Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Online Changes

Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2020

Teaching online is different than teaching in person. As you can imagine. If you have taken an exercise class online, especially from your same teacher, you have probably noticed some differences. I thought I would just share some of the things I am doing different.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes-I am facing my students. When teaching Nia I like to face away from my students because one of the thirteen principles I was taught when I attended my White Belt training about 12 years ago was “Teach what you sense.” So it is easier for me to teach to my left arm (as an example) when I am actually USING my left arm. Now when I instruct students to use their left arm I am using my right.  So I am not using sensation to teach as much. When I had taught yoga in person I often faced my students, but pretty much always faced away when doing twists. It seems twists really twist people’s brains.

-I am moving “smaller”. For Nia, the space I am using is large enough to move around fully, but if I use the whole space it can take me off camera. So I try to stick to what the camera can see.  Staying in camera might have me focused on that at times.  Sometimes I might go out of view a bit, but hopefully that is on a repeated time and students know by what the choreography is – and this is in regards to Nia.  With yoga I make sure students can see head and feet and I am not moving enough to move out of frame.

-I am quieter. I used to be loud and make all kinds of sounds, while dancing, but since I am in a house where someone is working, I don’t make as much noise. I do hope my students do. I sometimes felt they didn’t make noise because they didn’t want to be the only one, but now that they are home, I am hoping they are taking advantage of the benefits sounding provides. I do make sounds, but not as loud.

-I point more. It is kinda like in Zumba where I point or make a hand signal because I am not sure they can hear me (and again I don’t want to shout all the time).  I talk less

-I “check in” differently. In-person I would ask how people are doing and encourage them to answer. That allowed me to know how they were doing and (instructor “trick”) forced people to breathe. Now I try to be very conscious of the pose/stretch because I don’t always want them moving their head or arm to give me a thumbs up. And we mute people because we are all doing this in our homes where there is other stuff going on. I have to restrict my “check-in” to in between poses/stretches.  So I am not getting to use the “trick ’em into breathing” instructor thing.

-We start standing then go to the earth. In stretch and yoga we used to start one way and then switch off. We would move up and down (or down and up) to enable us to retain that ability. But with the devices it is easier to start up and then when it is time to get down – stop and adjust the device, then get down. If I start yoga in corpse pose then I don’t instruct on any poses that I may need to see so we just leave the camera “up” and then when we get up it is set fine, then we do our standing poses then adjust and get down.

*****Update 05.26.20*****

I forgot one of the most important ones, I kind of said it when I said I point more, but that is for Nia.

-I don’t always demo the pose or DO the pose/stretch.  When I have my face on the floor or in my lap, no one can hear me.  When I am talking and my voice is too muffled for people to hear they look up to see what I am doing and they are not doing the pose.  So I don’t always do the pose/stretch.  I didn’t always put my face down when teaching in-person classes either, but online there are a few more poses/stretches I don’t do just so I can instruct.  And, honestly, sometimes I forget.  This morning while I was talking to my lap I realized I needed to be up and not folded over – AND, I realized I didn’t include this change in the post.

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I am very grateful to my students who have joined the Zoom classes. They have helped me keep teaching and I love that.  I hope to continue teaching online so I imagine these changes will change and adjust over time.

What have you noticed is different on your Zoom/online classes?  What changes have you seen in the way your instructor teaches?

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