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Take Your Class Outside! Tips on Teaching an Outdoor Yoga Class

Summer is officially here! And with all of the changes in the world due to coronavirus, outdoor yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular. 

There are quite a few things to consider when planning a yoga class outside. Below you’ll find best practices for before, during, and after your outdoor yoga class :

Before

A lot of planning goes into teaching a yoga class outside.  From location, to marketing, to what to bring – it’s important to plan ahead! 

Location

The first step to planning an outdoor yoga class is choosing a location that will suit your needs. A few things to consider are: 

  • proximity to you and most of your students
  • availability of shade at the time you want to teach your class
  • grass or other “flooring”. Plan to walk the area beforehand. There could be a bee hive, duck/goose poop or an anthill that could cause problems for your class. Or an abundance of droppings that make it difficult to comfortably put your mat down. 
  • Be also sure to scout out the area at the time of day you intend to teach, so you know how crowded the area is and any other factors you may not have considered. 

Your ideal location is somewhere quiet, with unlimited views of the sky, shaded, with even ground, and not too many passers by to cause distractions during class. 

Marketing

Location is the most important decision to make, but consistent marketing is the most important action you can take to build a successful outdoor class. 

Email

It’s always a good idea to collect your students’ email addresses to keep them informed of upcoming events. If you haven’t already started an email list, one easy way to start one is by leaving an email address field in the waiver you ask them to sign before class. Make sure to ask permission to send them marketing emails. 

Social Media

Posting your outdoor yoga classes info on social media is a great way to spread awareness of your classes. For your own safety, or if you simply prefer to keep the class semi-private you may not want to publicly announce where you will be to strangers you’re connected with on social media.  Instead, encourage your students to DM you for the location in your posts, or create a private Facebook group or private Facebook event and only invite students who you know personally. 

You can download our free Guide to Social Media for Yoga Teachers here.

Text

If you have your student’s phone numbers, you can create a text group to keep them informed of upcoming classes. Be sure to send them a reminder a few hours before the day of and ask if they can make it!

Waivers/Insurance

Before the day of your class, make sure to have a liability waiver ready for your students to sign and ensure that your yoga teacher insurance covers outdoor classes (beYogi insurance covers you wherever you teach!). Don’t forget to have each of your students sign the waiver before class begins. This is a great place to also collect email addresses. 

What to Bring

After scouting the location and planning your sequence, you should have a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to bring for the class. If your sequence requires props, make sure to inform your students to bring their own, and/or plan to bring enough for your students. 

An extra towel is encouraged to get any dirt or sand off of your mat. 

Bring a natural bug spray, so the insects won’t bother your outdoor yoga class participants. You can make your own bug repellent spray with just a few essential oils.

If you plan to give hands on assists, it’s a good idea to bring hand sanitizer to use in between students. Read this article to learn what you need to know before hands on adjustments.

Depending on the terrain, you may want to request that your students bring thicker mats or two mats for comfort if you’ll be practicing on rocky/uneven ground. 

During

Plan for things to not go according to plan. 

Sometimes inclement weather comes up unexpectedly. Have a Plan B location, and a cancellation policy. Get RSVP’s from students beforehand so you can reach out to them directly in case of a last minute change of plans. 

Move around

As a general rule, while you’re teaching it’s nice to move around so students stay engaged, can see you, and can hear you. When you’re outdoors, sound carries differently. It’s even more important to move around your students so that they can more easily see and hear you. 

Keep safety in mind

Notice where your students are keeping their belongings. I encourage them to keep them close by just in case. Be aware of any possible dangers in the area. 

Get inspired by the natural setting

The benefit of an outdoor yoga class: Encourage your students to take in the beauty, smells, sounds, and sensations around them. Practicing within studio walls is a controlled environment, whereas outdoors you can really play on your surroundings to invoke a state of peace. Get creative about how you connect with the earth and the energy around you. 

Take photos when appropriate! Some students love getting candid shots of themselves practicing yoga. Get permission beforehand, and be willing to delete any photos that your students don’t approve of.  At the very least remember to take a group photo at the end of class. 

After

Remember those emails you collected, or that social media group or event you created? Use that to stay in touch with your students! Send them your group photo and any candid shots you took during class (with permission). If you choose to send out a thank you email or social media post, make sure to remind them of your upcoming events! 

In the first few yoga classes outside, check in with your students after each class for feedback. Be flexible as you establish your outdoor yoga class routine. 

Be consistent. Let your students know if you’ll be doing an yoga class outside weekly, monthly, or if it was a one time class. Sticking to a regular schedule will help you to build up your class attendance.

Adriana Lee
Adriana Lee
Adriana's yoga journey began at a young age and continues to inspire her every day by healing mind, body and spirit through the breath. She received her 200 Hour RYT through Frog Lotus Yoga's center, Suryalila, in Adalusia, Spain. She also trained an additional 50 hours with Heba Saab at Body Heat Hot Yoga in Las Vegas, NV. She continued training with Heba by assisting and acting as a mentor to her 200 Hour trainees. She trained with Cameron Shayne in Miami and received a 50 Hour certification in the Budokon Yoga system. She is also a certified Pilates instructor and a Reiki Level 2 practitioner. Her yoga practice has brought sweetness and authenticity into her life and her intention is to share that sweetness and help her students strive to be their own authentic selves.