In this guide I will show you how to teach yoga online using Zoom, Youtube Live, Facebook Live and other platforms.
Online yoga classes are currently burgeoning right now because of the virus. Many studios are trying to find ways to continue to make money, and the internet seems to be the way to go.
In my guide to becoming a yoga teacher I covered all the essential basics. In this guide I will focus on showing you how to teach yoga online, specifially.
How To Teach Yoga Online
Today I received an email from a yoga studio aksing me how to teach yoga online. That studio had been forced to close its studio because of the current political situation. But I assured them that they can teach yoga on the internet and continue to make money.
Not only this, but there are bit benefits of teaching yoga online in 2020.
The world is moving online. That’s why we’re seeing so many new courses, like online Buddhism courses lessons, meditation lessons, and more.
For yoga studios, moving online is essential to keeping your business alive. The forced closure of gyms and yoga studios means that delivering lessons online is currently the only option. The good news is that you can get set-up relatively quickly and cheaply, and I will show you how in this guide.
There’s good things about online yoga lessons for students, too.
For yoga students, the forced closure of yoga studios means that it is more important now than ever to support your health. If you have been forced to stop going to work then it is also an opportune moment to develop your practice. And finally, it is important to support your local yoga studio as they move online.
Live streaming on Zoom, Facebook Live or Youtube Live, or recording videos
When it comes to teaching yoga online, you have two basic options: live streaming classes, or creating a complete course that people can follow along to at their own base. I am going to suggest that if you have a local studio that is currently closed, you should use live streaming. Why? Because the last thing you want is to lose your relationship with your students during this time, and doing live streamed with videos will help people to feel like they are still there for you at the class. You can even live-stream your classes at the same time you usually do them at the studio. This will help to prevent loss of students.
For those of you who already run a yoga studio I highly advise you to teach yoga online in live streams from your usual studio. You want your students to feel like they are still in your actual classes.
First up, ask your teachers to support you by doing videos at the studio (if this is allowed in your area during the pandemic—which you will need to check). Otherwise, shoot the videos yourself.
To do this, you will of course need a high-quality camera with a tripod set-up in the studio. I won’t talk about actually using the camera or lighting or anything like that because that’s more a topic for a tech blog.
Next, make sure to tell your members that you will be doing online classes. Hopefully you have a Facebook page or some other way to reach out to your members to inform them. Give them at least a few days notice before the class.
Make sure you are interacting with your audience by responding to their comments. This will make them feel like they are part of the lesson, which is precisely what you want.
Have a place to except donations for your online yoga classes, such as via PayPal. Ask your members to contribute via donations.
Thank your members for their support.
The Essential Laws For Teaching Yoga Online
Before I reveal how to run a yoga studio online, there are a few laws that we have to adhere to. I think that if we briefly recount these laws you will start to see why there is only one option for managing your yoga studio in March 2020, April 2020, and, well, however long this pandemic goes on for, which could be many months.
The Rules And Laws of moving your existing studio online
1: Keep your physical studio closed. This is per the law, so there’s little choice here.
2: Do not use the virus for your marketing. Yes, some yoga studios have intentionally used the fear of coronavirus to market their business and they have had their licenses revoked. I’m going to suggest that you do not directly reference the virus in any part of your marketing. Not only is this immoral, it is a terrible business move.
3: Keep your yoga studio alive no matter what, and maintain contact with your members. The current situation will end and you will want your members to still feel like part of the family when it does end.
4: Keep running lessons (more on this in just a moment)
5: Refuse to close. Period. As bad as the time is it is also a financial opportunity. Because other studios will close. You will end up with less competition. By fighting through this rough patch you will come out on the other side stronger (and with more students).
Moving your closed yoga classes online
*If you need help with this, email me at Paulh [AT] TheDailyMeditation.com
So, here we come to the very essential question that every yoga teacher is asking: How do you run a yoga studio when you are forced to close.
And honestly, as far as I am aware there is basically only one single solution here: You need to move online. Period.
Many yoga studios have already started to do this. In Toronto I’ve seen MisFit Studio, F45 St. Clair West, YYOGA, Golden Chain, Planet Fitness, and Fit Factory all start (or continue) giving online yoga classes during COVID-19.
Many yoga studios and meditation studios are heading online to keep their businesses alive.
To manage your yoga studio during the virus you are going to need to start giving yoga lessons onine [for inspiration, here are some of the best online yoga classes].
You will probably want to start streaming yoga lessons.
But if this sounds daunting, don’t worry too much. The good news is: You already have members. Sure, your regular in-class members might not be able to actually go, physically, to your studio, but they can still take your online yoga classes, and many will want to do so, because they already have a relationship with you and your business
So, to cut it short: You’re heading online. Now let’s talk about how.
Prepare your studio before you start teaching yoga online
When it comes to setting up a yoga studio online, or a meditation studio, there is the conventional way, and then there is the COVID-19 way virus way.
The conventional way of setting up your online yoga or meditation studio involves creating a website (probably using WordPress), a Facebook page and other social media properties, marketing your website, and so on.
This is not the best strategy right now. Why? Because of time constraints. We’ve all been hit with this pandemic out of nowhere and you probably do not have the time to do conventional website set-up.
Instead, to keep your yoga studio “open” during isolation, you want to go the fastest route possible.
The fastest route possible involves using whatever resources you have now. Do you have a Facebook or Instagram page, a Youtube channel, or, at least, your yoga students’ phone numbers or email addresses?
Whatever information you have, that is what you are going to use to start getting students to take your online yoga classes.
The method is simple: Take whatever information you have; message or call your students to tell them you’re going to give lessons online, and start giving the lessons.
Whatever method of contact you have for your students, send them a message saying that you’re moving online, and ask them to inform any of their friends who take your classes.
Setting up your online yoga classes
There are a few things you will need in order to produce yoga lessons online.
You will need:
- A space to film in
- A camera
- Someone to lead the lesson and someone to shoot the video
- A platform to stream live yoga lessons on
- A way for members to pay for your yoga classes.
Let’s take a look at each of these things in turn.
What you will need to teach yoga online
Because you already own a yoga studio, you already have a space to film in. However, filming a yoga lesson with one person in the room (the yoga teacher) is not the same as giving an actual group yoga class or meditation class.
You want your yoga lessons or meditation sessions to look professional on camera. That is not the same the same thing as looking professional in person.
Looking professional on camera requires proper lighting for your filming space (Trainerize has a good guide to this).
You also need the group atmosphere without the group. To do this, make sure you film the yoga teacher close-up so it looks intimate and doesn’t show the painfully empty studio all around you.
You might also like to include branding elements in the shoot, which you can do with video overlays, with props, or with clothing (get the yoga teacher to wear a branded t-shirt).
To look professional on film you’re going to need an excellent camera. You might get away with using a good phone like the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But for best results you will want to good video camera. I recommend using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, which has excellent video quality and which TheTechLounge calls the best camera for vlogging).
Yoga teacher or meditation teacher, and videographer
You will also need someone to film the yoga classes. You have a few different options here. You could simply get someone at your studio to film the classes, but the quality wouldn’t be too good. You could hire a professional videographer, but it would be an expense you don’t need right now. The third and best option is to reach-out to a local amateur videographer and get them to film it for you. They will be happy for the experience and you will get high-quality video. Obviousy make sure you meet the World Health Organizations guidelines for safety during the pandemic when working with other people.
How to teach yoga online in live streams
Filming your yoga lessons is just one part of the puzzle. You also need a platform to host your yoga sessions online.
You have a few options:
1: Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a very easy way to stream meditation classes and yoga classes online. You can choose your audience, get real-time feedback in comments, and track the number of viewers you have.
Live is an online livestreaming app for Windows, Mac, iOS and cameras like GoPro that have internet capabilities. You can stream multiple session and to live on Youtube Live and Facebook Live at the same.
3: Youtube Live
Youtube Live is Google’s free streaming tool that allows you to broadcast up to ten video streams simultaneously. To watch the stream, members will need a link (which is idea because you can charge people for the link). Youtube Live also lets you create a community atmosphere with comments and there’s also event scheduling.
I’m going to suggest that the best option is to use Youtube Live to stream your meditation sessions and yoga classes. Then, you can charge students for the link so you can continue to make money.
Setting Up You Youtube Live Stream For Yoga Classes Or Meditation Classes
It’s now time to setup your online yoga class or meditation class.
Because I believe it is the best option, I will show you how to set-up your Youtube Live stream and get paid for it. However, Zoom, Instagram, and Facebook are largely the same.
Youtube Live is a free service with an easy monetisation option. You can set your Youtube Live Event to Unlisted so that only people who have your stream URL can view it (for which you can charge). You might like to see Google’s official FAQ on this. You can also embed your video in a website page and then charge for access to that page. Reach out to me at PaulH [AT] TheDailyMeditation.com if you’d like to run your stream here.
To go live on Youtube Live all you need to do is click the camera button on the top-right of Youtube, then choose LIVE. From there you can fill out all your live stream information.
You can also use Youtube to manage your upcoming meditation sessions and yoga classes as shown in the image.
Then, to start live streaming your meditation sessions or yoga sessions, all you need to do is hit STREAM NOW.
How To Get Paid Online
Getting paid for online yoga classes or meditation classes is actually easy if you have followed the guide above.
Using the Youtube Live option, all you need to do is make sure that your stream is set to Unlisted (so that Youtube doesn’t make your live stream public). Then you can charge for the URL. You can simply use PayPal to accept payments in exchange for the link to your Youtube Live Stream. You’ll then want to create a different Youtube URL for each of your live streams so your students pay for each individual stream.
Whether you’re a noew yoga teacher or you’re a studio owner who’s been forced to close, there is a lot to gain by teaching yoga online. There’s a huge potential audience, the ability to show videos not just to local members but around the world, and the possibility of going viral (which would be huge for your business).
If you need help with any of this please either leave a comment or email me at paulh [AT] TheDailyMeditation.com
For more, read my guide to coronavirus & meditation / yoga.