Easy steps to take your yoga classes online during COVID-19 and beyond
COVID-19 has turned almost everyone’s lives upside down and has seen many teachers taking their yoga classes online. Our businesses have been seriously affected by the closure of businesses and strict social distancing across the world.
However, you can minimise the loss in your business and continue to support your students when they need you the most by taking your yoga classes online!
Perhaps the studios you teach at have closed their doors, maybe your whole city is completely shut down or you are considering cancelling your classes to keep you and your students safe. You may already have a loyal community of students who practice with you every week and you want to continue to teach them.
Taking your classes online is the logical solution
You can maintain a strong relationship with your students and they can continue to stay healthy by practising with you.
Right now health is on people’s minds. A lot of people are scared and fearful about the future.
Yoga has the power to turn that fear into love!
Yoga can break down the fears and minimise people’s stress, fear and anxiety in these unprecedented times by taking your yoga classes online.
The world really needs yoga more than ever right now
This is YOUR opportunity to step up and to SERVE.
And this is not only for your existing students but also to encourage people who have been following for a while and don’t have access to a studio or people who live somewhere else and they can’t attend your studio classes to come over and practice with you online.
The beauty is that you can reach people all over the world by taking your yoga classes online! You can help and serve more people and make a bigger impact on people’s lives with your message and your teaching.
This is a beautiful thing!
Let’s not get stuck in the rabbit hole of fear that classes are being cancelled and studios are closing. Instead, let’s take our focus to the fact that we can make a bigger impact by taking our yoga classes from the safety of our home.
There will be all sorts of fears that come up around this. Fears of being visible, fears of being in front of a camera, fears of thinking we’re not expert enough to do this.
But right now we have to make our message much bigger than our fear
This is just an online classroom right, you teach in front of your students in a studio room. We’re just switching the environment, so it’s nothing to be fearful about. Let’s embrace it and see this as an opportunity.
There are 3 key steps you need to take to make it super easy for you to take your yoga classes online.
So take action today and you can get your classes live this week!
Let’s address this one first because this is probably where you’re feeling the most stuck and overwhelmed when it comes to taking your yoga classes online.
There are lots of options available when it comes to streaming yoga classes online. But let’s keep it super simple by talking about 3 options.
The first option is Zoom which you’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about recently. Zoom is booming right now! They have had a huge spike in their number of users unsurprisingly.
You will need to pay for this. There is a free version but it limits you to just 40 minutes of streaming in a group and you will need longer than that. It costs $14.99 a month which will give you access to all the features you will need. Plus you will be able to see and communicate with your students which is great for 1-1 private classes.
Zoom also allows you to record the live stream which is important for being able to re-purpose the video afterward.
The next option is to use a Facebook Group and to go live inside that group.
This is a fantastic option because people are already on Facebook, it is familiar and you won’t need to ask your students to use a new platform they may be unfamiliar with. This keeps the tech learning curve low for everyone! Having classes inside a group also offers a sense of community between your students.
In times like this where we’re dealing with social distancing, community is key!
Your regular students can all continue to be in touch with one another. This is powerful because everyone is supporting each other and continuing to come together when it is most needed.
The third option is to set up your own online school using a platform such as Teachable*.
Teachable is perfect for pre-recorded videos, not live-streamed classes. This is especially a good option if you want to create your own online course or membership site. If teaching online for the foreseeable future is on your radar and you want to create and launch your own online yoga course or membership then this is a great option.
*This is an affiliate link – Digital Yoga Academy 100% recommends Teachable, it’s the platform that DYA uses to host our programs.
Are you teaching private 1-1 online yoga classes? Are you teaching group classes? Perhaps it’s both?
You need to decide what your package is because that’s what you’ll share and promote. If you are a private yoga teacher you’re going to offer this via Zoom and provide the link to your private client for them to join you inside your Zoom room.
If you teach group classes then you have a couple of options:
Promote each yoga class you’ll be streaming online and set up a couple of ways for people to pay. This can be a link or you can set up a shop on your site if say you’re using WordPress with Woo Commerce.
If you have software like Mind Body your students can pay through that. Once your students have paid you can send them the Zoom link.
Create a monthly package for your existing students that is hosted inside a Facebook Group. Once your students have paid for the month they can enter the group.
This way you don’t need to worry about who has paid and who hasn’t. They get access to the group and all your live streams inside the group, which they can also access as replays. This also allows your students to continue to be a part of a community outside of class.
You decide what the package is going to be- do you teach one a week or daily, maybe some days are guided mediations or certain days are certain themes. You can get creative and really add value to that package!
If you teach in a studio and don’t run your own classes the challenge is that you might not have direct communication with your students. You might not even have their email addresses! But perhaps they follow you on social media. You want to make your package super appealing to encourage those students to come and practice with you directly.
Perhaps you can work with the studio where you teach to take your yoga classes online. Your studio might already be looking into online options so chat with then about this and look at how you can collaborate to ensure your students are still being served.
Think carefully about your offer and decide clearly what it is so that you can communicate it with clarity.
Whatever you decide to offer, make sure that you send students who have signed up and paid an online waiver. This could be a form that you set up in Google Forms or Survey Monkey. You need them to sign that they accept responsibility for themselves and any injuries.
To create, stream and record your classes, you need three essential elements.
To record your content you need a way to film, lighting and clear audio. These three elements don’t have to be complicated! You can embrace DIY and set up a home studio yourself and still create a professional-looking class.
You can use your laptop or phone to record videos, you don’t need to go out and buy an expensive video camera. You just want to make sure you can keep your computer or phone upright and elevated. This can be done with a stack of books or a tripod to make sure it is eye level. You can purchase a tripod from Amazon for around $10 to $20.
If you are using your laptop to pre-record videos for Teachable you can use Quicktime or iMovie on your Mac or Movie Creator on PC and record yourself using these programs. Otherwise, you can use the webcam on your laptop to stream into a Facebook Group or Zoom.
You will want to consider light for your DIY studio. Set up your space in a room with as much natural light as possible. This might mean recording in a room in the morning or the evening depending on when the light is the best.
For lighting streamed classes you should consider investing in a lightbox. It doesn’t need to be expensive! Lightbox kits are readily available on Amazon and eBay for around $40.
A softbox lighting studio kit includes lightboxes, a lamp and the tripods to attach it to. Set it all up in your room and you’re ready to go!
Don’t forget to consider your background. If you have busy wallpaper use a plain sheet or ideally a plain wall so there is less distraction for the viewer.
First up, you want it to be quiet. You can use pillows and blankets around the bottom of the doors and windows to block out any background noise.
In terms of sound quality, you really don’t need to spend too much at all. You can get a decent mic for about $50-$100.
You plug the mic into your computer or phone. There are others like the Blue Yeti that you can set up straight in front of you and connect to your device via Bluetooth.
Background music is not recommended for streaming into Facebook because the platform will recognise the music and your live video will be removed for copyright purposes. It is also distracting for your viewers, they need to be able to hear you clearly.
Getting this equipment doesn’t have to break the bank. Sometimes we think this equipment is more expensive than it really is. If you’re just starting out you do not need to spend hundreds whatsoever.
Make sure there are no distractions happening around you when you are streaming or recording. Let your family or housemates know what’s going on and not to walk in where you’re filming.
If you don’t have a suitable area for filming say if you’re in a small flat see if you can pull a favour from a friend. See if you can use their space a few times a week or just record a bunch of classes at once to upload to a platform like Teachable.
This is the perfect time to take your yoga classes online and share your teachings with people around the world!
Creating an online yoga course is the next step. It requires more work to fully understand what your course should be, how to go about creating it and how to build up a global audience to launch it to. But online yoga courses are a highly feasible business model for yoga teachers!
So use the opportunity to get your feet wet with teaching yoga online and see where your online yoga business journey takes you!