By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
To start with, you are going to read a lot more than ten tips in this article to begin teaching Yoga online. This is a subject that has been asked about more frequently these days and if you are interested, you need to see the big picture. Many Yoga teachers have turned to the Internet to teach Yoga classes. At the same time, technology makes it easy to teach without leaving the comfort of your own home. Your students can also take advantage of the convenience. That said, teaching Yoga online can be daunting if you’re just getting started. Here are some tips for getting started teaching online.
1. Live or Recorded?
Before you begin teaching Yoga online, decide whether you want to stream live classes, recordings, or both. Live classes give you a chance to answer questions in real time and offer solutions to students who may be having trouble.
However, if you’re just getting started with how to begin teaching Yoga online, doing so live may be daunting. You not only have to deal with technological issues, but you also have to determine how you’re going to handle nervousness or mistakes. Plus, if you don’t have a huge following, you could become discouraged when only one person shows up to a live class.
Creating recordings of your classes will give you a chance to test everything out before you present it to the public. If you make a mistake, erase it and record it again. You’ll get to practice in front of the camera, fine-tune your setup and show your audience what you offer without the pressure of doing it live. The more you teach in front of a camera, the better your classes will be.
2. Choose a Platform
The type of class that you want to offer will help you choose a platform. Many Yoga teachers use Zoom for live classes because they can view what their students are doing if their students have webcams. Zoom also records your sessions, and you can choose to offer them for a fee on your website after the fact.
You can also teach real-time classes on Facebook Live or YouTube Live. If you use either of these platforms, you won’t be able to see your students. However, they can ask questions in the comments, and you can choose to answer them during or after the class.
There are several options for producing pre-recorded classes, including:
Your Own Website
3. Where to Find Your Students
Where do your students hang out the most? Knowing the types of platforms that they frequent may help you decide which ones to use. For example, you might want to teach Yoga classes on Twitch. If your target audience doesn’t use that platform frequently, you could have trouble competing with teachers who use more popular platforms for Yoga classes.
Think about where you go online to look for Yoga classes. The chances are high that your potential students are also heading to the same places.
4. Get Creative with Your Promotions
Once you have decided how you’re going to record and broadcast your classes, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy. It’s nice to think that once you build it, your audience will find you. However, there is a great deal of competition online. You’ll need to put yourself out there if you want people to find you.
Put yourself in front of as many people as possible. You can do this without shelling out a penny for ads. Some free places where you can promote your classes include:
Your personal and business Facebook pages
Facebook groups geared toward Yoga (make sure that you are allowed to promote in these). If you are an Aura Wellness Center intern or graduate, you are welcome to post your classes on the Aura Wellness Collaborative.
5. Offer Free Previews
If you’re charging for your online Yoga classes, you’ll need to develop a rapport with your client base first. They will want to know that they vibe with you and you know what you’re doing before shelling out their hard-earned cash.
You can give them a glimpse of what you offer by posting free content online. Provide some one-minute snippets of your classes. Give other valuable content, such as:
Tips for beginners
Advice for modifying poses
Quick demonstrations of poses that are geared toward specific purposes, such as relieving stress or improving gut health
Many teachers provide sped-up clips of interesting Yoga sequences. However, you would be surprised how many people will ask if they have to go that fast.
6. Start Small
Many online entrepreneurs feel as though they have to wait until everything is perfect to launch their main offering. If you do this, you could be missing out on clients. Instead of learning more about you, your audience will be getting cozy with the competition.
Starting out small allows you to tweak your classes as you go. Let’s say that you make a mistake while demonstrating a pose in your first live class. That could derail a teacher who has hundreds of viewers. Make your mistakes in front of a smaller audience so that you can learn from them without ruining your reputation.
7. Invite Friends and Family
Ask friends and family members to sit in on your first classes. You can offer them for free and ask for feedback. If this small group loves what you have to offer, they can share your class with their friends. People who know and love you will be glad to help promote your online classes via word of mouth.
8. Use the Right Equipment
You don’t need a lot to get started teaching online Yoga classes, but you do need a great webcam. Most phones have excellent cameras and can be used to stream or record classes. One of the biggest challenges that online Yoga instructors have is recording high-quality sound. When your students are focusing on their poses, they might not be able to look up at the screen. Since they’ll be relying on your voice for details and instruction, you should make sure that you have a top-notch microphone. The internal microphone on most smartphones won’t cut it, but many headsets and air pods are extremely useful for this purpose.
9. Consider your Environment
Yoga classes are typically held in a streamlined, uncluttered, pleasant environment. Make sure that your class setting is uncluttered and inviting. Set up a space in your home or studio where you can quickly set up and break down after a class. Make sure that your lighting is effective, and consider adding small pops of color or natural items, such as plants, to add to the ambiance.
10. Don’t Overthink it
If yoga has taught you anything, it’s to go with the flow and find your place in the practice. You can apply the same principles to teaching an online Yoga class. There is no such thing as perfection. Begin where you are, remain open to learning, and don’t be hard on yourself if things don’t go as smoothly as you planned. This is a journey, and you can’t get on your way if you don’t start.
Create Your Own Online Yoga Studio
Okay, now we’re really going deep into how to begin teaching Yoga online and creating your own online studio. If you teach Yoga or would like to get started, you are probably wondering how you can get the most from your effort. Consider the benefits of teaching Yoga from an online studio:
Reach a Global Audience
Earn a Passive Income
Brick and Mortar vs. Online
Running a Yoga studio is not cheap. You must rent a space and pay for utilities, but that is not all. You must also put in the effort to maintain your space. Hosting an online Yoga studio is much cheaper because you don’t have to worry about those things. When you run a brick-and-mortar Yoga studio, your reach is limited. You can only teach people in your area. An online Yoga studio empowers you to expand your reach further than you once thought possible.
Get a Website
Yes, you can get a free blog and promote it on social media, but the first serious step in hosting an online yoga studio is getting a website with a blog. If you are serious about moving forward, you want a professional website that comes with quality support. Depending on the number of customers you expect, you can find hosting plans starting at reasonable prices. You can find cheaper websites if you can’t afford high-quality ones, but keep in mind that cheap websites often load slowly and don’t always offer the support you need. Find a hosting provider that meets your needs without breaking your budget.
Get a Membership Package
If you want to get the most from your effort, get a website that’s compatible with membership software. Membership software allows you to create different accounts for your students. The type of account your student has determines what videos they can access. For example, you can offer basic memberships that only have a few yoga videos, and you can also provide premium memberships that have even more videos. Having a membership website makes it easy to teach yoga from the comfort of your home.
Decide How to Accept Payments
Deciding how you will accept payments is another important part of the process. Will you collect payments over the phone or online? If you run a brick-and-mortar Yoga studio, you can accept cash payments from your students. Keep in mind, though, that you should also collect online payments if you want the most from your online studio. You can accept credit card payments or use PayPal or Stripe. PayPal is a great resource for any online business, and you will be glad you used it when you see what it can do. You can accept credit card payments and bank transactions without effort.
Choose a Niche
Choosing a niche is a vital part of the process if you have not yet done so. Some people want to reach people of all backgrounds when teaching a Yoga class, but you get the most return when you find a niche and offer them something they otherwise can’t get. For example, consider whether you will teach busy business people, soccer moms or teens who want to calm their minds and get in shape. Once you find a niche, do market research to uncover their hidden needs and motives, and you give your profit a boost.
Plan Your Lessons
Rather than throwing a lesson together at the last minute, plan it out in advance. Decide how long each lesson will be and what you will cover. You should also consider how your lessons will relate to each other over the long run. Plan an entire month or year of lessons in advance. Consider the topics you want to cover in each lesson plan so that you appear dedicated and professional. Your students will get more from each session, and you can then charge more for your classes.
Start a Blog
Some people hide their best information until a customer signs up for memberships, but that is not always the best approach. You want to show your prospective customers why they should trust you instead of going to another company or Yoga studio. Hosting a high-quality blog is a great way to reach that goal. With your blog, teach your students and prospective students different things about yoga they might not have considered. They will see you as an expert in your field and be much more likely to take your classes.
You have everything else in place, and you are ready to craft your videos. To begin teaching Yoga online, the best option is to have high-quality and professional video equipment. If you don’t have that, do the best you can with what you have. If you don’t have high-quality cameras, use that in your marketing.
Present yourself as a normal person who happens to be a Yoga teacher. Doing this the right way makes you much more relatable, and it can increase your sales. Dedicate one room in your home to shooting the videos, and keep them as professional as possible. Eliminate outside noises and ensure that you focus your camera.
Decide How Much to Charge
Deciding how much to charge is another important step. If you charge too much, nobody will want to buy your membership package. Supply and demand are vital factors you can never overlook. On the other hand, you don’t want to sell yourself short. Look online to see what other online studios charge. If you want to charge more than them, ensure you offer something extra that they don’t.
You maximize your profit when you choose the right price range for your online Yoga classes. Some people think that having the cheapest classes is the best option, but that is not always true. Some people are more willing to spend their money if you charge higher rates. When you increase your price, you also increase the perceived value of your products and services.
Food for Thought
If you would like to begin teaching Yoga online and get the most from your studio, ensure you follow these tips and keep an open mind. Planning everything from the start is a great way to begin, and you will have no trouble moving forward from there. No matter where you are right now, you can get your online Yoga studio up and running with enough dedication.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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