Adapting to the "New Normal": Discover Hybrid Classes
The pandemic has shown us that when the situation gets tough, we need to reinvent ourselves, find new ways and adapt to new conditions. Adaptability is key. The solution, in this case, was found in the online classes, which proved to be a good alternative to traditional in-person ones.
As you well know, teaching online has many pro’s: we can skip the annoyance of our daily commute and work from the comfort of our homes, all you need is a good Internet connection, a laptop, a nice set-up, that’s it. On top of that, it’s also worth reminding that online classes were actually the only option we had, and they saved our studios’ economy from collapsing. And yet, one might argue that with online classes, yoga has lost its real spirit.
Hybrid classes, as the term itself suggests, are the perfect mix of online and in-person teaching methods.
Let’s be honest, online classes are a valid option for both teachers and students but they also have some downsides. As a matter of fact, teaching online can be frustrating for many instructors, as they’re lacking that physical contact we usually have when we teach in our studios. On the other hand, even after lockdown, in-person classes can be difficult to arrange, given the social distancing measure, that will allow only a small number of students to our sacred space.
The solution for your yoga studio lies somewhere in-between: have you ever heard of hybrid classes?
Hybrid classes, as the term itself suggests, are the perfect mix of online and in-person teaching methods. It means offering live, online participation alongside the traditional in-person instruction, allowing only a set number of students to our lessons in complete safety. This way, you will have the chance to experience the benefits of our beloved face-to-face class, simultaneously extending it to a wider online audience.
Trust me, hybrid teaching is simply the ultimate lifesaver for our business and our beloved students. No wonder that they are now becoming an incredibly popular trend for many studios and freelance instructors.
How to start with hybrid classes
During the shutdown you have probably become quite familiar with online classes, so hopefully your audio-video skills are ready for hosting hybrid classes. Nevertheless, there are some little adjustments you need to take into account before getting down to work. Clearly, our top priority is to make sure that both our online and in-person audience can perfectly see and hear us; to do so, you need to find the perfect set-up and ensure that everyone feels evenly involved and valued.
It is indeed crucial to remember that if you want your hybrid class to be successful you should always try to give equal energy to your audiences and offer a more inclusive experience for everyone. To do so, my suggestion would be to start your class a bit earlier, so that you will have all the time and space to adjust your setting and get ready to welcome your online crowd. To fully involve your in-person audience you can try carving out some time at the end of the class and leave some space for questions, comments and feedback. Moreover, when hosting the live event, it’s always good to provide a nice and catchy description. Ideally it should be something that can magnetically draw your public attention, and at the same time, it ought to give detailed hints about the upcoming class.
However, there is a problem that is still unsolved: how to avoid excluding people from your in-person lesson? A great trick is to ask your students to join you for a studio session on a rotational basis; this way no-one will be left behind! To make your class fully inclusive you can also start getting creative with something that automatically connects people to each other, and that is music, of course! Obviously, not everyone will enjoy it the way you do, so please before picking the soundtrack that best suits your practice check if everyone’s ok with your choice. Afterall, your goal as a teacher should be to create a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable and has equal space to express their opinion! If you’re feeling kind of groovy and want to share some positive energies with your folks, a good idea is to play out some chill/meditative music and maybe even create your own playlist. Just check that it’s not too loud so that your voice doesn’t get covered. Also remember to share the link to your playlist with online students too so that everyone can fully enjoy it!
Pricing of hybrid classes
An additional perk of hybrid classes is that, in some cases, you can even enhance your revenue. When you decide to host two classes at the same time, as I’ve said, you have the chance to welcome more people into your class, which automatically translates into increased profits. Otherwise, if you want to motivate your students you can still try to offer discounts to your most loyal fellows, so that they can feel rewarded and will stay close.
Another idea for your business could be to give the chance to pick a donation-based fee: believe me, it’s a great way to attract new members to your tribe. In doing so, you extend the practice of yoga to a wider crowd, even to those with limited budgets! Afterall this sacred discipline is indeed supposed to be for everyone, regardless of sex, race and social status.
Finally, I hope this article has given you a deeper insight into hybrid classes and helps you arrange a unique class! If you still need further details, you can check out our guide about how you can create hybrid classes with Momoyoga!