How can you teach yoga classes online competently and effectively? In this article, we'll take a look at the three things you need to consider to provide an authentic and valuable online experience for your student. (Looking for technology advice? Check out this article on online education, or teach pre-recorded yoga classes.)
Own your classroom
Just like teaching a class in the studio, you must own your class. Owning your classroom means that you actively and consciously manage the classroom environment in order to create the best possible experience for your students.
Consider: When your students walk into your "studio" (your online class), how do you want them to feel? Choose your background, lighting and accent pieces (plants, sculptures, paintings) to create the ambiance you want for your online studio. Think about adjectives that can describe your ideal environment, and design your space accordingly. For example, creating a “restful, calm and calming” studio is different from a “uplifting, dynamic and funky” studio. Have fun designing your space in a way that supports your classroom intention.
Treat your online studio like a real studio experience and create guidelines that will handle the experience accordingly. For example:
- Do you ask students to keep their videos?
- If so, do you help students position their mats and camera so you can see them (this is like helping students place their mats at the start of class)?
- Do you allow latecomers to class?
- Do you cater to students who leave early? (Or provide expectations for those who have to leave?)
- Do you provide a link to a curated playlist for music?
- Do you educate your students in advance on any props or items they might need for the classroom?
Demo vs watch
The most impactful part of your online teaching is your decision to demonstrate or watch the class. When you do a class demonstration, you practice on your mat with the students. When you watch the lesson, you activate the Gallery view and look at the student practices instead. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Demo: advantages and disadvantages
- Allows students to see the teacher's practice (good for new students or visual learners)
- You may find it easier to indicate the class if you are doing practice.
- You may be able to come up with more complicated transitions since students have a visual reference
- Students may not feel "on the spot" as they may be when the teacher is looking at them
- You cannot see or interact with students during the demonstration
Watch the class: pros and cons
- Ability to give personal comments to students and use their names; helps to create connection and community
- Could make students aware of being watched
- Requires a very clear verbal signal if students do not have a visual guide for practice
- May be more difficult for students to follow the class who are not native to your language
- May be more difficult for beginners to follow
Your choice of demonstrating or watching will be determined by the level of your students and the intention of your class. You can choose to do a partial demonstration and partially watch if you wish, or you can choose to highlight (pin video) from a volunteer student who can demonstrate the class so you can watch your students .
Tip: If students' names appear on their video profiles (as they do in Zoom), you can ask your students to rename their profile to “No Help” if they would prefer not to receive verbal assistance.
Create a community
Online education can provide a rewarding opportunity for students to connect with you and with their peers. Here are some suggestions for building an online community:
- Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for the class to connect with the students
- Stay 10 to 15 minutes after class to log in and answer questions
- Have students turn off their microphones before and after class to connect
- At least before and after class, have students turn on the video to say hello
- Use the names of the students; if you offer verbal aids in class, point out what students are doing well and acknowledge them
- Have students enter their names (so that in their profile, their names are visible (rather than listed as "IPhone 768" or whatever)
Even though online teaching is different from teaching in person, you can still make sure that you create a specific and intentional experience for your students. By seizing the special opportunities of online education, we can always help support a powerful, connecting and engaging experience for your students.
Everyone seems to be a yogi these days, from your BFF to your co-worker to your aunt—heck, even dogs and goats are getting their zen on. But if you have yet to attempt Warrior II or Mountain Pose, taking your first yoga chic can be a little intimidating. What if your hands sweat and you fall off the mat ? What if you hate it ? What if you can’t do a solo. damn. pose ?
Okay, rewind a second—there’s a reason so many people have hopped on a mat over the past few years. ' Yoga is a non-judgmental practice, ' says Claire Ewing, certified yoga instructor and studio marketing directeur for CorePower Yoga. It’s is a totally accessible way to unwind and break a sweat, so there’s nothing to worry about before checking out a chic.
But to help you feel a little more comfortable before you say your first ' om ' or ' namaste, ' Ewing has some yoga tips to answer all those questions floating around your head.
When in doubt, Ewing says opt for a vinyasa flow chic, ' where you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of yoga. ' These are the variétés of classes most of your friends probably do, and it’s a great form of yoga for beginners. But bien sûr, it never hurts to check out a couple different types of classes to see what feels best to you.
' Definitely go for something breathable and easy to move in, ' says Ewing. ' You will work up a sweat, so consider wearing something with moisture-wicking abilities. ' Oh and FYI : Yoga is a no-shoes kind of workout, so don’t worry about sporting your best sneakers addict to class.
Like with any workout, it’s totally a personal preference how much you mazout pre-yoga. But Ewing points out that yoga is a pretty intense workout, and fueling your body properly will help you get the most out of your practice. Keep it light, though, ' I usually start with a protein shake or bar knowing that the classes can physically take you in dynamic directions, ' says Ewing. ( A. k. a. don’t down that massive avo toast right before chic. ) If you’re just having a small pre-workout snack, you can probably do that about 30 minutes beforehand; but wait a full one to two hours before sérieux out after a meal.
She adds that hydrating beforehand is also key, especially if you ever do attempt a heated flow. ' Drink a full glass of water about two hours before class—that way you have something to sweat out and you will feel better during chic. '
' Absolutely ! ' says Ewing. ' A regular yoga practice increases flexibility and strength in your muscles. It has you work your full range of motion in every joint of your body and build strong and long groupes musculaires. ' ( In fact, vinyasa yoga even made this list of the top calorie-burning workouts. )
This depends on the type of yoga class you take—for example, a slow flow or hatha chic may require you to hold a pose for an extended period of time. But in vinyasa, ' it comes down to the intention of how the position was designed, ' says Ewing. ' For example, balancing poses are held longer to benefit concentration and focus, while transition postures build strength while teaching fluidity in movement. '
For the most part, though, poses are held for three to five breaths during the first round to help them sink into your memory. Then they’re held for a solo breath when you repeat the pose, to help amp up the cardio component of yoga.
Don’t stress ! No one expects you to master every pose your first go-round ( or really, ever—it’s a constant learning process ). Your yoga instructor should offer possibilités for pose modifications, especially for the more challenging ones. ' Your breath is key in yoga, if you are losing sight of this, you may want to consider modifying or completely backing off, ' says Ewing. And don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for aide.
Also, try to avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room—all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and défis. Plus, every time you step on the mat, it’s going to feel a little different, ' for both your body and your mind, ' says Ewing. ' If there is one thing you can take away from the classroom, it is learning how to modify and create a practice that is fit for you. '