21st Century Yoga

Being a Dad of twins, working full-time and being a yoga teacher means there is not a huge amount of free time for my own yoga practice. I found that practicing before the boys wake up, although very early in the morning, has become part of my daily routine.

Fundamental to that has been through use of modern technology. Whether that’s by practicing online yoga classes through my laptop, Kindle app for yoga literature on my iPad or meditation apps on my iPhone. You’re now as likely to see me open up a gadget as you are to see me roll out my yoga mat each day – it’s what i am doing this morning!

As a yoga teacher, you would think promoting the use of online classes and such like would be counter to what I’m hoping to achieve. The more students that practice online, the less likely they are to come to class. There can often seem like a social divide between those that can practice in a studio and those that practice through using online classes.

For sure, having that direct contact with a yoga teacher can make a difference, particularly for expert advice, adjustments and also that sense of being in a community. In this day and age though, whether good or bad, many of our interactions are online. It’s now normal to do so many things online, and ignoring this as a yoga teacher is foolish.

I am (hopefully) a good example of what can be achieved through a dedicated practice – whether online or in a yoga studio. I regularly use Do Yoga With Me classes and continue to find them an invaluable resource as student and teacher. Their library of classes, quality of teachers and approach to making yoga more accessible is truly inspirational.

Yes, it’s a commercial business, but they offer many classes for free. I’ve read many stories of yogis that struggled to make yoga classes in studios, whether due to the cost, time, or other reasons. How Do Yoga With Me had enabled them to discover yoga and develop a practice that was truly beneficial to them. This reflects the impact it can have.

For 2019, I have challenged myself to practice daily meditations, complementing my daily asana (movement-based) practice.  I would love to practice on a course such as those on offer locally at Bristol Buddhist Centre. For now my time is limited, so the Headspace app is proving to be an excellent resource to uncover meditation’s potential.

It’s fair to say that yoga continues to evolve and that is its beauty. There will always be a role for the yoga practitioner teaching students in a venue. Times are changing though, and modern technology is at the heart of it. With virtual reality technologies advancing so rapidly, I do not imagine it will be long before you can attend a virtual class from the comfort of your own home. For now though, it’s time for my daily Headspace meditation.