The COVID-19 crisis has changed everyone’s lives overnight, and its impacts are felt on a global scale. As yoga teachers worldwide make the transition to hosting virtual yoga classes online, it’s essential to do it well.
Thriving in an environment with such fierce competition takes patience and careful planning.
Whether you plan on streaming or recording your yoga classes, focusing on the quality of your offering should be a priority.
In this article, we’ll go over the best practices for hosting virtual yoga classes.
Choose a Niche
With thousands of yoga teachers hosting virtual classes, it’s crucial to define your niche. Think about what and who you want to teach. It will help you create quality, specialized content and give you a direction in which you need to focus your marketing efforts.
For example, do you want to teach future yoga teachers? Would you like to teach children or adult students? How about incorporating something unique in your classes?
If you aren’t sure what your unique angle should be, asking your existing students for feedback is an excellent place to start. Doing a bit of market research to define the gaps and discover opportunities for effectively differentiating your classes is also a good idea.
A quick Google or Quora search will give you a ton of yoga teaching examples and questions from people who want to learn. Ubersuggest is another excellent tool you can use to research the most popular search terms on Google.
Bulldog Online is a superb example of a distinguished niche. The platform offers energetic, fun, fitness-fueled yoga classes.
Finding your niche should be your starting point.
Make a note of all the various yoga schools out there. Write down what they teach, what potential students are looking for, and see if you can find a gap to fill in with your classes.
Pick a Business Model
Once you’ve chosen your specialty, you need to select a business model that works best for you. There are several types of business models for yoga teachers, and the most popular ones include:
- Pay-Per-Class: The most straightforward business model is Pay-Per-Class, where students pay a flat fee to attend an individual session. It is a good practice to include in your offer. However, on its own, it doesn’t offer the flexibility most yoga students need.
- Membership: With the subscription or membership model, students pay a monthly fee to access all of your sessions. It requires creating an exclusive member’s area on your platform where paying students can access premium content.
- “Hybrid Option” or a multi-tiered subscription: Some streaming platforms like Uscreen offer multi-tiered subscription models. They allow you to provide specific content for a fee (like pre-recorded classes) and include super-premium content (let’s say live courses) in a higher tier.
Many yoga studios include on-demand videos in their business model and offer a wide array of joining opportunities for students.
Boston Yoga Union is a brick-and-mortar yoga studio that offers exclusive on-demand video classes for paying subscribers.
If you choose a platform that allows you to record and save your live-streaming classes, you can create several different subscription and payment options.
Create a Perfect Recording Setup
Where and how you choose to stream your yoga classes can mean a world of difference. Some of the most critical aspects of an ideal yoga teaching setup include:
If you want to teach yoga online, the background of your recording setup should be spacious, clean, and free of clutter. Successful yoga teachers usually choose either soothing indoor sets or record outside with gorgeous landscapes behind them.
Humming Puppy gives an excellent example of using a relaxing indoor background that incorporates their classes perfectly.
Light walls are perfect for creating a clean, airy look. However, a dark background with “yoga objects” in the frame and good lighting also works well.
It’s essential to make sure the light isn’t behind you when you shoot. It floods the camera sensors and makes you look like a silhouette. For this reason, yoga teachers usually don’t teach with a window frame behind them unless they are positive the light won’t disrupt the shot.
Natural light can look amazing if you’re opposite a window.
Practice With Clara Roberts uses natural light in many of the sessions, allowing her to create amazing videos.
In yoga, teachers turn a lot, so add light from the front and the sides for optimal results.
Learning how to set up a perfect camera shot every time is very important for the quality of your classes.
As explained in this video, setting up a perfect shot heavily depends on figuring the correct camera position.
Since you’re teaching yoga, your entire body needs to be in the shoot.
However, you will also need enough space in the frame around you, so your hands don’t get cut off if you raise them above your head, for example.
Here’s another video that explains how to film workout videos, so everything looks good and content-focused.
Investing in a decent tripod should be one of the first tasks on your list. It will be a game-changer for you, even if it’s not a super-premium iPhone tripod.
Audio, Audio, Audio
Interestingly, audio is where most virtual class-type videos fall apart. Paying attention to the quality of your audio and making small investments here and there is necessary if you want to succeed.
When students attend your virtual classes and practice with you, their essential connection to you is through audio, not video. They won’t be able (or feel comfortable) to look at the screen at all times, but they sure will hear you.
Make sure to double-check your computer and internet and computer quality, and consider investing in a more premium mic that reduces handling noise. They are typically designed with high-quality materials and deliver a clearer, more robust sound.
Check out this video for five tips for perfect live stream audio:
The music you play is also essential. The volume should blend with the tone of your voice, and you shouldn’t have to shout over the music to be heard.
Once you have all the necessary basics, you should always test shoot before hosting a live virtual yoga class.
Create a Virtual Class Plan
The last thing you want to do is hit that button and start hosting a class without a plan. Unless you want your course to consist of random exercises you think about on the spot, you need a solid plan for each virtual class.
While it may sound intimidating, it’s pretty straightforward. Start with a key goal or pain point you’re trying to solve, then take it from there. The earlier you can get planning, the better.
Plan what you’ll be teaching, the intro, the main content, and the next steps of the classes.
Once you have the key elements in place, the class will feel more natural for you and the students.
Promote Your Virtual Yoga Classes
If you want to make money online as a yoga teacher, you need to promote your virtual classes. You need to create a user funnel and make efforts to build a community.
The critical elements of proper promotion include:
- Sharing your content everywhere
- Referring viewers to your streaming platform
- Offering a free trial
- Entertaining the audience
- Pay attention to what makes them convert and what doesn’t.
Successful yoga teachers suggest focusing on your brand and optimizing social media promotion as the base of your marketing efforts.
Publish your videos on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Create a strong message that refers viewers to your streaming platform and once they get there, make sure to keep them.
However, it’s also essential to educate, inform, and entertain your potential students to set your brand apart from the competition.
Make It Inclusive
Just like fitness streaming services, yoga teachers constantly keep figuring out new ways to make their classes more inclusive. There are several ways to do this, but the most important ones include integrating each member into the community from day one.
Always make sure each member feels like a part of the community, especially new members. You can do this by offering personalized support and assistance.
Sending a welcome email or a newsletter is an excellent practice. Follow up by providing tricks and tips on better understanding the platform and easier integration with the rest of the students.
Encourage your students to contribute feedback, so you’ll know exactly what they’re looking for and deliver what they need. This way, you’ll know what your students enjoy so you can plan your future actions accordingly.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just like yoga, perfecting virtual classes takes practice. By learning the basic procedures and following the best practices, you’ll quickly learn the basics. It’s up to your creativity and dedication to refine them in time and master the entire process of hosting virtual yoga classes.
Author: PJ Taei
PJ is the founder and president of Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.