Student Online Participation Guide


We are excited that you will be participating in our online class!

Thank you for joining us!

We work hard at the Yoga Well Institute to maintain the intimacy of personal connection that comes from being together in the same room, while at the same time utilizing the advantages and convenience of technology. Even though the experience of an online class differs from the experience of an in-person class we feel online classes offer a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community and explore the amazing teachings of yoga.

We utilize a variety of tools to keep students, teachers and faculty connected, both during and in between classes. Two of the most important tools are Ryver (pronounced River) and the Yoga Well Institute’s Student PortalBe sure to register for these important tools. There are links for both tools in the Welcome Email which was sent the day you signed up for class. For more on Ryver check out our Ryver Guide.

In order to help you get the most out of our online time together, here are some ideas about what you can expect as well as a few tips and directions.

Preparing for Class


We strongly recommend adding the dates and times of the classes to your calendar or scheduling tool. These are listed in your Welcome Email.

If you are unable to attend the live class, it is extremely helpful to set the day and time you plan to watch the recordings every week and put that on your schedule. Without committing to a set time/day some find that the week goes by without watching the video. If that happens several weeks in a row, one can easily find that they’re quite a few weeks behind.

Attending Class

You are encouraged to attend live classes. And even if you are rarely able to attend live and usually only watch the videos, you are always welcome in the live classes. Even if you’re several weeks behind in course material, we ALWAYS recommend attending any and all the live classes that you can.

Don’t wait until you’re caught up to start attending the live classes again. Start attending the live classes when you can and get caught up later as you’re able.

What To Bring / Wear

Some of our classes are practice-oriented (Yoga for Meditation, etc.) and some are theory-oriented (Patañjali’s Yogasūtra, The Application of Yoga, Embodying Ayurveda, etc.).

For practice-oriented classes, we recommend wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that allow you to move easily. Be in a space where you can be focused, that is free from distractions and where you can move easily in all directions (we often do standing, lying and seated postures). Bring a mat if you prefer practicing on a mat, and definitely bring something that will allow you to sit comfortably for 10-20 minutes. If a chair is the most comfortable seated position, by all means, sit in a chair! If you prefer a block, cushion or bolster, please have one nearby to sit on.

For theory-oriented classes, be in a space where you can focus with minimal distractions, bring a notebook and something to take notes with.

Logging In

We recommend that you plan to be available 5-10 minutes prior to class so that you can ensure all of the technology is working for you

  • Log into the Yoga Well Institute Student Portal
    • Click on the class you’re wanting to attend live
      • From the menu along the left, scroll all the way to the top
      • Navigate to the item called CURRENT CLASS INVITE
    • There will be a link you can click on that will automatically open Zoom with the meeting ID and password filled in
    • If this link does not work
      • In a new tab in your browser, go to www.zoom.us
      • Choose “Join A Meeting”
      • Enter the meeting number and password from the CURRENT CLASS INVITE page in your Student Portal

If you wish to join by dialing in via phone, follow the instructions above to locate the CURRENT CLASS INVITE, and then dial the number listed there.

We recommended joining via video chat as there are more features available and having the teacher and other students visually in front of you can improve your connection to the instruction.

Important, the class invite information will change on the first of each month. To access the current information you will need to follow the instructions above. For this reason, we recommend that you not save this information elsewhere, rather log into your student portal each week.

During Class

Video Camera

All classes are recorded live and the videos are made available for students to watch later on the Student Portal. If you do not wish to be seen or recorded on camera, please turn your camera off within Zoom.

Muting Your Microphone

During the class, in order to minimize background noise, please keep your microphone on mute unless speaking to the class.

Starting On Time

Classes usually begins promptly on time.

Vedic Chanting

Most of our classes will begin and end by chanting an invocation in Sanskrit. This is a traditional way of honoring the sources of yoga teachings and remembering all those who made our studies possible through their hard work and dedication to the teachings.

If you’ve never chanted before, don’t worry! Simply sit still, close your eyes and allow the sounds of the chant to wash over you. There is no need to participate if you prefer not to or do not know the chant.

Active Participation

Viniyoga is a highly personalized Tradition and teaching it in a group online forum depends on active participation from class participants! We very much appreciate your questions and comments during class. This helps our Teachers to tailor the content of the class to the interests of the participants and allows us to apply it in ways that will be most useful and interesting to you as a student.

To make a comment or ask a question, you can “raise your hand” virtually which will let the teacher know you want to speak and they can call on you at the appropriate moment. Here is how to virtually Raise your Hand:

  • At the bottom of the Zoom window in which the class is being taught
  • Click on the word ‘Participants.’
    • A column with the names of the participants will open on the right-hand side of the window.
  • Find your name and click on it
    • Several options will arise including “Raise Your Hand”
    • Click on Raise Your Hand

To support this interaction, throughout the live sessions, the Teacher will pause to take questions & comments from class participants.

If there are no questions, the Teacher will call on someone to initiate conversation. No pressure is intended by this and you are always welcome to pass, say ‘no comment,’ etc. Even if you do not have a question when you get called on, we encourage you to share the thoughts you may be having. For instance, “what we just covered made me think of….” So many interesting & useful subtopics have been uncovered with comments like these! Comments can be simple and/or only loosely related to the topic. The goal is to encourage active participation to give everyone a feeling of connection.

The Teacher may reference an article, resource or handout during the class. These will be posted to your Student Portal and a link shared via Ryver. 

After Class

Should you wish to rewatch a class or happen to miss one and want to catch up, recorded classes are available in your Student Portal within 48 hours of the end of the live class.

Classes are organized by month. So long as you remain actively enrolled in a class you will have access to past recordings. The videos are not available for download but can be viewed from within your Student Portal only.


It is very important for us to hear from you about your experiences in class, and about how these classes are impacting your life. This feedback is important for our continued growth, especially our learning about how to make these classes a better experience & more valuable for participants.

If you have suggestions, comments, recommended improvements or (especially) complaints, please email them to TheWell.

Student Liaison

We are absolutely committed to providing an environment where our students feel safe and supported. In case you have feedback that you aren’t comfortable sharing with us directly, for instance, a conflict or concern, we invite you to please contact our Student Liaison. They are an expert and confidential resource for helping any of our students navigate issues that may arise in their relationship with their mentor or with the institute itself. You can email them directly to request a meeting. Our full Code of Ethics is posted here to read.

1:1 Mentorship

The Yoga Well Institute teaches the tradition of Viniyoga as passed on by Mr. TKV Desikachar. We hold that a personal relationship with a teacher is absolutely necessary for implementing yoga in one’s life in a deep way. And it is the role of the teacher to understand the student and then guide them in establishing a personal practice.

We think that mentorship is so important that we are happy to help any student get connected with a personal teacher. If you are interested in being introduced to a mentor, please sign up for a free, 30-minute mentor discussion. We’ll ask questions about your yoga journey, what your needs and interests are, and then will facilitate an introduction to a mentor suited to you. It’s then up to you and the mentor to determine if it’s a good fit, no pressure, no obligations.

If you would like to learn more you can explore that here, if you’re interested in taking advantage of our Mentor Matching service, click here to schedule a session with our Director and get started.


Please see our financial policies and instructions for the cancellation outlined here.