How We Try to Make Real Yoga Videos
The sages have long said that Yoga can be experienced but not described. So what’s a yoga teacher to do? Her only option is to slip into the Mystery and share her coordinates as clearly as possible. In actual fact, she is compelled to share; the Yoga wants her to do so. Way more important than her words or information is the quality of her inner connection as she shares.
The experience of Yoga is intimate and one on one. So, how do we create online yoga videos that have this tender live quality? Kira Ryder, President of Yoga Anytime, a new online yoga community, talks about how she and her team are playing with this challenge. She tackles the questions of how to capture the freshest expression of the yoga, the qualities necessary to be an effective yoga video teacher, the innovative design of the yoga show, and the unique experience of practicing at home with online yoga videos.
How do you make a good yoga video?
Kira: It’s actually really difficult. The camera exposes everything, so the temptation when filming can be to hide behind information or already road-tested sequences. The challenge is to film a live, shimmery experience of Yoga, which can be transformational for all involved. One of our teachers, Thorald Koren puts it very eloquently in his suggestion to, “Dare to suck.”
So in the process of choosing what content to film with a particular teacher, we all have to be willing to be on our most vulnerable cutting edge. Pre-filming, the dialogue with a teacher usually begins with, “What’s freshest for you right now?” It’s then our job to support, listen closely, and help hold the safe container in which magic might occur.
What gets shared most in any exchange is how we are. The more open, tuned, and fresh a teacher can be in the filming, the more chances of yoga occurring when the video is watched.
How do you go about finding teachers to teach on Yoga Anytime?
Kira: It feels like everything on the planet comes down to one on one relationship. So we begin with who we know or who we want to know because of a mystical mysterious attraction. We choose teachers who are brave enough to show up and share generously and spontaneously. Time with the teachings seems to humble one enough to trust what is coming through rather than what one might imagine is popular, so we lean towards teachers with at least 10 years experience, and many of our teachers have 20 years or much more. Making real yoga videos is intimate and intense and requires a lot of trust among the entire team, so we get guided pretty easily to the right people who have the capacity to be seen.
What inspired the creation of the yoga show?
Kira: When offering a diverse and large collection of yoga videos, it makes sense to look to and learn from those with the most experience in the presentation of content. So we took our cues from the master, television. Yoga is largely a personally driven business and what better way to showcase a teacher’s unique translation than through developing his/her own show or season?
Simultaneously, much like an on the ground teacher training or immersion, the format allows for a clear organization of the teachings around a theme and provides a structure in which a relationship can develop between the teacher and yogi at home. Within a season, we try our best to help each individual episode stand alone, without shying away from the intention of the collection.
Some shows that are more topic driven, like Anatomy for Yogis, or those that are centered around a style of practice, like The Vinyasa Show, lend themselves to having different host teachers each season. Then there are shows like “Prednisone-news.com” which offer the rare and valuable opportunity to get close to the heart of a particular teacher. We are in still right smack in the middle of learning about this format and loving it. We could be totally wrong about the whole thing.
What do you hope the Yoga Anytime community experiences while watching a yoga show?
Kira: Krishna is rumored to have said to Arjuna, “No learning can happen without love.” Our hope is that the show format helps yogis find teachers with whom they feel a deep connection so that the teachings can be clear. The show format invites a richer level of engagement with a teacher, their practice and practices. We like how the show allows a yogi to investigate the details. For example, in one episode a teacher might offer a 20-minute asana practice for energy and in another she might explain the Ayurvedic principles supporting this practice. She does not have to burden the practice with theory, while at the same time she has the room to get geeky. The home yogi can engage with the episodes that most suit her desires with a continual invitation to dive in more fully.
How is taking an online class different than taking a class in person?
Kira: Gathering with a group of people to practice is so sweet and supportive. I love the group energy of a class as a teacher and participant. Solo home practice is also its own wonderfully free, nourishing, magnificent and brutally revealing realm. Practice at home with online guidance can feel like you have the support of the community with the space and invitation to discover your own yoga.
Yoga Anytime has over 500 videos, publishing new content daily. The videos include practices, workshops, talks, conversations, tutorials, and teacher trainings on everything from anatomy and pose breakdowns to Sanskrit lessons and guided meditations to Vinyasa and Subtle Realm practices. Join them for 30 days free using code YOGAMAG or by clicking here.