Staying in shape
LindaGrace Frost teaches Gentle Yoga on Zoom for Senior Coastsiders. Photo courtesy Senior Coastsiders

My first name is LindaGrace and my last name is Frost. Before the pandemic, I was teaching Gentle Stretch Yoga at Senior Coastsiders.

I'm high risk because of a lung injury years ago, so I've been mostly staying home. I go out grocery shopping about every two weeks; I've also been to the pharmacy and to the post office.

It's lonely. I'm glad I have my cat, but most of the people that I live near don't wear masks, so I feel like I have to really step back. All of my visiting and communication with people has been by phone and Zoom, which is an absolute miracle because you never would have convinced me, even at the beginning of March, that I would be hanging out so much with my computer.

When everything shut down, I got a call from Senior Coastsiders Program Manager Hope Atmore saying, “We're not going to be able to have classes inside the building anymore. Would you consider doing your classes on Zoom?”

I remember saying, “Oh no! I'll just wait until we can all be back together.”

And then in the middle of May, Atmore called me on the phone and said, “I want you to be teaching your Gentle Yoga classes starting next Monday.”

I had never hosted Zoom before. I had to have my virtual hand held the entire time. Hope set me up and I followed her instructions, and now I'm teaching three classes a week through the Senior Center’s professional Zoom account.

Gentle Yoga classes are at 11 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I chose that time because the light is better in my house. I never had to worry about that before. Wise Woman Yoga class is at 6 on Monday evenings for women in peri-menopause, menopause and beyond.

What’s challenging is that I've never taught a class in my home. I had to figure out where in my house to do this; where is the light best; where is there not a bunch of stuff in the background; how far away from the screen should I be; how loud do I need to speak; and what am I going to offer that students can do safely without me in the room?

Now we're on a Zoom gallery screen, so I can see everyone and I am asking, “Beth, how is that for your knees?” “Nancy, how is that for your hip?”

I'm used to having a very interactive class, and so it's difficult being unable to have an immediate interaction, or see what's going on and make corrections. I think a lot about what to present so I can offer a meaningful class that will help participants with their daily activities — especially now that they're not doing most of their daily activities.

I just have to make sure that everything is turned off at home so there won't be beeping and clicking — and to feed my cat beforehand so she doesn't meow through the class.

Another difficulty and a sad thing for me is that I can't play music while I'm teaching class because Zoom can't have two sources of sound at the same time, or it just makes a clipping, choppy sound. I’m exploring to see if there is a way to do that. The result is that I’m building an awful lot of new neural pathways in my brain, which is a good thing!

I’ve tried to explain to people what it was like for me to be learning all these new tech things so quickly. It was like being out in the wilderness for 50 years and then suddenly coming into civilization. People are nice and want to help.

It’s the same as if someone said, “You’re going to need transportation,” then showed me a diagram of the inside of a car explaining, “Here are the brakes, here’s the steering wheel, here’s how you adjust the seat, and here are the keys. The car is in the driveway. Now go have fun!” And I turned to them and asked, “What’s a car?”

And yet, here I am. It's really weird for a terminally tech-resistant individual like myself!

LindaGrace Frost teaches yoga at Senior Coastsiders — by computer from her home.

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