Proceedings: GI 2015

Synchronous yoga and meditation over distance using video chat

Reese Muntean , Carman Neustaedter , Kate Hennessy

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3 - 5 June 2015, 187-194

DOI 10.20380/GI2015.24

  • Bibtex

    @inproceedings{Muntean:2015:10.20380/GI2015.24,
    author = {Muntean, Reese and Neustaedter, Carman and Hennessy, Kate},
    title = {Synchronous yoga and meditation over distance using video chat},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015},
    series = {GI 2015},
    year = {2015},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4822-6003-8},
    location = {Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada},
    pages = {187--194},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2015.24},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    }

Abstract

Community and social relationships are an important part of yoga and meditation despite the fact that they are commonly perceived as solitary activities. Family members and loved ones often share activities and experiences over video chat technology to sustain their relationships across distance, and we wondered if similar technology could allow for yoga and meditation partners to share their practice remotely. In our study, sixteen participants completed yoga and meditation sessions over distance and participated in semi-structured interviews about their experience. Our results show that video chat can support synchronous yoga and meditation over distance through seeing and hearing one's remote partner. Both video and audio play an important role in creating a sense of remote presence. Yet there are space issues, camera challenges, and issues with a lack of touch for instructional purposes. Future video chat systems for synchronous yoga should consider ways to improve these issues while balancing the need to keep technology in the background.