Behind the scenes: Virtual Vino Vinyasa
~Figuring out how to translate our experience to Zoom~
Virtual yoga classes...should be a breeze, right? For most yoga teachers, maybe. But what we offer at Vino Vinyasa is very special. It took a bit of fine-tuning to figure out how to bring this online in the best way possible.
We combine wine education and yoga, weaving wine facts into yoga flows. This translates well in our in-person classes, but our teachers talk a LOT—giving both yoga cues and wine facts. Since there are no other students in the class to watch, that same teacher giving you a monologue about wine while teaching yoga also has to demonstrate the poses. Usually, I will show one side of a flow, then talk about wine during the other. Moving the whole time was exhausting and literally made me run out of breath at times, plus I kept having to reposition myself so that my backside wasn't to the camera. This was harder than I'd anticipated! (Plus, virtual students are on mute and don't laugh at my silly jokes...making it very strange to teach to a computer.) But with a little practice, I was able to iron out these details...I am just glad that most of this was ironed out before we went live the first time! And don't even mention the fact that at-home yoga teachers need a space large enough to get a camera on their entire body, ideally without a ton of clutter in the background, that has good wifi. I am still working on that, but luckily I have access to an outdoor patio that has a nice backdrop. I feel bad for people in small apartments (like mine) with no good space to hold a class, but everyone is doing their best right now.
Other logistics were figuring out all the Zoom settings (there are SO MANY OPTIONS!), getting the wines and glasses ready before yoga begins so I am not running around after yoga (I do give students time to go grab their wines), setting up music for savasana, and putting the puppy away in a place where my students cannot hear him whining. (Maybe we'll have a Yappy Hour one day soon!)
Finally, we usually lead our students through a mindful wine tasting after our savasana, but now that we're not all in the same room...and don't have the same wine, this is hard. During our first class, I realized that a tasting wasn't going to make sense, so I quickly pivoted to asking questions of our special guest, Christine Fitzgerald from SmartVine. During the next session, I also led an open discussion and Q& A with the winemaker from Nautilus Estate, and people seemed to LOVE it. (The wine-nerdiness that was happening made me so happy!) We'll continue to have special guests for Q&A following yoga and will focus less on the tasting (though we'll still touch on it, of course). We want to make the experience as inclusive as possible!
So our new format is slightly different, the social aspect is via Zoom and not in person, but we're still able to provide a special experience that makes yoga and wine accessible and fun, which is our mission. It's hard to translate the "luxury" part of the experience since we're not on the rooftop at City Vineyard or the lawn at The Four Seasons, but we hope we're helping to mentally transport you to your favorite wine region for an hour, at least.
We had 79 people join last week and are asking for donations this week, since we're a small business run entirely by yours truly, I appreciate any donations you are able to give this week. Hope to see you online! Morgan Perry
Founder, Vino Vinyasa