As you know we haven’t been back to the hall for a while. After the latest announcement, we may not be back until the end of February at the earliest. A very sad state of affairs but something that we have had to accept for our own safety. As things were beginning to look up, we now finding ourselves back to square one. It’s really frustrating. This has led me to think about the importance of village hall classes and how they compare to the zoom and general ‘virtual’ experience of online classes. I think we can all agree that there is nothing like having that social element and integration that we, as ‘pack animals’ really crave. We are lucky to have a fresh, bright and airy space at Caldecote. We don’t have to put up with dusty, damp, spiders, musty smelling dilapidated spaces, which I remember as a child- all those cold and dingy church halls. I’m sure some still exist but we now have more stringent health and safety regulations to follow. Thank goodness!
From a teaching perspective, it’s much more enjoyable to teach in person and to give the hands on assistance often required, especially by beginners or those with disabilities, physical limitations or orthopaedic conditions. So many teachers have expressed how tiring teaching online can be. You are certainly having to demonstrate more, with no ‘relief’ to get up ad walk around the class. I can’t wait to get back, using props and giving people the help that they need when finding certain positions challenging. How satisfying to be able to finally access that stance which seemed so impossible at the beginning or which you had written off as something your body is just not capaple of?
I’m certainly not dismissing zoom classes, what would we have done without zoom this last year? Zoom has been a lifeline to many people living on their own and those having to self isolate. It’s enabled me to keep working when many have lost their jobs or are not able to work from home. So many classes are now online and those who hadn’t tried it during the first wave are admitting that it’s better than they thought it would be. A bonus for me is now adding a very large screen to my laptop. This enables me to see you more clearly and to be able to give cues and adjustments where necessary. Perhaps not what you want to hear but I.t honestly does help. For those who turn off their cameras, give a thought to safety. It helps to be able to see you and correct anyone who may be doing something dangerous. It also adds more of a community feeling to the class. So, if you’re still a sceptic, why not give it a go- for the time being at least. Until we all meet again at the village hall, masked or unmasked, distanced and limited in quantity or close together on our mats, greeting and chatting as we once did.