera (so you can still see us, we just can’t see you). That will usually help as it places less demand on your device and internet connection.
You can buy yoga and pilates equipment from a variety of places online. We’ve used and can recommend Yoga Matters and Mad.
Friends & family
If you live with friends or family, they can join in too. Participants need to be over the age of 18 for safeguarding reasons. You only need one person to sign up, a screen big enough for you both to be able to see clearly and enough space to practice together without furniture obstructing your practice.
Starting a class
When you join the class, your microphone should automatically be muted. This is to reduce any audio feedback, and keeps the virtual meeting space from becoming an echo chamber!
As a general rule, if you have arrived before the class start time, you may wish to unmute yourself to say hello to your teacher and let them know about any new injuries or illness you currently have. Then you should mute your microphone once the class has started.
Your teacher will say hello and give you an overview of the theme of the class for that session. You might hear the teacher mention that they’re starting the recording – the recording will be in “speaker view” so that only the teacher will be shown.
If you have any questions for the teacher during the class, you’re welcome to unmute yourself and ask. The teacher can’t monitor the chat window during class, so your voice is the best way to get the teacher’s attention.
Please note, if you do unmute yourself, the recording will be in “speaker” view and so you will be visible on the recording that is available to other registered Yoga Rooms students after class.
Learning at home is different from being in a dedicated studio space, and it’s natural that you may encounter interruptions from pets, children or a delivery. If you need to switch off video or leave the room temporarily – that’s okay.
The end of a class
At the end of your class, there will be 5 minutes for you to chat to your teacher and fellow students. We actively invite you to ask questions or speak to friends. We find this helps us to stay connected socially as part of a group. But if you’re feeling pretty chilled and happy to slip off quietly you can just choose to ‘leave meeting’ and that’s fine with us too!
The day after your class, you may receive an email asking for feedback. If you have anything you wish to share, or any questions that have come to you after the class, this is a good place to ask them.
If you have any requests for different lengths of class, different styles of yoga etc, please let us know as our timetable is always evolving. The more feedback we get, the better idea we’ll have of what our community finds helpful, and the more valuable our content will be.