Adventure of a Yogi…Teaching Online…extending the boundries of a Yoga teacher

Adventures of a Yogi..Teaching online.. extending the boundaries of a Yoga teacher

So this week I travelled to Lelystad just outside of Amsterdam to film for an online teaching resource offering all styles of Yoga for students of different abilities. Ekhart Yoga now has subscribers from all over the world and is growing rapidly.

It was set up by Esther Ekhart and Bas Paul in September 2012 and with over 400 classes as well as over 100,000 subscribers on You tube they make an impressive team. Esther has been posting free Yoga classes on You tube since 2008 from a small studio at her house in Cork. I discovered Esther on You tube about 2 years ago and found her teaching to be very accessible and inspiring. I kept tuning in to her classes regularly and in March this year I got to meet her when she came to teach at The Yoga Space in Leeds. We instantly hit it off and she asked me to come to Holland to her studio and film an Ashtanga Beginners Course.

Yoga has taken me on some interesting journeys over the years from modelling for a poster for Opera North,to being sprayed black( don’t ask!) to being in an an art film that was shown at the ICA last year, although not camera shy I was aware that this was going to be a very different experience. I knew that I had to teach directly to a camera and that there wouldn’t be any students present. I had to teach and demonstrate effectively and efficiently and stay in the poses whilst doing so. It was going to be a challenge and very interesting to say the least.

Bas and Esther really made me feel welcome and although incredibly nervous to begin with I soon relaxed. I think we had to film my first intro about three times!However,once I started with the breathing and teaching I relaxed and after a while forgot the camera was there.I soon naturally got into my own style of teaching. It’s fascinating how a camera can bring so much up of our ego and facilitate the critical internal commentary we all have. The first day I was worried about how I looked, how I sounded and how I came across as a teacher. By day 2 I was much more relaxed and the internal critique switched off thank goodness.What was wonderful was that Bas and Esther just let me be myself and in a very yogic way trusted me to just get on with it. This comes across very much on their website, all of the teachers are very natural and doing what they do best..teaching a subject that they are passionate about. Teaching in this way really reminded me how incredible Yoga is. It can prepare you for any situation or circumstance and give you the courage to try new ventures. It has certainly encouraged me – setting up The Yoga Space was the first big step I took and I credit that to my Yoga practice. It’s made me more open and more curious but most importantly it’s helped me not be afraid to fail.

I’ve been reflecting this week how video and photography is such a huge part our culture today with the evolution of iPhones, iPads and cameras. It’s as normal now for a 13 year old to spend their spare time making a video with their friends as it was for me at that age to spend hours making a mix tape. It’s hardly surprising then that Yoga teaching is becoming very much an online commodity. Some people don’t have access to classes or maybe just feel too shy to go to a class. Going to your first class can be daunting and sometimes I forget this. Perhaps following an online teacher can be an encouraging first step? After all at some stage in our Yoga practice we have to trust our inner teacher, our inner guide and if online Yoga is helping people begin this journey then that can only be a good thing. I feel honoured to be part of Ekhart Yoga and blessed to be able to teach something that I love.
You can find Yoga Classes on You Tube under Ekhart Yoga and their online website is

Hope wherever you are you enjoy the journey


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