There is no question that 2020 has been both an enlightening and challenging time for those who practice yoga, due to lockdowns and restrictions. Whether you’ve recently completed your yoga teacher training or you’ve been teaching for some time, transitioning your classes online is not easy. This short guide will help you deliver yoga classes that will help your students find a sense of normalcy and belonging.
Choose a platform for your classes
Nowadays, there are various sites and software that allow individual teachers host their classes online. Zoom is currently the most popular platform for hosting live classes that allow attendees from all over the world. Other examples are Uscreen and Fiteo. The beauty of these is that anyone can participate in online classes which lets teachers expand their market and increase profits. Another option is to create a library of pre-recorded classes. Although these aren’t live, students can watch your classes through YouTube and other streaming platforms in their own time, which they can work around their busy schedules.
Invest in the right technology
With online yoga classes, technology is the vehicle, not the distraction. It might be a while until studio classes become the norm again so investing in the right technology would be a wise decision. Make sure that you have high-speed internet as well as an HD webcam for clear streaming. If classes aren’t live and pre-recorded, you should also consider investing in a good video camera and related accessories. Today’s professional video cameras and camcorders come with built-in microphones and lenses, with even affordable models, like the Minolta MN4K20NV and the Sony HDR-CX405, able to shoot in HD. This is a feature that will make your yoga classes look professional. Also use a tripod and set the camera to landscape mode so there’s more space for you to explore.
You should also consider investing in wireless headphones with a built-in microphone or, better yet, a body microphone. As you move around the screen to demonstrate the postures, it will affect the audio volume and quality. Lastly, see if you can purchase good lighting such as a ring light. Content is of course more important but so is the form itself as it affects the quality of your class.
Create a peaceful atmosphere
What goes on in the background is important too. Yoga studios have a very tranquil ambience by design and that’s what you need to recreate in your virtual classroom. Find a space that you can control and do a practice run to see if anything in your surroundings needs to be adjusted. Remove any distracting clutter, have plenty of light, and maybe add some plants to bring some life into the room. You can even play some light music in the background so long as it goes with the theme of your class and doesn’t overpower your instruction.
Creating a peaceful atmosphere also means controlling distractions. You can easily mute participants on videoconferencing platforms so there aren’t any noises that can disrupt the class. Have everything you need nearby, such as props, so you don’t have to interrupt the flow of the class. It might also be a good idea to limit the number of people who can attend so you can actually pay attention to the students and offer modifications if needed.
During a time of uncertainty, people tend to find comfort in the familiar, whether it’s a childhood movie, the company of family and friends, or even one’s yoga practice. Yoga has always been a way to connect not just with the community but with ourselves too. That’s why the demand for yoga classes climbed even higher over the past few months. Yoga, even virtually, continues to help people find their inner peace amidst difficult times. As a certified instructor, it’s your duty to make that happen however you can.