“Our experience” is a series where Daily Forty-Niner reporters document their unique and nuanced experiences during this unprecedented time.
The clock read just a few minutes before 5 p.m., which meant that my very first Vinyasa flow yoga class was about to start. The instructor, Kaitlyn Jones, welcomed everyone through her laptop screen.
Since the suspension of face-to-face classes, Long Beach State has been offering Student Recreation and Wellness Center classes virtually through Zoom. It’s been a change for both students and instructors.
“I’m not the most tech-savvy person, so navigating the online platform was a learning experience,” Jones said.
Though Jones said she had troubles adjusting, people taking the classes found the process fairly easy. All they had to do was look up the workout on the SRWC site and click on the Zoom link provided.
Non-members also have the chance to take classes since the link is available to anyone on the website, though instructors may ask for donations from non-members.
Jones said with the move to virtual classes, she’s had to start marketing through social media. However, audience size hasn’t been a problem for her lately.
”I’ve had 40 to 45 participants per class this week,” she said. “At the SRWC, our max occupancy is 34 students, so it’s awesome that I can have more people in classes.”
There were about 40 people in the Vinyasa session, most with video and audio off. Jones took up the main screen and demonstrated the workouts through her camera, all while talking viewers through the movements using her earphone speakers.
”Typically when I teach in-person, I’m not so much doing the workouts with the class,” Jones said. “I’m walking through the class, coaching and ensuring that exercise form and technique are on point. In these online classes, I obviously can’t do that. So, I find myself doing a lot more of the workout with my students.”
From guiding through poses, to talking people through their breathing, Jones made it so that everyone could follow along and get a good workout.
One of the possible downfalls of virtual yoga is the varying qualities of the internet connection.
Admittedly, I don’t have the best WiFi. Oftentimes when I Zoom, I have to use my own mobile hotspot, because my WiFi lags to the point where I can’t understand what people are saying. This, unfortunately, happened during my yoga session.
When my WiFi did finally decide to start working again, Jones would have moved on to a different pose, and I would be a little lost in translation. In addition to this, when my screen froze, I found myself giving up on holding the pose I was in, leading to a less impactful workout.
I can’t imagine that I’m the only one with connection problems.
In fact, a website called Downdetector.com identifies problems in real-time if Zoom isn’t working.
According to the website, there have been problems with Zoom everyday since March 16, probably due to large amounts of traffic as many educational institutions are utilizing it.
Nevertheless, by the time 6 p.m. came around, I was a strange combination of sweaty and peaceful.
The next virtual Vinyasa class is April 2 at 5 p.m. with Kaitlyn.