Top Tips for Great Private Online Yoga Classes
The pandemic has definitely created a new reality everyone all around the world needs to adapt to. The yoga world is no exception. And although the future might be uncertain, there is one thing that is for sure; yoga teachers (just like everyone else) are facing and will continue to face several new challenges.
The good news is that along with challenges come great opportunities. While at the moment many students aren’t able to practice at their beloved yoga studios, they have come to realize how staying connected to their practice affects both their physical wellbeing and their inner peace. And this is why online yoga classes, that for some people might have seemed impossible in the past, have now become extremely popular all over the world.
The popularity of private online yoga classes has risen significantly too. For many people, private online classes are the only option they have – either because their favorite studio’s online classes program doesn’t fit their schedule, or because practicing one-on-one makes them feel more comfortable.
As a yoga teacher, you need to remember that you are in control of the teaching space, even when teaching online.
This increased popularity gives us yoga teachers access to a new online market and offers us the great opportunity to reach new students, regardless of where they live. But how can we actually explore this opportunity? Read on for my tips to help you start teaching some successful private online yoga classes!
Arrange Your Teaching Setup
Taking care of our teaching space is always important – it is the background our students will see as we demonstrate asanas on our mat, the sounds they will hear and the scents they will smell. And when teaching online, it requires even more care and attention, as both its appearance and its sound quality will play a crucial role in our interaction with our students. So when preparing your teaching setup for your private online classes, make sure that your space is:
You don’t need to spend a fortune on professional lighting – your overhead lights and a floor lamp or two will do just fine. You could also add some cute string lights or a couple of candles for a warmer touch. In order for your student to be able to see you clearly, you need to turn on some lights behind the device you will be using. Avoid setting up in front of a bright light or an open window, as your student will only be able to see your silhouette.
If you live with your family, ask them to try and keep it down during your class. Choose a space with a door if possible and do your best to minimize any background noise. One of my students recently asked me if there was a clock in the room I was teaching from, and told me that she couldn’t stand the ticking noise. It was a pretty noisy clock indeed, but until then it had never crossed my mind that my students would be able to hear it too. And it wasn’t even that close to my computer.
You want your students to be able to focus on their practice, so try to remove any objects that might visually distract them during class. Setting up in front of a blank wall is always a good idea. You can keep a couple of plants or some minimal decoration around, for some added coziness.
All set for practice
Have your mat ready before class starts. Choose a spot where you have enough space to be able to move while you demonstrate the various postures, so that you won’t have to move any furniture or other objects around during class. Make sure you also keep your props close, so that you won’t have to look for them once the lesson begins.
Before choosing if you are going to use your laptop or your mobile phone, you need to consider the pros and cons of each device. A smaller device will allow you to do any micro-adaptations needed, so that your student can see you more clearly, but its small screen will make it difficult for you to see them. A larger device will offer you a better view of your student, but you won’t be able to move it around easily if needed. In any case, be creative and find a way to elevate your device, as this will most likely offer your student a better view. And of course, keep it charged.
Your Student’s Setup Is Important Too
As a yoga teacher, you need to remember that you are in control of the teaching space, even when teaching online. Just like with in person one-on-one sessions, where you have a saying on the area of your student’s house you are going to practice in or the furniture that need to move in order to create more space, you should give your input in online private classes too.
So before getting started, you need to help your student choose and set up their practice space, especially if this is totally new to them. Make sure they already have a yoga mat and suggest them to find a quiet spot, with enough space for them to move. If they don’t have any props, encourage them to be creative and use things they already have in their house, like a cushion, a towel, their bathrobe’s belt and a couple of thick books.
In private yoga classes, you need to tailor each session to your student’s needs and goals.
Help them choose a spot for their device. Ask them to find one that allows both them to see you in the screen and you to have full view of them. And don’t hesitate to ask them to reposition it if needed during class. It might also be a good idea to suggest them to avoid too loose clothes that will make it hard for you to see their outline.
Give Clear Verbal And Visual Instructions
A good online private yoga class involves lots of talking and lots of demonstration. While when in person things can be way easier as you can use a hands-on adjustment to help your student with a posture, when teaching online the only way to help is with your to-the-point instructions. Sometimes it will also be very helpful to copy your student’s form, so that they can understand the difference between what you are asking them to do and what they are actually doing.
Check On Your Student
In private yoga classes, you need to tailor each session to your student’s needs and goals. Of course this doesn’t mean that you are going to do your thing without checking on your student during class. When in person, you can easily read your student’s facial expression and observe how they are breathing. But when teaching online, this is going to be a bit tougher. So don’t hesitate to ask them if they are ok every now and then. And most importantly, encourage them to observe their own breath pace or any tension building up in their body. This will help them realize if they’ve gone a bit too far and they need to pause for a while.
Leave Your Mat
One of the most important things you should keep in mind when teaching private online yoga classes is to leave your mat every now and then. You need to regularly get closer to your device to check on your student and help them adjust their posture if needed or let them know they are doing great. You need to make every session as interactive as possible. And you need to make sure your student understands that you are there for them. Try to remember that if they wanted to just watch a yoga instructor demonstrate asanas, they could have chosen any of the countless pre-recorded yoga classes available online for free.
Decide On Your Prices
My experience has shown that people tend to think online yoga classes are cheaper than in person sessions. In a way it makes sense, as you won’t have to spend any time or money to get from one place to the other when teaching online. On the other hand, the value of your expertise and the quality of what you offer in your one-on-one sessions won’t change whether you teach online or in person. There is no right or wrong here. Just give these things a thought and make sure you decide on a price you are happy with.