Q+A: Go Behind the Scenes of Leading Online Yoga Classes

Meet some of our very own online yoga class leaders!

online yoga classes

It’s 2020 and everything is different. We’re learning to social distance. We’re taking summer staycations. We’re rocking a wide variety of stylish masks. And we’ve never — like, actually never — done more of our workouts from home. Online yoga classes have become the safest way to get our yoga flow on these days. And we’re loving it!

You’ve heard us talk about the many health benefits of yoga about a million times, but allow us to refresh your memory. According to the University of Washington, getting into a regular yoga practice can increase blood flow, cleanse the immune system, boost heart rate, lower blood sugar, improve balance, improve digestion, and prevent the breakdown of cartilage and joints. It’s also been proven to encourage self care and a generally healthy lifestyle.

Just because many of us are still sheltering in place, there’s no need to give up those benefits completely! Online yoga classes are where it’s at. You might actually love them so much that you’ll continue with them, even when in-person fitness options become available again.

online yoga classes

We’re pretty proud of the online yoga classes we offer through bulldog online. Here’s what you need to know about them…

  • They feature everything you know and love about bulldog yoga — fun music, lots of variety, and the kind of high-energy flows that will help you get a full-body workout every time.
  • Our classes are available at a wide range of levels for beginners all the way through veteran yogis. Try our Activate, Invigorate, and Exhilarate classes. We even offer custom workout plans to help you get the absolute most out of bulldog online yoga classes.
  • We offer a free trial! You can get 30 days of free online yoga classes.
  • You can stream online yoga classes from any smart device — whenever and wherever it works for you.
  • New classes are being added all the time! Our awesome leaders have stepped up to film online yoga classes from their homes so they can continue bringing you amazing, fitness-fueled workouts even as they stay home as much as possible.

That last point brings us to the highlight of this post…

online yoga classesTo help you get all the behind-the-scenes details about what it’s like to teach online yoga classes — whether those classes are filmed in the studio or from home — we’ve recruited two of our own online leaders to share their experience with us. Meet Sarah Woodward and Allison Sobel. 

We’re so grateful to them for participating in this Q+A! Keep scrolling to learn more about what it’s like to lead online yoga classes.

Q: What is it like teaching online yoga classes versus teaching in the studio IRL?

Sarah: Teaching online yoga classes for bulldog is just like leading a regular class! Luckily, we have plenty of regulars in the room and there is a variety of flexibility and strength levels. The only downside of leading online yoga classes is that I can’t offer assists to at-home yogis!

Allison: They are very different, but at the same time, both types of classes are helping people! Whether it’s an in-person experience or an online yoga class, there’s a way to create connection through the words we use and the poses. Plus, our online presence really gives access to guests that don’t have an opportunity to have yoga in their communities. People might not have access to the kind of power yoga we do where they live. That opportunity excites me!

online yoga classesQ: How do you find ways to make the online yoga class experience similar to the in-studio experience?

Sarah: I try to make sure that students taking online yoga classes feel like they are right in the studio with us with acknowledgment and encouragement. Regardless of what side of the screen you’re on, we are all moving together!

Allison: The words I say can impact people both in the studio and through online yoga classes. There’s a connection that travels through time and space. It doesn’t have to be a physical experience.

Q: What are your favorite parts about taking online yoga classes or doing at-home yoga?

Sarah: I’m grateful for online yoga classes because I’m able to share them with friends and family in the same way we use social media. We recommend our favorite classes to each other and talk about how our yoga journeys are going through our shared class experiences.

Allison: I just love to roll out of bed and get started! It saves the drive time. I don’t have to worry about what outfit I’m putting on! Sometimes, I’ll do my online yoga classes in running shorts after a run. I can piggyback an online class much more easily into my other routines. I can put a class on any time I want!

Q: How do you design some of your online yoga classes for beginners?

Sarah: My Activate classes are friendly to all levels. I move slowly and do my best to offer options for every move. There are opportunities to level up or to take a step back in every pose, so it’s important to remind people to try different paths and see what works for their bodies.

Allison: I love to offer different variations! I don’t even like to call them modifications. I’ll often say, “If you are new to the practice, this variation is great!” There are always different levels of a pose, different intensities in a posture. You can give that opportunity for a beginner to start with a variation. I try to offer pose variations for people at every level of experience. There’s also more description that comes in for beginners, especially in online yoga classes. When I teach, I’m very deliberate about the words I use.

online yoga classesQ: What do you think is so special about online yoga classes with bulldog?

Sarah: bulldog online is awesome because of the diverse crowd practicing on and off the screen. The students in the videos have differing abilities, which makes the classes feel welcoming and accessible. Plus, if you are sweating buckets at home in one of the fast-paced Invigorates, there’s no doubt that you’ll see someone on-screen who is just as sweaty and shaky as you are! The classes are encouraging because there are no scripts, no re-dos, and no edits. They are real classes!

Allison: I think that the bulldog online experience creates community and a safe environment where there’s no nonsense! There’s no Sanskrit, so you don’t feel like you have to be deeply embedded in the philosophical teachings of yoga. Our online yoga classes are approachable and accessible to any level. We create a very fun, party-playlist atmosphere that inspires and gets guests excited and energized about the practice! They leave feeling empowered, uplifted, and really good about themselves.

online yoga classesQ: How do you get ready to film your online yoga classes? What is the process of filming at home like?

Sarah: I prepare by creating and practicing my sequences on my own to make sure that the class will be easy to follow, but still challenging. I always come up with a great plan and then completely change things up when the camera starts rolling. I just have to remember to go with the flow! The lights are bright, the music is loud, and the energy is bubbly!

Allison: I always ground and center myself first. I pick an affirmation card and try to figure out what my online guests need from the class. No two online yoga classes are the same for me, because every group of people showing up virtually is different! I’m also mindful of the space where I film. When I film at home, I film in the area where you get to know me, in my solarium, where there are candles and a yogi statue. I try to make it really appealing to the visual eye so that people feel like they have a welcoming environment that’s not sterile or cold. It’s coming from my home to their home!

Q: Do you ever get nervous to film online yoga classes?

Sarah: Heck yeah, I get nervous! I consider myself to be a “behind-the-camera” kind of gal, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone to film because I want to spread the yoga love. I feel giddy and anxious before and during class, but it is exciting. Sometimes, a little bit of pressure leads to the greatest success.

Allison: I’m nervous every single time I film. I have nervous energy because I want to create the best experience for my guests with my online yoga classes!

online yoga classesQ: Do you have any funny or surprising stories of something that happened behind the scenes of filming one of your online yoga classes?

Sarah: Our most recent online yoga classes were filmed during the Coronavirus pandemic. We took a lot of care to make sure that leaders and students were safe and socially distanced during the filming and between. It was so uplifting to be in the studio again after months of solo practice. Doing yoga alongside some amazing people brought life back into the studio and the love of the community shone.

Allison: When I’ve filmed at home, my four-pound Morkie Crystal has come into class. Sometimes, my kids are dancing to the music on the other side of the camera.

How amazing are Sarah and Allison? We know… they’re pretty awesome.

If you want to hang out with them more, you can find them leading classes over on bulldog online!

Did you know… The Stress Buster is Sarah’s favorite custom workout plan?

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