Are you looking to teach yoga online but not sure where to start? We’ve got you!
My biz-bestie (Shannon Crow - The Connected Yoga Teacher) and I knew that we could help when things changed for yoga teachers all over the world in what felt like a matter of minutes.
Let’s face it, you were basically forced to figure out how to teach online overnight. You had to figure out the tech, how to teach online, and how to accept payment for your classes. **On that note, yes, you should be charging for your online classes! More on that….
So Shannon and I decided to host a masterclass on how to offer yoga online and we had over 900 yoga teachers sign up! If that doesn’t help you feel not-alone, I don’t know what will.
Dear friend, we are all in this together and I hope you feel incredibly supported in this time by coaches, mentors and other yoga teachers. Let’s help each other in this time of craziness in the world. That’s what yoga is all about anyway, right?
If you want to watch the full masterclass (including the Q&A) enter your information below:
Where To Start?
If you haven’t been teaching or sharing yoga online at all, it’s time to start with something simple and easy to do. And I know this will surprise you but live video is actually going to be the easiest for you. Yep…live video.
“Start with Facebook or Instagram live so you can get comfortable being on camera and figuring out the tech. Live might seem the scariest but it’s actually easier because there’s no editing involved!” - Amanda McKinney
Live video allows you to share yoga with your students quickly with little tech because it’s one-sided. You will not be able to see your students but you can still share a yoga practice with them in an effective way. They can comment on the video while it’s happening but you will not be able to actually see them on camera or hear them. This really helps as you’re getting comfortable with video because there are less distractions by paying attention to other people.
Tips for Live Yoga
Go live on your Facebook Business page and then share it on your personal page. This is going to help you separate your personal and business page. Plus you get analytics about who is watching your videos when they’re on your business page. Super bonus!!!
Facebook Live videos live on forever unless you take them down. You likely won’t have as many people live with you when it’s happening but people can watch it later so it’s still beneficial.
You can also download your Facebook Live video to use later if you have plans for that. But as you’re getting started, don’t worry about that. Just go live and be done.
Instagram Live videos live for 24 hours and show up in your “story” rather than the grid. Some of your followers will get a notification when you go live.
If you want to save the Instagram Live video you will need to download the file within the 24 hours that the video is live. So don’t forget to do that before it goes away. There is also a setting to automatically download your video files for any live you do. This is located in the Settings section of Instagram.
You can also go live on your YouTube channel and can download the file after you’re done with the live as well.
Using Zoom (or a similar system) to Host Yoga Classes or Private Sessions
Once you’re a little more comfortable with video using a system like Zoom or WebEx is a great way to share a yoga class where you can also see your students. The great news is that many people have been experiencing Zoom or similar services lately as they are connecting digitally with family and friends. This helps the process of setting up the tech as you don’t have to do the education as much right now.
Tips for using a video service for yoga classes or private yoga sessions
If you’re concerned about the tech from your side or your students' side, schedule a “meet and greet” or a practice session where you aren’t teaching an asana practice but rather navigating the tech and trying things out.
Grab a biz-bestie, a friend or family member and test out using a live-streaming video service before you host a public class.
Breath. Remember that there will likely be tech issues but just like you would handle an in-person hiccup in class, you can handle the tech hiccup too. You can! Trust yourself in this. You’re the leader in the room. You’ve got this!
Practice Makes “Perfect”. You won’t get better if you don’t get started. Just like teaching, so get started and move forward.
Suggestion for teaching: test out which you prefer - being further away from the camera and demoing the class or being closer to the camera and verbally cueing instead of demoing the class.
Free account: you can host a 40 minute “meeting” (aka: yoga class) for up to 3 people. You cannot record on the free account.
Pro account ($14.99 USD): you can host longer “meetings” for up to 100 people. You can record on this account.
Webinar account ($40 USD): you will be the only person visible and can have people register for the “meeting”. You can have a co-host if you make them a panelist during the “webinar”.
If your students want to broadcast Zoom on their TV, they can do this through Apple TV or other devices. For Apple TV specifically, have the student mirror their screen on their TV BEFORE joining the Zoom call or else it will not work correctly.
Using YouTube to Share Yoga With Students
YouTube is a great place to be online because you can be found by many people, including potential students and private clients. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google and is also a search engine so this is a great option.
You will need a YouTube channel in order to make the most of your presence on YouTube. My go-to resource for this is Trena Little. You can learn a lot about YouTube for free on her channel: Tips with Trena.
There are 3 options for uploading videos to YouTube:
Public - this allows anyone to search, find and watch your videos. This is great for your free marketing content.
Unlisted - this doesn’t allow people to search and find your videos but you can send the link to your paid students. Whoohoo! Get paid for your work!
Private - this only allows YOU to see the uploaded videos. This is a great option for you to use if you want to upload videos and then publish them later. You can do the work ahead of time but set it as “private” and then switch it later.
Tech Tips for Sharing Yoga Online
I’ve been flooded with questions about what camera or microphone to use. I’ve got great news for you….
“The best camera and microphone to use to share yoga online is the one you already have!” - Amanda McKinney
Yes, that’s right, the one you already have. You might find that you want to up your game later but for now, your students need the yoga you’re sharing. They need to see and hear you, that’s it.
If you find yourself thinking “I need this camera before I teach yoga online” that is likely your brain making an excuse because you’re scared to teach online. That might sound harsh but it’s true. We can all hide behind the excuse of “I will start when….” but the truth is that we need to just start.
“Start today. Start with what you have. Start now. You’ve got this.” - Amanda McKinney
Get Paid for Teaching Yoga Online
Yep. I said it and strongly believe this.
"If every yoga teacher continues to offer full-length classes online for free, it’s going to hurt every yoga teacher who teaches yoga as a career.” - Amanda McKinney
You deserve to get paid for your energy and time teaching others. You wouldn’t expect your dentist to all the sudden fill your cavity for free just because someone in this world lost their job. No. That’s not how things work.
I understand that we need to be sensitive to the fact that this is affecting many people in their jobs but it’s not affecting everyone so we can’t make that assumption. You can absolutely teach yoga for free online - this is called MARKETING. But there are other things that you should be paid for - these are your full-length classes and private sessions.
Can we all agree that this is a good choice? Awesome!
Payment Systems for Teaching Yoga Online
Paypal - most people already have a paypal account so it’s easy and integrates with a lot of other platforms. https://www.paypal.com/us/home
Stripe - you can connect this to your website and charge for your classes or private sessions. https://stripe.com/
Acuity - if you need a scheduler and a payment system, Acuity is a great option for this. https://acuityscheduling.com/
Offering Tree - if you need a website, payment system and scheduler, they have a great opportunity for you. Plus for a limited time, there is a discount for the Covid19 situation. https://offeringtree.com/covid-19-support/ (50% off the first 3 months)
All of these options are easy to implement so you can get paid for teaching yoga online.
Enter your info below to watch the full masterclass hosted by Shannon and I:
Your Next Step
Decide where you will start. Will it be live video so you can get comfortable with being on camera or will you go all in with using Zoom or YouTube? Choose one focus and work through the steps to share yoga with your students online. Know that no matter where you start, you will grow and continue to evolve and just like teaching, you will get comfortable with this process!
Get after it friend! You’ve got this!
Until next time, give yourself permission to teach yoga online (and get paid!) and grace along the way! Talk to you soon!
Limited Opportunity: Express Yoga Membership Training
If you're looking to take teaching yoga to the next level and open an online membership, I've got something for you. I'm hosting an express training where you get 6 hours of coaching to get your membership up and running QUICK! For $99 USD, you will get the step-by-step information on how to launch your online yoga membership.
We start April 20th and finish May 1st. Interested? Click here to learn more!