How to teach online: Teaching online can be stressful and confusing since it’s completely different from your studio setting. You might be wondering how to get started and how to shift your teaching so that you give cues while you practice and where you don’t see your students. How to teach a virtual class:
The first time I taught on camera it was for a pre-recorded segment and it was a strange sensation not having students to actually guide as finding the words wasn’t as easy or even having the energy that’s built in a room. Also, when you see your students, you’re reminded of certain cues or inspirational bits that make the class more “you”.
One piece of advice I can give is practice, practice, practice. The more I filmed, the easier it got, especially when I transitioned to some online classes with students. Even though I couldn’t see them as I would in a class, I was still able to connect to their energy.
Moving into an online space as a teacher has its benefits, like having a wider audience and drawbacks like not really knowing how. Let’s go over some points to make this transition seamless and also fun.
Plan your classes so that they translate well into online pieces by making a “playlist” of topics so that they’re more curated than a general class, which you can also sprinkle in there. If you look on any online yoga class provider, classes tend to be specific in nature vs broad. For example, yoga for stress relief or yoga for inversions might be better topics in your online library than vinyasa flow. Especially if you want to re-purpose these classes later on.
I always suggest to ask your students what they’d like to see so you can create the correct content around it. This playlist will make your classes easier to find and you can also get more specific and creative in the process.
You want to make sure your students can hear you as while they’re practicing they might not look at you the entire time. Make sure your cues are clear and direct so that it’s not confusing for your online students. Also call out common mistakes or misalignments so that you remind your students where to focus.
You might not be able to see your students but when you plan your class make a list of alignment cues based on the poses. Test your sound with a practice round to see how loud you need to speak or get a mic to assure you’re loud and clear. I personally like to use a bluetooth mic but you can do with a lavalier mic with a very long cord. Again, testing your sound beforehand will let you know if you need additional equipment.
Here’s a hack: when you teach online, especially on ZOOM when you record the class, the audio and video will be on separate tracks so you can repurpose the audio later perhaps as a free gift or you can sell it as some people love having a great audio yoga class.
When you are filming, the second most important thing is having a nice quiet place that has a clean background, that’s well lit and that sends that yogi vibe. If you don’t have space, move some furniture around to make a comfortable and appealing practice area. Don’t have light behind you as this tends to make you look like a silhouette and the camera will have a hard time differentiating the light sources. Window light facing you will do the trick or you can always get a photo light or ring light to assure you can film anywhere.
The clearer you appear on camera, the easier it will be for your students to follow you and not get lost with clutter in the background. Find a wall or an empty space, even outdoors, to film so that you stand out.
This is a question that’s come up a lot lately in the online world. What shall I price my classes since they’re online? Is there a difference between live and pre-recorded classes?
The answer is whatever you want to charge. I’ve seen my clients go from $10 to $20 per online LIVE class and some as low as $5. It depends on your demographic and your student base. For example, if the studio you teach for or own has $15 drop in classes, making the online $15 might not be equally worth it for the students, so lowering it to $10 might be perfect. The overhead is lower online and you get 100% of the profits most of the time.
Price the classes so that they’re valuable for the students and see what else you can offer as a value add to justify the price point. Some people give the library of pre-recorded classes as a bonus or others have created private Facebook groups for members to maintain a community.
Whatever you choose to do at the end of the day, testing will be your guide.
On your journey to the online world you’ll learn a great deal about how you show up and what are the possibilities out there for you and your students. This shift makes you more creative and hones a different part of your skill sets as a teacher and now as a tech guru.
Don’t let the online world or technology keep you from trying something new as evolution is part of this process as teachers. You’ll probably get some new students from social media or your email list and might lose others who don’t love the online platform. What you will want to know is that you tried and learned from the process. Evolution as a yogipreneur is just that, stepping into the unknown, practicing, improving and doing it again. Now go film some online content and share it to the world on all your channels. Good luck and see you online!