Taking your yoga classes online is a great way to increase your reach, enjoy more flexible working hours, and reap some of the benefits of working from home.
Online yoga comes with plus points for your students too. For some, it provides the perfect solution having to fit travelling to a gym or yoga studio into an already hectic day. For others, it’s a great way to get to enjoy yoga without the anxiety that may come with ‘performing’ in front of others.
In this article, we cover off the basics you’ll need to get your online yoga classes up and running.
How do online yoga classes work?
There are two main ways to carry out online yoga classes. You can either pre-record your classes and upload them to a site like YouTube, where people can watch them at their own leisure. Or you can live stream your classes on a platform like Zoom. Of course, the second option feels more authentically like an ‘in-person’ class due to the interaction you’re able to have with students. But that’s not to say it’s the right route to take for you or your students.
A third option is to live stream your yoga classes and also record them. That way you get to enjoy the more interactive side of the class, while also maximising your efforts by sharing the class with new or repeat students long after it's over.
Choose what kind of online yoga class you want to run
First up, you’ll need to choose which of the options we’ve outlined above would suit yours and your students' needs. Here are some things to think about to help you decide:
Live streamed classes
Are you able to commit to a specific date and time for your classes?
Do you feel comfortable communicating with students in a virtual setting?
Do you want to sell tickets to your classes?
Are you happy to run your classes without being able to interact with your students?
Are you interested in making money from advertising? (Granted, you’ll need to have a lot of viewers before this is viable, but it can definitely be an option if you build up a decent following).
Are you comfortable uploading and sending out recordings via platforms like YouTube?
Choose your equipment and platform carefully
Once you’ve decided what format your class will take, it’s time to sort your equipment and hosting platform. Whether you’re going for the live streamed option, pre-recorded or both, you’ll need:
A computer with a webcam, a separate web cam, or a smartphone with a camera and a tripod to stand it on.
An in-ear headset with a microphone (like Apple AirPods) – this is important because the microphone from your phone or computer won’t be strong enough to capture clear sound, especially when you’re moving around.
Lighting equipment (a quick internet search of ‘lighting for video recording’ will throw up plenty of options) – unless you find a great spot with plenty of natural lighting to film in.
If you’re going for the live-streaming option, you’ll need to choose a virtual event hosting platform that suits your needs. We have an article on how to choose a virtual event platform, which is worth checking out.
Choose a great filming location
If you plan on uploading pre-recorded yoga videos to a platform like YouTube, choosing a great filming location will make your videos stand out, and seem more appealing to browsers. Likewise, if you’re running a live streamed class, a thoughtful backdrop can help your students feel they're getting a richer experience.
Some tips for choosing/creating a great filming background include:
Natural lighting: while you can buy equipment to enhance lighting, nothing quite beats natural lighting for creating a feeling of spaciousness and calm.
Props that reflect you and your yoga: try positioning calming house plants carefully in the background of your film, or some atmospheric artwork that reflects your practice.
Noise pollution: of course, it’s important to choose a quiet filming location where you’re unlikely to be disturbed by background noise. Nothing kills a sense of calm like the sound of rush hour traffic!
Station your camera and do a few practice runs
Doing test runs is a vital part of running any kind of online class. Even if you’re doing a pre-recorded session, you don’t want to get half-way through everything only to have to start again because you realise your lighting isn’t positioned correctly.
With live streamed sessions, technical mishaps can and probably will happen at some point. But if you’ve done a few practice runs, you’ll be much better equipped to breeze past them.
Decide on a ticketing system for attendees
If you’re running a live streamed class and want to charge for sessions, you’ll need to choose an online registration platform to use for online event ticketing. When choosing a platform, consider things like:
Pricing – some ticketing platforms charge a percentage of every ticket sale, which is something to be aware of when costing out your ticket prices.
Ease-of-use – look for customer reviews that indicate the platform is user-friendly and has great customer service.
Customisable automated emails to customers – you’ll want a platform that can send automated emails to customers, as you’ll need to send them a link to your class once they’ve bought their ticket.
Tip: at Ticket Tailor, we don’t charge a percentage of each ticket sale! Instead, we just charge a simple flat fee per ticket (50p), and we also offer completely free ticketing for free events.
Host or upload your class! (And don’t forget to market it)
Finally, it’s time to host or upload your class using the platform you chose earlier. Don’t forget, you’ll need to get the word out about your event, too – check out our articles on social media marketing to get started:
We hope these tips have been helpful! Now to take a breath, and... pose.