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Next Phase of Online Yoga Classes Gets Interactive and Personal, Virtually

in YD News

yoogaia

First interactive online yoga class? They’re doing it in Finland, and they’re ready to launch it worldwide. Yoogaia is the company looking to bring interactive yoga classes, not pre-recorded, but live classes like doing a webchat or skype, to people in their homes all over the world. While no one has been able to figure out the hologram yoga classes we’ve been expecting for years, this may be the next closest thing.

Yoogaia, a Finnish company founded October 2013, has been providing their interactive classes online to the public since January 2014. In order to bring classes to English-speaking students, they launched a crowdfunding campaign over the summer, raising 192,172 euro (roughly $216,500 US dollars).

They claim this method of at-home yoga will go mainstream, and they could be right. There are plenty of reasons people don’t go to yoga class: not enough time, not enough money, not wanting to take a gamble on a class they won’t like, not being close enough to any yoga studio in their area, etc. Online yoga has skyrocketed into a booming business with several legit options, besides resorting to the old YouTube machine for practice. How would interactive web yoga work?

Via the Yoogaia crowdfunding page:

All classes are live sessions that enable the instructor to comment the attendees’ practice on individual basis, provided they have allowed for the optional 2-way connection. There is no upper limit to the amount of participants on any given class, so everyone always fits in!

Essentially, the teachers can offer alignment instructions to particular students while they’re teaching. (FYI, students are only visible to the teacher, not to one another.) So far they offer 20 live classes a week with 25 attendants per class on average. Managing 25 tiny squares of yoga students on your computer screen already sounds like a lot to handle from the teacher’s perspective – it’s different from 25 live bodies in front of you that you can walk around and see – we’re not sure how an unlimited amount of students would work out.

Right now a one-month subscription costs 15 euros, about $19, and one year is 150 euros, which is about $190, kind of a huge deal if you’re used to paying almost that much for one month or two at a yoga studio. Of course, there are things you’ll miss out on not being at an actual studio space with other real live humans, like community, in-person instruction and the lingering aroma of body odor and tee tree oil, but still, it’s an interesting idea and a step beyond the standard of pre-recorded classes we’re used to now.

Get yourself one of those $400 fancy Siri mats and you’re all set for the yogapocalypse 2.0.

 What do you think? Would you prefer to practice at home with interactive classes?

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5 comments… add one
  • Deanna

    Ive been doing this for nearly 2 years. It’s not ideal, but I have people around the country that want to practice with me. It has only been for people I know, but I’ve been working to build a few more classes for new students.

  • VQ2

    “$400 fancy Siri mats and you’re all set for the yogapocalypse 2.0”

    I realize you are being facetious with that statement.
    I finally more or less got off my old blogsite, and onto a message board dedicated to at-home fitness (and at-home yoga). You would be surprised at the incidence of a comment in praise of the SmartMat despite its $$$$ cost.

    I guess inconspicuous consumption (preferably in the McMansion) is the new conspicuous consumption. No Lululemon-wearing necessary.

    Tell the advertising industry!

  • Yes, we’ve been doing it too since 2012.

    It may not replace having a physical Presence yet it brings a new dimensions to exploring the Practice.
    It also makes Sunrise classes accessible too for many parents of young children who may not have the resources to take early morning classes in a yoga studio, for those who live far away from a yoga class and also facilitates the organising if a family want to practice all together.

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