How to set up and hold online yoga classes

The BWY in conjunction with Yoga Alliance and Yoga Sports Science has held a number of webinars to support yoga teachers in delivering classes safely online.

Some of the tips they covered were the following:

  1. Decide on what platform you will use. Zoom is popular and offers 45 minutes for free for up to 100 participants, but Skype, Hangout on Google and BlueJeans are all other useful platforms.
  2. Practise and test your class and your equipment before you launch yourself into online teaching. Check your lighting, the position of your screen camera so that you can demonstrate standing, seated and lying  (you don’t want to be moving it up and down during the class) and make sure that your backdrop is clear with no domestic rubbish loitering within view…  Perhaps record your practice sessions so that you can see how you come across.
  3. Try to offer classes at the same time as you would have delivered them in person. This helps provide some consistency and stability in an ever-changing world. 
  4. Send an email invitation to the students to give the log in for the class: it is like a code for the yoga studio door.
  5. Before you give the class, send tips for the students so they know what to expect and how to set up at their end. For example, make sure they have mats and props ready, that those they live with know that they are having a class (try telling a toddler!), and that their camera is correctly positioned.
  6. Make sure all other online devices and apps are switched off. If there are too many online applications running at either end (e.g. emails, phone and or Netflix) this can seriously interfere with the quality of sound and vision. 
  7. You will need to ask participants to mute their microphone at their end. If they want to speak, they can ‘wave’ and then you can invite them to speak. If you are teaching a larger number, then ensure you mute participants at your end. 
  8. Make sure all cables are safely tucked away especially if you have to use an extension lead.
  9. Manage your students’ expectations. This is learning curve for everyone so less is more. Take it gently and aim for a much gentler class than you would normally.  
  10. Check that your insurance covers you for teaching online. Most will, but there is a difference between delivery of an online class to a closed community where you can monitor the class and live streaming or sending a saved recording to students who you can’t watch practise. 
  11. Safety is paramount.  Ask all your usual questions to make sure that students can alert you of any injuries and keep a close eye on all participants. You should be able to watch your students and enlarge the thumbnails to see what is going on.

Good luck and send us some feedback of your experiences!

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