Online or not

The advent of COVID-19 necessitated that many types of business turned to an online model to trade.  This has become such a norm over the last few years that in-person models of trading seem strange in some ways.  The question arises, to go online or not?

I am in my mid-fifties and I think in terms of my life history.  When someone refers to a watch, I think of an analogue device that is wound up and the hands tick around a face with 12 at the top.  One hand is longer than the other – the short hand depicting hours and the longer hand depicting minutes.  Someone born in this century may have a different idea of a watch.  They may think of a device that is linked to their phone or computer such that txt messages and emails can be read on it, a device that records and stores biometric data about the number of steps you have taken, kJ expended and so forth.

Online and In-store Experience

I recently bought a new pair of shoes.  I first went online to see what was there.  The style I bought in the past that really suited my purposes had been discontinued.  I looked for something similar in a variety of brands and got some ideas.  I looked at some prices from various online sellers.  I then went to a physical shop, walked the aisles, tried on a few different pairs for feel and made a choice based on function, fit and price.  The in-store experience gave me a lot more knowledge than did the online experience.

I knew someone who once commented on something they had purchased by saying “It’s really good – it’s cheap!”  Something that online trading offers is a favourable price comparison to physical, bricks and mortar, businesses.  The latter have rents and other outgoings associated with their business that the former do not have – not to anything like the same degree.  The latter tend to have labour costs that far exceed their online competitors.  It is easier to provide a cheap service online than it is with a bricks and mortar business.

Does Cheap Mean Good?

Does that cheap-ness mean that the online service is really good?  It is not a guarantee of it.  Some businesses may be better suited to selling their goods and services online than others.  In the instance of the shoes I bought, I preferred the in-store experience but, if you know your shoe size and budget then online sellers will provide those details along with a description of a variety of shoes and the colour options you have and will mail to your door, easy peasy.

Shoes are goods.  I perceive that goods are better suited for online trading than are services.  Some services may be suitable for an online experience.  Consider psychology or coaching services.  These can be done one-on-one via a platform such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.  The participants, service provider and customer may be able to communicate really effectively in an online connection.  What of other services?  Runners

Teaching Yoga Online

I am a yoga teacher and, during the lockdowns imposed by law (yes, we did not impose them upon anyone unless legally obliged so to do) we taught classes via Zoom.  People would register online for our classes.  We would teach the group as we do a group in the studio and seek to provide guidance to individuals in the group who chose to have their device camera on and whose device was able to capture a decent perspective of their postures.  That was effective enough but it was less effective than teaching in a studio.

I also observed that there were issues with the technology involved.  Some people’s internet connection would waver and they would lose connection with the class.  That does not happen in a studio environment.  Others would seek to practice outside under the warm sun – until the sun overheated their device and caused it to turn off.  That does not happen in a studio.

Some people trying to practice at home were interrupted by others in their house.  I vividly recall a woman performing a sun salutation.  At one point she was in low plank all by herself.  As she made the transition into upward facing dog her son rushed up in her face showing her the picture he had drawn.  A nice moment but an interruption that one does not encounter in the yoga studio.

Yoga in a studio is FAR better

I know as a teacher that I connect and communicate better with people in a live, in-person setting than through Zoom or other online medium.   I also know both as a teacher and a practitioner of yoga that I have a much (MUCH) better experience in my practice in a studio environment practicing with others around me.  My students give me that same feedback – a live, in-person class is far superior (FAR) to an online experience.

Many online yoga classes are not live.  They consist of a teacher going through a practice of their own and cueing it but they cannot see what the students are doing because it is not live.  They cannot observe where the students are falling out of alignment or failing to make necessary contractions or are missing the point of the pose or are making any sort of error that might, in a live, in-studio context, be rectified.

The experience is a far lesser one.  It is probably cheaper.  Is it better?  No, it is not.  Prior to the pandemic online yoga was a lesser option that was sneered at somewhat.  Now, because it has become so common it is the dominant style of yoga teaching.  It may have been a necessary expedient for a while during the pandemic but it is now as it was prior to 202 a less effective and inferior product.

If you want to practice yoga in a meaningful way, if you want to really be taught by your yoga teacher, and if you want to have the best of all possible yoga experiences, get into a studio today.  Get into Apollo Power Yoga today and we will teach you an amazing practice full of energy, strength, openness and connection.  I shall see you within our bricks and mortar environment soon!  Be well.