Yoga Teachers, here are a few things to keep in mind when teaching classes during Corona Virus this summer. In person classes have mostly halted and as they come back to life it is necessary to know that they will not be the same as they were in early March, things have changed for the long haul until a vaccine is ready for use, which honestly, will not be for a very long time. Studios and teachers have already adapted by teaching virtually, but as states move into phases in which gyms and yoga studios are allowed to operate there will be a need for even more adaptation.
Keeping your students safe is of primary importance, this means, be sure to express to students prior to class in your newsletter and marketing that social distancing is expected and required. Ask students to bring a face mask to class to wear in case they come into close contact with others, for example while entering the studio, making payments, or using the facilities. If teaching outdoors, it is still a good idea to have students bring their masks in case they come into close contact with others.
Mark out spaces for mats to placed 6 ft away from each other, this includes from all directions – front to back and side to side. In many studios this will mean that class size potential will dramatically drop. Teaching outdoors may be a better option, and while there have been studies that have found that being outside is far better than being inside in terms of spreading the virus, there are also studies that show that social distancing is also beneficial, so space mats apart for outdoor classes as well.
Recently I taught outside and I arrived before my students with tape measure in hand. I measured mats apart and placed tennis balls down as markers so that they could arrive and put their mats down at a safe distance. Once everyone had arrived, I put my mask on and collected the tennis balls from everyone. It worked well. I also brought hand sanitizer. It is important to remember that many people will rightfully have anxiety about their health and rejoining gatherings, keep this in mind and make health and safety a top priority.
Make Your Students Aware
For two purposes, express your rules and expectations to students before class. This will help quell some of the anxiety about meeting up with people and will ensure that people follow rules. Include text such as: Masks required when in close quarters, social distancing required at all times when possible, and, Bring your own mat and props.
Depending on where you are in the world, most people are now very accustomed to the new normal of wearing masks and will respect your guidelines. It may be helpful to bring a few spare masks, maybe even a spare mat or two in case people come unprepared, that way you don’t have to turn them away. If renting or lending out mats, be sure to bring means to clean the mats after class.
Prior registration will be helpful in order to ensure that you do not go beyond your areas’ maximum gathering capacity. Also, communicating your expectations and rules for class will be easier knowing who exactly is planning to come to class. Pre-registration also allows people to pay ahead of time by card and avoids handling cash.
It is your responsibility as a teacher to lead the way for your students and for your community. Communicate how you will make your classes safe for students and venues that host you. Please share the ways in which you are making your classes safe and keep practicing.