journey to teaching yoga online - Asana at Home

Journey to teaching online Yoga

I began teaching yoga at the end of 2006. By the end of 2007, I was pretty much a full-time Yoga Teacher, as I was slowly moving away, from pursuing Acting in Film and Television. My passion for being in the spotlight shifted, from being this character I created to just being myself, and helping people, by sharing my journey!

This just felt so authentic and real… It was an incredibly physical and mental journey though, I must say. The first three years, I was resetting my body to a correct posture, with a lot of physio to keep things on track. The last 7 years I have had 5 major surgeries to repair past sports damage….. But that’s another blog.
I have shot a bunch of Yoga Videos in the past 13 years… And do a lot of Photoshoots, so the online thing I knew would be a pretty smooth transition… Once I figured it out.

On January 29th I had my last major surgery. Shoulder reconstruction… This was the toughest recovery to date, but I love a good challenge! I knew I had 6 weeks to rest, right off the bat. After 6 weeks I was back teaching ( Absolutely no demo! ) Then the Pandemic shut things down a couple of weeks later. I figured I would just rest for a couple more weeks, then I saw my friend Henrietta on the seawall and she asked me if I was teaching Zoom classes already? She said, “Your students need you right now!”…… So I came home, posted that I was starting online yoga classes in two days. I figured I could learn this new style of teaching out in 48hrs…… Hahaha So a couple of days later I’m an online teacher! It started fun and new, but talking to your computer is a trip. Then you have to fine-tune the sound, figure out the camera angles, set the lighting, arrange your backdrop, and don’t let your dog “Jane” steal the show. 

RISTO DUGGAN - Yoga Teacher Asana at Home

Right back to film and television again as an Online Yoga Teacher

My first class was a big success with about 36 patrons, but my second class was a disaster! I didn’t know the difference between Personal Meeting Numbers & Meeting Numbers….. So I posted my Meeting Number on Twitter ( I rarely post anything on Twitter ), and I got totally Zoom Bombed! I had 56 patrons and a bunch of young kids were making rude comments all through the class….. I knew how to mute them, but didn’t know about the “Don’t allow your students to unmute themselves” button, and they kept unmuting themselves….. Crazy frustrating… But funny now.

So all that was corrected quickly and thanks to a few friends advice, I was a full-time online Yoga Teacher …… Bizarre! Zoom was pretty on it, considering how crazy that must have been for them, most of the kinks were fixed immediately. The numbers dropped as more and more teachers had amazing offerings available, from all over the world! I reconnected with so many students who had moved back home or just away from Van. I remember having a class that had students from Isreal, Japan, Australia, San Fransisco, Wisconsin, and Ontario…… All former students… So cool!

There have been a bunch of hiccups, but now my playlists on my phone, plug right into my computer with my Bose sound system, and the lighting is acceptable. I have had to restart things minutes before class, change devices, and restart recordings…… But all in all, it has been pretty smooth.

I was pretty overwhelmed and full of gratitude! All of a sudden we have this huge platform that has limitless reach. I can’t wait to film a series of Rocket/ Active Yin classes in Nicaragua, during my November Retreats there!
Active Yin classes evolved during the Pandemic as well….. I was able to research a lot more functional movement exercises, that I have added to the sequences, and also lengthened the hold of “Peak” pose. Also, people who love their Yin, have all the props…… So you can go for it….. I love holding this strapped butterfly for at least 15 minutes… So juicy!

I shot a couple of videos for www.mvmtchallenge.com that are on my site, a bunch of IGTV classes for Supported Soul, and Stretch Vancouver was offering online classes all the way through. Live classes started again at Stretch and Yaletown YYoga….. One Yoga opens in September. So the new normal should be settling in by Fall….. Cross our fingers the second wave doesn’t hit!
But if it does our online skills are much sharper now. See you in class and online.

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RISTO DUGGAN - Yoga Teacher Asana at Home

Risto Duggan

I am a Vancouver based yoga teacher with a focus on healing through alignment, engagement, and breath. My background as a semi-professional multi-sport athlete left my body broken and battered. On my 40th birthday I took my first yoga class and my life changed dramatically. Since completing the 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2007, I built a strong following of students who attend my Rocket classes, Active Yin classes, and Workshops. Rocket Yoga is an Ashtanga based practice created by Larry Schultz in the late 80’s. Larry took the first 3 sequences of Ashtanga and created 3 playful strong sequences from them. Active Yin is a combination of functional movement exercises combined with Yin poses. Mainly focussing on one area.