How to teach yoga online-Teaching yoga online is something we have all had to adapt to, and for now at least seems here to stay.
Teaching yoga online is a quite different skill to teaching in a studio, and of course there is the equipment to consider.
If you are teaching in the studio and online at the same time, then there are other challenges to overcome.
ADAPTING YOUR TEACHING METHODS
Things to consider are the space you are teaching from, the lighting, acoustics, what streaming equipment you need and how your space looks online. Most importantly how you will need to adapt your teaching methods so that you deliver a safe an effective online class.
Something we get students to master is teaching from the front of the mat while using only verbal cues. This has always been a useful skill but is now essential.
The ability to lead a class using only verbal cues, means your class can get on with being taught rather than looking at the teacher to see what they are doing for cues. A teacher should always observe a class, and this is more important now than ever.
VERBAL CUES ONLY
- Practice talking a posture through with as few words as possible but make it poignant!
- Avoid random verbal cues
- Use cues in a logical sequence that considers alignment
- As an example, when teaching Trikonasana start with the placement of the feet and work up through legs, hips, shoulders and arms
- Include drsithi and breath
EQUIPMENT & INDIVIDUAL CUES
If all else fails then you can use a tablet or phone to run a class, although investing in some equipment will make your classes stand out.
Using a large screen smart tv means you can keep an eye on a lot of students even online. It also means you can verbally adjust individual students this way. Hooking a laptop up to a smart tv can also be done wirelessly, so reducing the amount of leads hanging about.
You can use the camera on your laptop, although plug and play cameras with broadcast quality are now quite cheap. This also means you can move the camera to suit the class.
Adequate lighting is essential with natural light the best. Photographic lighting can be bought for as little as £40 on Amazon.
MICROPHONE & ACOUSTICS
The quality of the sound is also an important factor, and the most common problem is echo. If it’s a studio with students and live online classes, then the best you can do is place plants and cushions around.
A Bluetooth earpiece will help a lot with the microphone being close to the mouth. If you use the microphone on your laptop, your voice is going to bounce off the surfaces around you, creating more echo.
If you are filming classes, then its quite easy to reduce the echo by hanging towels or blankets over hard surfaces, so your voice doesn’t bounce back creating the echo.
How your space looks online is also important. Keep your space clear, too many ornaments will create visual noise. Make yourself the centre of attention and add some minimal branding. A white background will help you stand out, so long as you wear a contrasting colour.
ONLINE & IN STUDIO CLASSES
If you decide to teach online and in class at the same time, then there are some more factors to consider.
Its easy for your attention to be focused on the screen in front of you, so remember to include students in the studio as well.
Make sure the screen is in front of you and the mats are arranged so you can see in the studio as well.
HEALTH & SAFETY
If you have equipment in the studio and students coming in and out, be sure you have your leads clearly identified and secured, with hazard free walkways. Gaffer tape will stick leads to the floor, and you can also get rubber casing that is trip proof.
HOW YOU LOOK
Finally, be aware of how you look online. The clothes you wear may clash with your surroundings, so take some time arranging your look to suit online teaching. The light will affect how you look online, and its important students can see your face. Arrange your lighting so your features can be seen, otherwise you may be lost in shadow.
If your filming classes, then the settings on a camera can make a huge difference to how you look on film. If the light is harsh then a warm setting
on your camera will create a softer look.
EQUIPMENT YOU MAY NEED
If you are filming a class, then the camera you use is going to make a difference. A Panasonic Lumix 4K camera will give you exceptional quality, and although its around £375, is amazing value for what you get.
A decent earpiece will cost about £25 for live teaching, and If you are filming a class, then a lavalier microphone is the best option.
If you already have a laptop, a 50 inch smart tv can be bought now for under £300, and this will give a great view of your students.
If you need to watch the money, then use your smart phone and or your laptop.
ADVANTAGES OF TEACHING ONLINE
Of course, you can now take your studio with you, so there are advantages to running classes online. If it is a pranayama or meditation class, then its easy to deliver it online.
Watch out for our video on how to teach online.