Since people with CF can’t safely share the same physical space (due to the threat of cross-infection), our virtual yoga studio reaches people in their own spaces in their own homes. We’ve created our program with the intention to bridge that physical distance any way we can. We aim to bring people together just like their friendly neighborhood yoga studio would.
CF Yogi’s virtual yoga studio uses Zoom as a videoconference platform so that students and teachers can communicate with each other in real time. Let’s walk through the technology setup, and the experience of taking a yoga class in a virtual space.
First Things First: One-Time Program Registration
Register Here for CF Yogi to participate in our online yoga classes and videos for the CF community! After registration, keep your eyes peeled for your CF Yogi welcome email with your invitation to create your login to our member portal. Our member database updates daily, so you should receive the welcome email within 24 hours. These emails will arrive from firstname.lastname@example.org, if you don’t see it within a day check your spam folder first, then email us if you still need help.
Sign up for Classes in the Member Portal
When you log in to the Member Portal, you’ll see a listing of all our upcoming classes that you can join! Click on a class to see the description, then book yourself a spot!
When you book a class, you’ll receive the link to join us via email and an option to add the class to your calendar. You’ll receive an email confirmation as soon as you sign up, plus an email reminder the day before each class with the link to attend.
P.S. If you provide your phone number when you book, you’ll also get the confirmation and reminder via text messaging (ooh, fancy)!
Prep Your Tech Before Class
For the best experience, you’ll want to join us from a device with a video camera and microphone, so that we can both see and hear you (like a laptop, iPad, or smartphone).
We are using Zoom as our videoconference platform, and it works with all of the above devices. We highly recommend heading over to zoom.us and creating a free account linked with the same address you used to register for CF Yogi. Download and install the mobile app for your Apple or Android device, or the desktop client for your laptop. Sign in from your device, test your audio and video, and you should be all set to join your first class!
Take a few minutes to get situated when you first arrive (we recommend opening the meeting in Zoom a few minutes ahead of time). Orient your screen and mat in your space so that you can best see the teacher in a variety of potential poses.
When you arrive in the room, 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, keep your microphone muted unless you want to speak, and then feel free to unmute yourself. As long as you’re not interrupting anyone else, don’t feel you have to raise your hand…. the teacher can’t necessarily see everyone who is in the room!
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 person currently talking, in a large window). “Gallery” is nice before and after class so you can chat and recognize friends. “Speaker” view is usually best for the actual class.
A broadband internet connection is highly recommended, since video does take a lot of bandwidth. 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 can take a big chunk out of the demand you’re placing on your device and internet connection.
The CF Yogi Class Experience
The instructor will greet people as they arrive in the room, and point you in the direction of any props or resources you’ll need for class. Depending on the teacher and class of the day, this might include:
- Props: like a blanket or towel to sit on or cover yourself with, a yoga block or sturdy water bottle to bring the floor up to your hands in certain poses, or a long strap to improve stability or sensation in certain poses.
- A pre-class poll: a quick survey about what you’re feeling that day in your body and what you need in your yoga practice. This is more likely to be necessary in larger classes where the teacher can’t necessarily see or talk with everyone in the room.
- Music: a link to a Spotify playlist that you can use to create atmosphere in your home studio space. (The virtual studio doesn’t play well with music piped in from the teacher’s space… it competes with their voice and causes audio loss.)
Before starting class, the teacher will ask about any physical considerations you need for your practice that day (either verbally or through the above poll survey), so that they can offer you some options or modifications during class.
Getting to the Good Stuff
The teacher will formally start class, introducing themselves and giving a high-level overview of what you’ll be doing in class that day. You might hear the teacher mention that they’re starting the recording – the recording will l be in “speaker view” so that only the teacher will be shown.
During class, if you have questions or are unsure about whether you’re safely aligned in a certain pose, you’re welcome to unmute yourself and ask. The teacher can’t see you or monitor the chat window during class, so your voice is the best way to get the teacher’s attention.
That said, 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 CF Yogi students after class. If and when we edit our classes for posterity, we’ll edit those bits out so you don’t have to worry about video of yourself getting loose in the wild. 😉
After Class Open Chat
Just as the social element is key in a physical yoga studio, so it is in a virtual one! After class you’re welcome (encouraged, even!) to ask questions and mingle for a bit. (That’s why we’ve scheduled 90 minutes for classes instead of 60… so we have time to chat before and after the meaty part of the yoga class). But we get that sometimes after savasana and the final “namaste” you’re in a good head space and just want to slip out quietly… and that’s totally OK, too.
If you do stay to chat, be respectful of other people who may wish to speak. CF Yogi is a safe space, free of judgment, expectation, or competition — where all should feel welcome and supported. Please keep conversations confidential unless you’ve received explicit permission from the speaker to share something they said outside of the CF Yogi circle.
Post-Class Followup: Video Recording and Feedback
All of our classes are recorded and saved to the Video Library inside the member portal. Each class has its own private YouTube playlist, accessed through a filterable gallery of all of our available classes. Open the class you want, and the newest class will automatically appear at the top of the playlist when it is available (typically within a day or two).
PRO TIP: Save the Playlist to your favorites so you can access member-only classes via your streaming device with the YouTube app!
Plus, we love getting feedback about our classes. Please use the feedback links in the member portal after you complete a class, and tell us what you thought! Classes that get high ratings will be “nominated” for editing and public publishing to YouTube, to help us spread the word about what we do! 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.
Last But Not Least: Keep. Showing. Up.
The benefits of yoga are greatest when you have a regular yoga practice.
Many of you know this already… a vast majority if you indicated during registration that you wanted to practice yoga at least once a week, and that one of your biggest challenges is motivation and accountability.
We’ll do everything that we can on our end in order to help!
- Our teachers will do everything they can to encourage you and to help you recognize your progress.
- We’ll send invites with calendar appointments and reminders.
- We’ll make class recordings available so you can practice in your own time.
But one thing that we can’t do, is make your commitment for you. You’re the only one who can choose to keep showing up. To choose to keep your priorities where you want them to be. To choose to create the space in your your life for yourself…. and the things that make you happy and healthy.
We’ll be right here beside you, every step of the way.