Online classes - Pilates Practice in the Virtual World

Lets just start by saying that these are unprecedented times, yes I know that phrase has been repeated a whole lot in recent days but for good reason - it means none of us really know what we are doing but that's ok, we're all doing our best! Our daily schedules have probably gone out the window, and this means that our normal routines and healthy habits may have been put on the back burner while we try to navigate the new normal, but again - that's ok! This might be a time when you just want to kick back, enjoy some time in your garden and read your book and forget the outside world (totally reasonable) but if you do want to get some kind of movement practice back into your life but are unsure what this whole Zoom boom is all about - and whether it's for you, read on.

First of all, why is an online zoom class any different to a prerecorded class?

With a zoom class you will be taking your class in realtime where your teacher will be directing your movement live. The class becomes a two way dialogue where you can see your teacher and your teacher can see you, it therefore becomes much more reminiscent of the kind of real life pilates class that you are used to. Online classes are generally programmed to run at the same time each week (mine certainly are) so you can start to bring some kind of routine back into your life - when the class is being run live it gives you something to turn up for.

Here are just some of the benefits of attending an online zoom class with me:

  • Aside from seeing me, you will also get to see other wonderful real life people in real time - different faces to the ones in your house, remember them?

  • I can see you and therefore tailor my corrections, modifications and motivations making sure you get the best out of your class.

  • You can ask questions and I can repeat exercises or break them down, the class will be run at your pace.

  • You get to be part of an online community, just like in real life classes, I open my virtual studio doors 15 minutes before class so you can join early and chat with your fellow class members if you want to.

  • You might just get to meet my dog (it's worth it).

I know that it's nerve wracking to try new things, any new things, and starting a new online class is no exception. The getting online bit is easy - I've laid it all out below and I can also be on hand to help you set up when the time comes. It will definitely feel weird for the first 5 minutes I'm not going to lie, but it's amazing how quickly it starts to feel normal.

You won't need any props, you don't even need a mat - a rug, a carpet or even a towel will do. You also really don't need to hoover or tidy your house for me, I will be interested in looking at your movements only! If you dog, child or partner walks in, I don't care, it's life :)

So here we go, let's set up for zoom:

Equipment Needed

  1. A tablet or smart phone, or a laptop. All of these will have built in cameras and mics, and laptops are ideal as you can move the screen to change the camera angle. You will probably need to play around with positioning – you might need to place your device on a stack of books or on a chair.

  2. Good wifi! If your wifi isn’t great, then any wifi extender will help.


Logging in to the Class

I teach though Zoom, this seems to be the most stable online platform available for group classes. · If you are using a smart phone or tablet, you will need to download the app for your device. Search in your app store for Zoom Cloud Meetings. If you are using a laptop, just follow the link for the class form your email and it will take you to the desktop site.

  1. You will be emailed an online link to the session as well as login details (a Meeting ID and a password).

  2. Save the link and make a note of your login details.

  3. At the time of your class, follow the link. (You can also go directly to my timetable on my website and click the link there)

  4. Type in the meeting ID

  5. Type in the password

  6. You’ll be taken to a ‘waiting room’ and I will let you in to the meeting, aka Pilates class and that's it, you're in!


Setting Up for Class

Camera & Mat position - Set yourself up so I can see the whole of you once you are on your mat/towel/carpet. The camera will probably need to be up high and angled down towards your mat. If your camera is slightly on the diagonal, then I will be able to see more of your body. I can help you with this before the class.

Light – Make sure the light in the room is behind the camera or above so I can see you! (If you are back lit I’ll just see your silhouette)

Sound - Turn the volume up high on your device, it the sound is tinny or there is disruption noise, then turn it down one notch.

Device - Plug in your device for the duration of the session (zoom does tend to rinse the battery)

Screen saver - Change your screen saver (or screen lock) to never or 1 hour 15 minutes for the duration of the session otherwise I will keep disappearing from your screen. (Apple: preferences, screensaver, never or 1 hour should be ok; phone, tablet or pc: settings, screen saver, never or 1 hour). I’d recommend ‘never’ to start with as the sessions will be longer.

And that's it! I hope I've sold it to you, whether you take on online class with me or with another of the many fantastic teachers out there it's so important that we keep moving - for our minds as well as our bodies. Take an hour for yourself, focus in on your body, your breath, and your movement and forget what's happening outside if only for a short time.

Stay safe.


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