How one yogi during lockdown created a virtual space for us to practice yoga together.
Shruti is the founder of Yoga Mapp, a virtual space for yogis globally to discover yoga and practice together. Shruti loves different yoga styles, from Ashtanga to Yin and is passionate about helping others find their favourite yoga practice, whether that’s at home, in studio, at the office or on a wellness holiday. Shruti spends every waking hour outside her role in recruitment, researching, practising, talking and dreaming about yoga.
Yoga Mapp was launched on 1 August and here at Moonchild Yoga we’re the first to share the news of Shruti’s dream business as she empowers you to launch your own.
What’s your personal yoga journey?
Hi I’m Shruti. I started practising yoga at a very young age with my mum every morning before school. She sadly passed away in 2010 and it was at this time that I rekindled my love of yoga, experiencing how it helped with the trauma of grief, bringing me back to the present. I continue to develop my practice today, inspired most recently by my tribe of teachers who set out on their own during lockdown to help the world through livestream yoga. I’ve always been empowered by the personal journey that led my female teachers to find yoga, firstly as a practice and then to teach. Their stories are touching, often emotional, sometimes filled with trauma or life events that change the way they view life forever. It’s these that inspired me to embark on my own journey, which I’m delighted to share with you below. I hope my story helps you a little and encourages you to connect with your own personal practice on the mat.
The world witnessed a global pandemic and an anti-racism movement in a short space of time. No matter how much we might hold on to life as we know it, both events changed the way we live and breathe, speak about each other and hold our space. It was during this time that I felt compelled to support my community of yoga teachers and started connecting, curating and creating class schedules on Instagram @yoga_mapp. The idea developed from there with students doing classes with teachers they’d never tried before.
Use your intuition.
Intuitively, livestream yoga works. Our teachers can see us and guide us into the posture. We can see them and others in class, reinforcing the connections that can be made even when we’re in different locations. In the absence of a nurturing nudge or seeing who’s physically beside you, we focus on their soothing voice and our own intuition. And our teachers love it, too. Negeen Aram says “I've really enjoyed teaching online, especially when people leave their cameras on because then it still feels really real! Being able to teach and practice from anywhere has been really wonderful”. “Oscar the Husky, who sometimes pops in to class, thinks so too!
For Marisse Gaskell “I’ve reconnected with old friends and colleagues and found new students because of livestream classes. Seeing new students come to class from different countries is amazing.”
It amazes me that teachers worldwide have developed this movement by observing each other and intuitively tweaking every aspect to give us a great overall experience.
Keep it simple.
For students joining class, Angela Keen suggests to “book your place 30 minutes prior to class start time, be in the 'waiting room' five minutes before class starts, keep your sound muted during the class, ensure that your mat is placed on a level floor, ideally leaving a two foot gap around your mat that is free of obstructions, sharp edges or breakable items!”
I recently found myself saying to a friend how much I love change and fully embrace it! For me, change brings opportunity and excitement around thinking and doing things differently, creatively. I also wonder if it’s because by the age of three I’d lived in three countries, by nine we’d moved house seven times and by my 30’s I’d attended nine educational institutions. Meeting new people and connecting with their true nature is something I’ve been agile enough to embrace through all this upheaval. If nothing else, it was for survival in the school playground and to please others at university. Yoga training school is the only place where I’ve felt accepted and surrounded by like-minded people who are looking to work on themselves through mind, body and soul to progress. It’s also at YTT that I met my wonderfully talented developer, fellow yogi, friend and now rock, Lara. It was one conversation after 6.30am class, sipping tea outside the mountain shala in the hilltop jungle that I said to Lara “I’ve got this idea”. This one exchange led us to reunite online a couple of months later and create Yoga Mapp.
Enjoy the journey.
Perhaps the most important element of Yoga Mapp is for you to take your time and enjoy your journey through the site. “It’s a place to celebrate teachers” champions Marisse Gaskell. Learn more about them, their favourite books, what you might hear them say in class (I look forward to Marta Antero chiming “beautiful everybody” at Sunday morning Kundalini).
Or maybe just try a yoga style you’ve never practised before. Just as Jenna Naik’s “intention is to empower all that come to my class”, mine is to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, do something new and enjoy the journey.
I’d love to hear more from the Moonchild Community members’ experience of yoga during lockdown and how you’ve found practising or teaching livestream yoga in real time. I hope to see you on the Mapp.
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