If you have a yoga studio, the pandemic may have forced you to make hard choices, such as closing your studio and risking losing clients or taking classes online. A 2020 Morning Consult survey revealed that 41% of Americans aged 18-29 years are interested in learning yoga online, so moving to a web format may be the way of the future.
Teaching yoga online for the first time can be intimidating, even for seasoned yoga teachers. Make it easy for students to find you, and your business will operate smoothly. You can use online platforms such as StudioGrowth to schedule and send invites and reminders of the class.
Even though you need extra tools to teach yoga online, such as a strong internet connection, great lighting, and a good camera, moving your practice to the worldwide web can be a great source of income. So, let’s talk about how you can teach yoga online.
What Is an Online Yoga Studio, and Why Has It Become Popular?
Did you know there are over 254 million yoga videos on YouTube? Some of these videos are produced in online yoga studios and classes, but others are from yoga teachers who practice in their homes. Online yoga studios have become popular for various reasons.
An online yoga studio or cloud yoga studio is a virtual studio that operates as a fully functioning yoga studio. It could be in your home or even in a yoga studio, but classes are presented online.
In 2020, 55.1 million Americans practiced yoga. Most of these students and teachers have found ways to maintain daily or weekly practice in their homes, primarily through online teaching.
Yoga’s getting a permanent place on the web since attending classes online is more convenient and comfortable for many people.
How Much Do Online Yoga Teachers Make?
When charging students for online yoga classes, some instructors make the mistake of only charging fees for their time. However, yoga has many hidden charges, including time spent planning the lessons, the cues, traveling expenses to and from the yoga studio, marketing and promotion costs, and many more.
Online yoga teachers in the US earn an average of $20,000 annually. The average price for an online yoga class is $10. Some yoga instructors who build a large following online and offer on-demand virtual yoga classes for sale can make at least $7,500 a month.
How much you make is often linked to the value you give your clients, not the time.
It would help if you also marketed extensively to build your client base, especially when working online in a saturated market.
If you find a way to promote yourself, you can connect with tons of people from all over the world. That is the advantage of online yoga. Unlike in-person classes, where a limited number of students can attend, Zoom offers different packages hosting 100 to over 1000 participants from anywhere in the world.
Things Stopping Yoga Teachers From Teaching Online
Although the demand for yoga has grown significantly, a small percentage of yoga instructors have ventured into teaching online. However, the majority of yoga teachers are not teaching yoga online for various reasons:
- Some yoga instructors fear the unknown. Some yogis are confident with in-person classes because they share knowledge with a few students. The fear of being exposed to people with more knowledge and skill keeps some yoga instructors from teaching online. The imposter syndrome is real for yoga teachers venturing to teach yoga online.
- The lack of a decent camera may be an obstacle to some yoga instructors. Some instructors are concerned that their phone camera is not good enough, so they wait to start online lessons until they get an HD camera.
- Some instructors do not have access to a yoga studio and do not have the space or proper lighting to turn their homes into yoga studio.
- Lack of experience with audio/video. Getting yourself in the shot while being audible to your students is difficult, especially when you’re in tricky poses with your head down. However, a wireless microphone and moveable camera can help keep everything focused.
- Some yoga teachers do not have all the necessary tools for online classes. Some tools needed include video conferencing software, such as Zoom and Skype, yoga studio scheduling software, a stable internet connection, a tripod, a wireless microphone, and lighting equipment.
- It takes focus to help each student online. Unlike in a physical studio, you’ll have to keep your eyes on the screen while moving into new positions to assist anyone struggling.
- Some yoga instructors like the sense of community associated with in-person yoga classes. Online classes are impersonal and sometimes too large for teachers to connect with their students. Observing students is also tricky.
- It can be challenging to interact with students online. Student-teacher interactions give teachers the confidence to know their students are satisfied, but talking is difficult when everyone’s muted on a computer screen.
If you want to teach yoga online, you can overcome these challenges by tailoring your classes to the online format and finding a platform that works for you.
For example, you can limit your class to a few people at a time. Doing so will improve interactions, and you can spend a few minutes before or after the online yoga sessions getting acquainted with your students.
5 Steps To Teach Yoga Online
If you would like to teach yoga online, the following steps will help you get started:
#1. Decide the Format
Before teaching yoga online, you must know the format you will follow. Your students will be more confident when you appear organized and follow a sequence they can easily follow.
Your response to these questions will guide you on the format to use:
- If you also teach yoga at the studio, do you intend to follow the same format, or do you wish to launch a different routine for your online classes?
- Do you want to work with beginners and seasoned yogis, or would you like to train yoga teachers?
- Do you want to focus on simple moves and progress to more challenging techniques?
- Do you intend to teach a specific yoga style, such as Hatha, Kundalini, or Vinyasa Yoga?
- How do you intend to market your yoga classes?
- Do you want multiple students in the class, or do you wish to have one-on-one live yoga sessions?
You can ask your students about their preferred online yoga format if you have in-person classes. You can also review my guide on marketing for a yoga studio to get a better insight into attracting students online.
#2. Choose the Streaming Platform You Will Use
Do you intend to teach online yoga classes using live social media sessions like Instagram or Facebook live? Or do you want private Zoom classes?
All these platforms have advantages and disadvantages, so you must decide what works for you and your students.
When choosing the streaming platform to use, you also need to consider the equipment to use.
The ZealSound Wireless Microphone, available on Amazon.com, will help you communicate from anywhere in the yoga studio without worrying about not being heard. It is battery-powered, has an LED screen, is compatible with iPhone, and has Vlog and Livestream modes for a clear sound.
You’ll also need a camera to set the scene. You can use a built-in webcam, but getting the angles right for teaching can be challenging.
The NexiGo Streaming Camera, is a fantastic camera you can use for your online yoga classes. It has a built-in lighting ring with a brightness adjustment button for easy light adjustments. It also has a magnetic privacy cover, 1/4″ (0.63 cm) tripod support, and is compatible with most meeting and streaming software.
#3. Decide on the Price of the Online Yoga Classes
Unfortunately, many online yoga teachers do not know how to price their classes. Since students can easily compare the costs of the various online courses, you need to be competitive. However, this doesn’t mean you should underprice your classes.
Students are not necessarily looking for the cheapest class but one that offers value for their money.
Consider your overhead costs and the invaluable lessons you will offer, and come up with a reasonable price per online yoga session.
If all your lessons are online, aim to have more classes and students instead of charging a high price to cover your costs. However, if you have a target group willing to pay more for specialized or private classes, you can set the price according to their interests.
If most of your students attend in-person classes, you may choose to offer on-demand videos at no additional cost. Doing so may earn more paying students who wish to practice yoga at home.
Another alternative is to use the donation option. If you have built a strong yoga community and are guaranteed to have a large following, you may decide to request a donation instead of placing a set price for your yoga class.
#4. Set Up a Payment System
Your online yoga classes can be a great source of income, but only if you make it easy for your students to make payments. Once they discover your classes, your students also need to see the payment options.
When setting up your online business, you should avoid leaving your potential clients with questions like how to pay. Being ambiguous or unclear can be off-putting to some clients, who will choose to move on to another instructor who has openly stated the rates per hour, how to book the class and the payment options.
Accounting software like QuickBooks and Fresh Books are great for creating invoices and accepting payments.
It would help if you also considered that some of your students might be from other countries, and some of these payment systems may not be available to them. Transferwise is one of the trusted international money transfer services that you can use to attract clients from across the globe.
For more tips, this video explores the different payment options and how to use them for your online yoga classes:
#5. Promote Your Yoga Classes
Once everything is in place, you must focus on marketing your online yoga classes. You need to excite veteran yogis and people interested in learning yoga with what you have to offer.
Before getting started, email your current clients to let them know your plans for online yoga lessons.
Market scheduled classes on social media, and if you offer one-on-one yoga lessons, provide your contact information and market your course offerings. That way, people who want private lessons can reach out to you.
You need to be ready to market extensively on Facebook groups for yoga enthusiasts, start using paid promotions and look at other affordable promotional options. You can use Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and even TikTok to show your personality and share your passion for yoga.
Once you build a following, you can quickly become your brand; before long, your classes will fill up fast.
6 Ways To Teach Yoga Online
Once you take your yoga classes online, you will need to choose the streaming medium to use. Fortunately, you can use different platforms, depending on your potential clients and the best way to reach them. The platform you use to deliver your content to your students is critical because it will determine how well you do as a yoga instructor.
The following are six ways you can teach yoga online:
#1. Teach Yoga Online On Zoom
After the pandemic, Zoom’s popularity increased significantly. It was not only a point of contact for employees working from home but quickly became the go-to platform for teaching.
Zoom offers Yoga teachers several advantages:
- You can link your Zoom class with Facebook Livestream.
- It has multiple security features. For example, you can set up the waiting room feature so that no one can access the yoga Zoom class without your approval. Once you start the course, you can lock it to avoid disturbances.
- You can have a mock session with another teacher or friend to analyze your movements and sounds before class begins. Ensure you test variations in lighting, especially if you intend to dim the lights during meditation.
- You can have moments of social interaction before and after the class with your students. You can also mute everyone’s microphone to reduce interruptions when class starts.
- You can keep checking on your students during class to ensure perfect body alignment. Some students may choose to keep their screen blank during the lesson, which is their right. However, you shouldn’t ignore those that choose to follow your cues with their video turned on.
- Learn more about your students before the class.
- Record your class and send your students the link, should they decide to practice after class.
If you teach your online yoga class from home, you should alert your family that you will be on camera. Doing so will prevent embarrassing situations of people walking into the room and distracting your class.
When booking Zoom for online yoga classes, you can use the Basic package, Pro account, or Business account.
Pro and business accounts allow you to host longer and larger meetings, but you’ll have to pay a small subscription fee to gain access.
#2. Teach Yoga Online On Instagram Live
Instagram has approximately one billion monthly active users. Instagram Live has become a critical marketing component, and you can use it for your yoga classes.
The decision to do an Instagram live stream can be difficult, and you may even second guess your decision many times. However, your online yoga classes will get a boost from the live sessions you have.
You just might convert some of your followers to paying clients because of how you present your live sessions.
The advantage of Instagram live is it is easy to do. You only need a smartphone, the Instagram app, a tripod, and good lighting.
To make your Instagram live yoga session enjoyable, you can:
- Add authenticity by sharing a story. It could be when you developed your interest in yoga, the triggers, and how yoga has changed your life. People will be motivated to join your class when they can relate to your story or if they wish to discover the same benefits you did.
- Have a Q & A session with your followers. Although many people have turned to yoga over the years, many still don’t know what it is and wish to learn more about it.
- Have a behind-the-scenes session. People may not know what goes on behind the screen hours before your yoga class. You can use Instagram live to share the activities before the course commences.
Although Instagram live sometimes feels like a monolog, you can interact with your followers using chat, and the instant feedback will give you the confidence to do more live sessions.
#3. Teach Yoga Online On Facebook Live
Like Instagram, Facebook has a large following, with over 2.91 billion monthly active users. Since users join Facebook and Instagram for different reasons, you should also take your yoga tutorials live on Facebook.
An online presence on social media will help you build your brand faster and redirect yogis to your online classes.
Be strategic when choosing your hashtags, and always provide a link to your online yoga class reservations.
#4. Teach Yoga Online On YouTube
Most people turn to YouTube for advice on doing anything under the sun, and you should use this medium to market your passion for yoga.
You can give free tutorials, offer advice to yoga beginners, and even share your experiences. YouTube videos may not be interactive, but they are a great source of information. If you post enough to gain a following, you can use it to become an authority in yoga.
#5. Teach Yoga Online On Twitch
Twitch has about 6.5 million monthly streamers.
Gamers traditionally use twitch, but it has transitioned into a live stream option for different users, including Yoga instructors. Besides selling your product, you can create a virtual summit to market your yoga classes and even invite other experts in the field for a Q & A session on twitch.
#6: Teach Yoga Online Using Yoga Studio Software
A good yoga studio software will integrate Zoom and other streaming platforms and enable you to teach yoga online seamlessly.
The advantage of using yoga studio software is that your entire workflow will flow in a seamless experience, from publishing schedules to taking payments and sending Zoom links to your customers – the software will do it all for you.
StudioGrowth is the recommended yoga scheduling software to teach yoga online. It integrates with Zoom and provides automated communication to send Zoom links to customers and trainers.
Tips for Teaching Yoga on Zoom
When teaching Yoga on Zoom, the following tips will help you have a smooth class:
- Give short, clear instructions that your students can follow.
- When conducting a beginner class, choose simple positions.
- Ensure you have excellent sound quality. If you work from an empty studio and far from the microphone, the students will hear an echo, distorting your message. A wireless microphone is the best option.
- Choose a position where the light is in front of you and not at the back. Working with a window behind you creates a glare that may affect how you appear during the Zoom class.
- Ensure the clothes you wear stand out from the background color. Creating contrast makes it easier for the students to see your movements.
Tips for Teaching Yoga Online
Your success in teaching yoga online will depend on several things, including the material and equipment you use and your location. These tips will help you succeed in teaching yoga online:
- Do a practice run with family or friends to work out the system’s kinks.
- Double-check the technology you are using to ensure it is working well.
- Confirm that your students can see and hear you.
- Show up for the class early.
- Always connect with the camera, especially when illustrating a pose.
- Always keep time.
- Choose an HD camera and test its position.
- Promote your online yoga class with confidence and enthusiasm.
- Choose the ideal location. You need plenty of natural light and adequate space for your yoga class.
When teaching yoga online, you have multiple options. You can use the various social media channels for live sessions to help redirect clients to yoga platforms, prepare tutorials for YouTube, or register on a yoga platform as an instructor. All these platforms have advantages and disadvantages, but you can find the ones that work best for you and your unique practice if you try them.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the yoga, fitness, and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently splits his time between the U.K and the US.