With all that’s going on in our world today, we need to offer our yoga community new and innovative ways to maintain their practices and stay connected.
As you can imagine, many yoga teachers are beginning to offer online yoga classes via Zoom, a video conferencing platform that allows for live streaming for a virtual yoga practice. Through a Zoom meeting, yoga instructors are giving their students the live interaction they crave amid these times of social distancing.
And I am all about it.
I have been offering online 200-hour and 300/500-hour yoga teacher training programs for the past 5 years and I lead them through live calls through the Zoom app. All that you need is the Zoom app, a Zoom link to direct your students to the meeting, and access to a solid internet connection.
With that, you can lead online yoga classes from anywhere in the world (including your self-imposed quarantine).
As you begin your virtual teaching journey, I want to share my best practices for leading live classes so that you can start teaching online yoga classes too.
Once you have your Zoom account set up, follow these steps to navigate your way through live streaming your online yoga classes.
1. Test The Zoom Link
Email your students a test link ahead of time to test their connection and familiarize themselves with Zoom. This way, there is no time lost during the yoga class and you can begin at the scheduled start time.
2. Test Your Connection
Always test your connection before going live each time. As reliable as your internet provider may be, you’d be surprised how many issues pop up at the last minute, throwing your entire schedule off.
You can easily run your browser through a speed test or just click around a few web pages to make sure it’s working alright.
3. Open Your Room Early
Open your meeting 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time. Prior to starting your meeting, log on to Zoom and check for any software updates.
I like to open the app ahead of the start time just to make sure that my speakers and microphone are working, that my connection is stable, and that I’m in the right mind space to begin when the others join.
4. Select Speaker View
When you are ready to begin your meeting, ensure that your screen is on Speaker View and that all other participants are muted (option for you to mute all by clicking on “Manage Participants” and selecting “mute all”).
This is helpful for those who join late and sometimes do so noisily. It also helps keep the studio atmosphere, staying true to the mindfulness aspect of your yoga practice.
5. Invest in Quality Equipment
Even with the best online course platforms available, it’s still important to invest in a few tools to make the learning experience as best as it can be for your students. Consider investing in a quality webcam and wireless microphone to create a quality, high-touch experience for your audience. I use Logitech Webcam and Samson Microphone.
If you plan to move through the asana practice with your students as you teach yoga, then a wearable microphone will significantly improve the experience for both you as the instructor and for the students.
While these tools aren’t absolutely necessary, it will certainly make the entire experience better for your students. There is nothing worse than having to step off your yoga mat to turn up the volume or double-check what yoga postures are being called out simply because the sound is good.
6. Create A High-Touch Experience
Balance the use of visual demonstration and verbal cueing, just as you would in a studio class. When students are holding postures, switch your view from Speaker View to Gallery View so can observe and offer personalized cues.
In restorative yoga or hatha yoga, for example, you might take the time to guide their attention or breath. With more technical yoga styles, like Iyengar yoga or Ashtanga yoga, it’s super important to check on their alignment. Just like you would in regular classes, check in on your students throughout the duration of the class time.
7. Build a Reusable Product
Record your Live classes and create reusable digital assets for your business now and moving forward. By recording your Zoom meeting (aka online yoga class), you not only allow yourself to observe the flow and learn how to improve your skills as an online yoga instructor, but you also give yourself the opportunity to offer that class again, even when you’re not there.
Some of my most lucrative work comes from offering yoga and meditation classes via yoga videos that anyone can join, even if they’re not live.
I’ve also recorded many live classes in my online teacher training courses about the different types of yoga, the Yoga Sutras, and other yoga lessons that are not necessarily asana practice just so that I can offer this valuable information to students later on.
Anything teachable can be made into videos if you have the right tools 🙂
Technology and online offerings have made it possible to practice physical distancing without having to sacrifice our basic human need for social interaction. After all, a community is there to connect with and not necessarily physically.
So let’s aim to practice physical distancing instead of social, keeping our communities in touch and continuing to be the leaders and healers they need in these unsettling and often isolating times.
While our current state of the world and the spread of Coronavirus has created an immediate need for offering online yoga and meditation classes, this isn’t a trend that will die down once the virus is sorted. This trend is here to stay, so it’s best to start now and grow your yoga instructor brand online over the years to come.
The best part?
This applies to all niches within the health and wellness industry. You can schedule workouts as a private fitness trainer, coaching sessions for general health and well-being, live streaming for teacher training courses, and even create a virtual yoga studio if you’d like.
This is no longer the way of the future. It is happening now and it’s easier than ever to do it.