When I was asked to film with Yoga Anytime for the first time in 2016, I was honored, and I was horrified. I immediately signed-up for a challenging yoga class that night to try to get into “filming shape” and pulled one of my translations of the Bhagavad Gita from my bookshelf so I could be in tip-top "yoga philosophy shape" (as if that was a thing). As my Type A personality would have it, I began to plan the next three months of my life leading up to filming—hair, yoga costumes, pedicure, sequences, talking points, promotion plan, you name it. In the months that followed, I had a range of thoughts and emotions mostly along the lines of, “You’re not good enough” and “Who are you to teach among these amazing teachers?” Luckily, I had two of the best mentors in the biz that kept it real and I finally realized: yoga filming has absolutely nothing to do with me; it’s all about the Yoga.
Here are some dos and don’ts that I’ve learned along the way, both in filming and in experiencing other teachers who have filmed with Yoga Anytime.
Don’t: Underestimate Stamina
Imagine teaching a class and breaking down a chaturanga and then times that by one million. I didn’t quite realize how hard it was to talk and move at the same time for 45-minutes while doing a bunch of sun salutations and trying to smile and not swear during eka pada koundinyasana. Take good care of your body leading up to filming and practice teaching your sequences while cueing beforehand.
This was an invaluable piece of advice from my teacher and mentor, Kira Sloane. Clear your schedule the day before and allow yourself the time to drop into the teachings and the entire experience. It can be a beautifully transformative time if you do. Book a massage for the day after filming if you can.
Don’t: Make It About You
Every time I film, I always remind myself of the nugget of wisdom that fellow Yoga Anytime teacher, Alana Mitnick, bestowed upon me: “I hope this helps someone.” This mantra serves as a helpful reminder that sharing yoga practices isn’t about me. It isn’t about the way I look, whether my yoga costume looks fabulous, or if my sequences are perfectly executed. This is about sharing the teachings of yoga and what hopefully translates into an experience of yoga for the home yogi. If one person feels better as a result of my online yoga class, then I have succeeded.
Do: Trust Your Team
I’m kidding, but you may end up on our seasonal blooper reel if you do.
Do: Mess Up
One of my favorite things about the yoga practice is that it is a practice. It’s not meant to be a highly rehearsed performance or a highly produced and edited bit. When you can show up as you—flaws and all—others can’t help but relate. And, as with most filming, we do still have that one magical word: “CUT.”
At the end of the day making yoga videos is about sharing the translations of yoga effectively through a crazy new medium that we are all still trying to navigate. The response thus far, the connections made across the globe, and that one comment on a class that says something like, “Thanks for making my day a little better,” make it all worth it.