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Tech Gadgets in Class

by Marianne Navada

We interviewed yoga teachers and how they deal with tech gadgets during class, such as cell phones and smart watches.  Here’s what they have to say:

Preventive

Make it a part of the check-in process

Some first-time students might not be aware of the non cell phone use in class, and it’s good to tell students before they even enter the room.

When students check in, this is the time to welcome them to the studio, indicate which props will be used for class if any, and tell them that cell phones are not allowed in the classroom. This can be quite redundant given that there are signs in the studio that the place is a “cell phone free zone”, but it helps.

Remind students during the opening greeting that part of yoga is being present and that means letting go of checking your phone.

Make resisting the urge to check their phones a part of the challenge.

During Class

I let go and ignore it during class. I feel that it distracts from the rest of the practice if I talk to someone even if I do it quietly. I do talk to the student after class just to remind them of my cell phone policy.
Approach the person discreetly. One person checking their messages can be distracting, so I make sure to come up to the student and remind them quietly and respectfully to stop using their phone.
My Story as a Student

I’ve practiced yoga wherein people next to me were either checking their messages on their watches, checking social media, or taking videos of themselves practicing. If people are just checking content on their devices, I tend to ignore it, but I remember when the person in front of me propped up her phone on the wall and started taking a video of herself and saw that I was in it. I just moved my mat so I won’t be in the frame, but I did feel the need to tell the teacher after class about the incident.

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