Many Pilates and Yoga teachers are going to Zoom to live stream their classes. If you haven't joined one yet or are a bit intimidated by the technology, this quick guide should help you get started.
First of all, what is Zoom and why is it better than Facebook Live or following a recorded video?
Zoom allows the teacher to see you and give corrections when necessary (that depends on how your camera is set up, which we will get to in a moment). You can also choose to see everyone else attending the Zoom session (gallery view), giving you the feeling that you're attending a class together. Or you can choose to focus on the teacher ('Speaker View' or 'Pin Video').
Do I need to download anything ahead of time?
If you're using a laptop, a software will download automatically when you join your first session. If you're using a tablet or phone, you will need to download the Zoom app ahead of time.
How to set up your camera for the session?
To get the most out of the session online, you want to set your camera up so your teacher can see you properly. I am sure each teacher will have a preference but most Pilates or Yoga teachers would prefer to see you side on, i.e. the long end of the mat facing the camera. If that is not possible, a slight diagonal view with the camera higher up could help too. Just do not have your feet or head to the camera. We as teachers have a very limited view that way.
Getting the camera far away enough to see your full body standing is difficult, so ask your teacher what they prefer to see. I personally prefer to see a person's torso and pelvis if I cannot see their full body.
How to choose between Speaker view and Gallery View?
Zoom automatically sets you up for Speaker View when you join a session. This means that you can only see the person who is speaking, handy if the teacher is the only one speaking but might be difficult if anyone has other family members or children walking around and speaking in the background. To make this work, you can either (a) right-click and pin your teacher's screen or (b) your teacher can mute everyone and 'spotlight' her video.
To see everyone in Gallery View, go to the right upper corner and click on Speaker View, it will change to Gallery View when you do that. If you're on a tablet, that option is on your left lower corner. On a phone, you can swap left or right.
Problems loading the video or audio?
First of all, if you're on a tablet, check your audio and privacy settings to make sure you have given the app permission to use your camera and microphone. If you suspect it's an internet issue, try to make sure no one else in your home is streaming or downloading anything else. One of my clients had problems with the video and resolved it by telling her husband to turn the football off! If all fails, log off and sign in again.
I hope this gives you enough information to get the most of your Zoom session. Once you have done your first class it will all become second nature.
Gina Leung, ante and postnatal Pilates teacher