Virtual yoga: a corona perk?

The coronavirus lockdown means that I haven’t taught yoga to anyone other than my husband in at least six weeks—and he’s getting damn tired of me telling him to exhale and relax. While I’m missing leading yin and restorative yoga classes, I have found a major upside to everyone being stuck at home: online classes from teachers all over the world!

Moving away from studios and teachers is a big downside of our peripatetic ex-pat life—but COVID-19 erases some of that distance. I’m super grateful to be attending yoga sessions with teachers I thought I might never practice with again—and to virtually bring a handful of Zürich teachers I love home with me.

It just so happens that three of my favourite online yoga providers are Swiss-based (meaning local for me), but that doesn’t stop me from being grateful for their Internet-based offerings. It’s particularly delicious to be able to roll straight out of bed into a class or pour a glass of wine before my body has stopped humming from savasana.

Younion Yoga

Live classes on central European time | Online pass purchase
Angela leads near-daily English-language classes from this beautiful, Zürich-based garden studio through Zoom—and Barbara hops on to teach a class once a week. Classes are in English and for all levels.

Sparkling Yoga

Live meditations on central European time | Free through YouTube
I’ve loved Elena‘s yoga nidras for years (immersively relaxing guided meditations available on her website, Apple Music, Soundcloud, and Spotify) and was thrilled when she started doing live broadcasts every Monday—and, even happier that the videos are available after the real-time sessions.

Yogi Moviestar

Live classes on central European time | Payment by arrangement
Infused with reiki and astrology, Valentine’s virtual restorative and yin yoga classes are pretty magical—and I love the home comforts of a Canadian accent! She generally offers three classes a week via Zoom, often with a hand-selected Spotify playlist reflecting the theme of each class.

Østerbro Yogaforening

Recorded classes | Free
Moving away from Copenhagen meant leaving behind a studio I loved teaching at—but now I can practice anywhere with Aichin and other Forening teachers via YouTube! I particularly love Laura’s yin class and Ditte’s restorative practice.

Kristin Tovson

Live classes on central European time | Some classes free, others paid via studio
I stumbled into classes with Kristin during the cold months we lived in Berlin in 2013/14. Her English-language sessions are well-paced and easy to follow—and practicing with her again (after a six year gap!) is as comforting as rediscovering a well-worn, perfectly-fitting sweatshirt.


Some live classes on central European time, others recorded | Live classes paid via studio, pre-recorded classes free
Another yoga discovery from our time in Germany, Wiebke’s welcoming studio was one of the best parts about living in Neuss. She teaches a few German-language classes live every week and there are a dozen or so videos from her and her fellow teachers on the YogiMotion YouTube channel.

Maa Yoga

Recorded classes | Paid monthly membership through online platform
My heart sang when I learnt that Lindsay would be teaching online during this period of physical distancing. I hadn’t taken one of her marvellous classes since leaving Vancouver in 2013 and her restorative sessions are just as healing as I remembered even from more than 8,300km away. And the sound meditations from Farhad are otherworldly.

The Do Less Project

Recorded meditations / yoga poses | By donation
A huge advocate of ‘doing less,’ (just my kind of yoga!) Tim‘s resonant voice is perfect for restful guided meditations and he has many restorative yoga tricks up his sleeve (including a life-changing blanket wrap in legs up the wall pose). His YouTube videos of meditations and restorative yoga poses are an ideal antidote to stress… I may have dozed off more than once listening to his From Earth to Outer Space meditation.

A lot of things are less than ideal right now—physical distancing protocols, being asked to stay home most of the time, and the current weird reality—but my at-home yoga practice is a tremendous silver lining. I feel wonderfully well-supported by teachers I’ve seen in person recently… and those I still might never see in the flesh again.

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