As we make the transition to teaching yoga classes online, it's important to do it right. It's easy to make a rookie mistake and lose your audience. Whether you're streaming or recording, here are five practical and easy tips for teaching yoga classes online that will make a huge difference in the quality of your offering. While these tips are designed for live streaming (because we're not talking about editing yet), they're also helpful for those of you recording. (For specific tips on live streaming, see "How to stream live lessons. ”)
Teach with a clean, spacious and uncluttered background. If you check out our DoYogaWithMe Videos, you will see that we take great care to make sure the background is clear and uncluttered. It is easy to do; Pick a wall in your house that has a good amount of space (ideally you want a clear horizontal strip of at least 10 feet), then move everything away. You usually won't teach with a window in the frame due to lighting issues (see point 2), but it really depends on the orientation of your window. I prefer light or white walls when possible to create a clean and airy look. Usually, you will place your rug horizontally along the wall. A small altar space or a nice hanging / wall painting may work, depending on your space. If you have a tripod, the exterior can also work.
- Clean bottom
- Eliminate clutter and distracting objects
- Place some "yoga" objects in the frame if you wish
When taking photos, make sure you don't have any light behind you as this will flood the camera sensors and may make you look dark. For this reason, you usually won't teach with a window in the frame behind you unless you're sure the light won't blow the camera (exceptions: on YouTube YogawithAdrienne is teaching against a window and it looks awesome. ). For this reason, you often won't put a bright lamp in the frame with you, as it can make you look darker. You want to be well lit from the front and sides. Natural light can be amazing (if you're in front of a window), as long as you're teaching in time the light won't change dramatically. While I'm frankly a fan of warm lighting, “daylight” LED lights mimic the sun up close, so you put a few of these lights in your house lamps and see what that looks like. Newer cell phones (like the iPhone 11) have amazing cameras and light sensors that can adapt to a wide variety of environments. In yoga, we shoot a lot. So before you shoot, do a test shot in the space where you practice a few different poses to make sure you don't get dark when you turn in a certain direction.
- Avoid bright light in the photo with you
- Add light from the front and sides to make sure you are fully lit and avoid shadows
- Daylight can work well if you're in front of a window
3. Audio, audio, audio
Audio is where most videos fall apart, and this is where you may need to make an investment if you want to do it in the long run. When students train with you, their key connection is not visual; it's audio. Bad sound will be very distracting and cause them to disconnect.
There are two major issues: the live rooms and the teacher movement.
Problem 1: Live Rooms
If you are in a very "live" room - that is, you have a lot of hard surfaces - the sound will resonate and sound poor. It's very difficult to fix after the fact. (Check my start Youtube videos for a demonstration of this problem). To fix a live room inexpensively, take all the pillows in your house and stack them on hard surfaces to dampen sound. Hang the blankets on the walls out of view of the camera. You want to be as "dead" as possible. You know how sound studios have foam stuck to walls and ceilings? You can also go get foam padding from Home Depot and put it everywhere. Take a test with your camera to assess your sound before your recording or live broadcast.
Problem 2: Body movements
Teaching yoga is different from most live broadcasts in that you have to move and face a bunch of different directions. Because of this, your sound will change (because you are not always facing the camera). In an ideal world, you use a microphone on your real body (bonus: this usually eliminates problem # 1 - the “live room” problem - yes!).
Inexpensive Solution: To solve this sound inexpensively, use your wireless headphones, like your Apple Air Pods. The bonus is that these will connect directly to your iPhone, usually eliminating the hassle of connecting your audio to your phone. Sure, you'll have them stuck in your ears, but people will be able to hear you clearly.
Investment solution: I use a Sennheiser Wireless Lavalier.
At around US $ 500, it's an investment, but well worth it in the long run. You can hear there is a huge difference in sound in my new videos where I am moving.
While there are mics that connect directly to your iPhone's port (via a Lightning port), by getting a simple adapter, you can expand your option significantly. the adapter (note that the three rings around the plug rather than two) is called a TRS adapter) and it will connect your mic to your iPhone's headphone jack (or more precisely, it plugs into the iPhone adapter headphone jack that you probably know).
Using this adapter is not difficult, but if you get it wrong it will not work. I'll also point you to an amazing resource on YouTube: Primal Video. They're tech gods with lots of goodies. here is a video specifically on cell phone microphones and adapters if you want to explore this issue further.
Music Note: To keep the audio simple, I recommend having your students play their own music (or - fun solution - create a Spotify playlist that's right for your class and invite your students to start it from home during the lesson) rather than trying to squeeze music into your live recording. To get started, keep it simple.
And pro tip: if you use a microphone, the sound is picked up very close to you (like on your body), so don't yell to reach for the phone 🙂
- If possible, use a body microphone to ensure your sound is consistent as you move
- If you are using an external mic, make sure you get the right adapter so you can plug your mic into your Android or iPhone and it works
- Make sure the room is not too “live” and echoing, as this is very difficult to repair after the fact if you want to record the session for posterity.
4. Camera position
Obviously, where you place the camera is important because it will act as the eyes of your audience. You want to photograph in landscape (horizontally). Unless you have a lot of space in front of your mat, you'll probably want to lay it horizontally so you can see your whole body. You need to test the camera shot to make sure it captures you fully (in other words, your hands aren't cut off when you reach them overhead).
I did a lot of filming where I just put my phone on a shelf to record. However, I recommend that you use a tripod for several reasons:
- Getting the position accurately and easily is so much less frustrating with a tripod
- You can tilt the phone to get the right shot (if you lean the phone against books it will tend to pull up rather than down)
- You don't have to worry about the phone dropping halfway through.
My recommendations: Get a decent tripod. It's worth it. You want one that can lift high enough to capture you directly (so don't get a tiny one that's only for iPhones; get a real one for cameras). here is a suggestion (compact aluminum tripod from Manfrotto), but you have tons of options on Amazon that you can search for. You will also buy an adapter for your tripod so that it can hold your phone. I personally use this Kobra adapter. Again, while you can buy a “tripod for iPhones”, I recommend getting a legitimate tripod and then just getting the adapter so your phone can attach to it. You will get a better product.
- Photographing the landscape
- Use a tripod if you can
- Test to make sure the camera can capture you in all your poses
5. Educational presence
Ironically, you can't trust your video. I want you to imagine that you are actually teaching via an audio podcast. Here's why:
- Students may not have a computer (or phone) screen large enough to see you clearly
- They will not be able to see you most of the time (e.g. in a folded forward or down position)
- They won't be able to see if you easily lift your right or left leg (like in class), so you have to be incredibly precise in your signals.
- You don't want them to have to move their computer during their workout to keep watching you
For all of these reasons, you need to verbally lead your students through practice flawlessly. Be very specific about rights / lefts, tracking directions and transitions. Don't be fooled by the visual. This is a great opportunity to refine your verbal cues.
Plus, if you're wrong - no excuses! Continue as you would in a normal classroom. Copy the errors if you need to, but exit without hesitation. Just because it's a video doesn't have to be perfect and the students don't like you to be human.
- Use clear, crisp language (don't be fooled by the video)
- Embrace the imperfections! Be human and keep going.
It'll be weird if you're not used to teaching with a camera. Imagine there is a fun student right behind the lens who enjoys everything you do - because there is! Treat the camera like that sympathetic student and watch them frequently and directly to record yourself (especially at the start of class when your virtual audience is probably watching you). If it helps, paste a photo of a real student directly behind your camera to feel like you're talking to someone real.
Keep in mind: While this is publicized by the camera, you are teaching real students beyond the lens. Remember them and take the opportunity to share your teaching.
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 class 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 manager 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 genres 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 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 working 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 class. '
' 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 de muscles. ' ( In fact, vinyasa yoga even made this list of the top calorie-burning workouts. )
This depends on the type of yoga chic 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 positionnement 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 assistance.
Also, try to avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room—all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and challenges. 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. '