Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Power of Skype

I'm surprised myself to be saying this, but I really enjoy teaching yoga and meditation over Skype. I thought that FaceTime, and all the video calling software, could be good for a meeting or a conversation with friends far away, but with students now in different places to where I am, I had to try it…

The first time I carried out a little test with a friend doing a mindfulness exercise. I remember his face going red when I told him that he was doing the exercise correctly... he said, how do you know that?! I promised him that I couldn't read his mind, I could just tell when he had his attention in his sitting bones...

Despite this, I avoided Skype because I didn't think it was possible to be really present with a student, that I would be able to see them or they would be able to see me. But time after time, it is confirmed to me that this happens, I feel a complete connection with students and trainees, that enables me to see what they are doing... energetically, not just visually. I can make suggestions that work for them and I get their immediate feedback. I can also see myself, which is interesting as I have never worked in a yoga studio with mirrors... I actually see what I'm demonstrating and this helps me demonstrate more effectively.

Most importantly, students tell me that they forget that we're not in the same room… there is something magical that happens.

I can't say how it works… perhaps as I can't say how yoga and meditation heal… but it is something that makes things possible, which is what technology is supposed to be about, after all.

In memory of Mariano who passed away this month. He created with his family Parco Jalari, my first retreat place in Sicily, with these sculptures that he worked tirelessly to carve from the rock of the mountain that Jalari stands on, which have moved, inspired and healed visitors over the many years since the park opened. Mariano taught me to use everything at my disposal to be creative, to listen, and let go of the fear of making mistakes...

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