passion, expression, and online yoga instruction
Grokker Inc., a video network full of experts in Yoga, Fitness, and Cooking, has recently fostered a great sense of community and an exchange of ideas for artists in various fields. Writer and Yogini Roxanne Naseem Rashedi recently had the opportunity to chat with the Yoga Category Manager of Grokker Inc., Morgan Levay. Together, they discussed Levay’s yogic path, teaching and the relatively recent launch of Grokker Inc.
Roxanne Rashedi: When did you first become interested in yoga? Tell us about your path.
Morgan Levay: Yoga is a form of expression for me. When I first discovered the practice of bringing mind and body into union with the breath, it brought me into this moment to moment experience that I could immediately engage with. It allowed me to look in and let go.
RR: How is it expression?
Morgan Levay: It’s like voicing your experience through movement. I’m a very somatic person. I could observe this inner oscillation, a deep fluctuation at the very source of my embodiment. Yoga taught me that everything is in a constant state of transformation. The more I can express that inner realm, in all its turbulence, the more I can grow both on and off the mat.
RR: How did you become involved with Grokker Inc.? What is the company’s mission?
Morgan Levay: Lorna’s vision arose from a passion to learn and be transformed by knowledge. She admired the wisdom in my classes and snuck up on me one day after class. She asked me to film for her, but the role slowly transformed from one of expert, to leading content development, video production, and product features.
RR: Why the name Grokker?
Morgan Levay: It’s from a Heilein novel called Stranger in a Strange Land. Our founder is a huge geek! To Grok meant “to completely share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity.”
RR: Do you think Grokker lives up to its “definition” so to speak?
Morgan Levay: We definitely try our very best to fulfill our mission.
RR: And what is your mission? What does Grokker offer?
Morgan Levay: Grokker offers expert guided education through high quality video. We film a handful of the best Bay Area teachers and create premium yoga videos. We also film executive chefs and fitness trainers from the bay area and beyond. We want to create an international platform for high-quality education.
RR: Why create an international platform?
Morgan Levay: We want our viewers to stream anytime, anywhere. Ideally, we want our viewers to follow their passions and empower themselves with knowledge.
RR: What types of resources does Grokker provide for viewers?
Morgan Levay: So far, we provide three categories: cooking, fitness, and yoga. Viewers can search premium videos on all these topics and find recipes, workout regimes, and yoga classes.
RR: And do viewers subscribe to a membership?
Morgan Levay: Currently, everything is free. We are in the process of adding a subscription wall, but we will still offer an ample library of free videos, and viewers will still be able to search any topic within our categories and discover experts in the field.
RR: Do you see any drawbacks to video classes?
Morgan Levay: For one, viewers do not have access to hands-on adjustments, which are critical in developing body awareness. Grokker can’t exactly offer that, but what we lack in real-time feedback, we certainly make up in clear anatomical instruction and demonstration. You can understand the shape of the postures, both visually and with cues.
RR: Why online video? What are the benefits?
Morgan Levay: Viewers can tailor their classes to their needs. As a yoga instructor, I find that if I teach to the majority, I’m almost always leaving behind a few students in the momentum or creating a competitive environment with apex postures. In yoga, we aim to overcome the ego. This isn’t possible if students are constantly comparing themselves with others. We all know the students who leave class feeling marginalized or even injured.
RR: And online instruction lessens these feelings?
Morgan Levay: It definitely decreases the chances of ego and comparison. Online instruction allows viewers to decide what they are looking for.
RR: If you could tell one thing to Grokker viewers, what would it be?
Morgan Levay: I’d encourage students to utilize Grokker videos to improve their life quality and depth of knowledge. Online video shouldn’t replace the studio experience, but it can definitely assist you in taking care of your body or bringing your practice to the next level. It answers the question “what is yoga” for everyone who wants to know, which is wonderful. I’d encourage them to walk the middle bath and find what’s right for them.