My Online Yoga Teaching Journey

I’ve just been thinking about my journey with online teaching this year…..
My approach was to change ONE THING every week, to slowly improve the quality of my videos. 

I just enjoyed making this list of how I incrementally improved the quality of what we’re doing over the last 6 months!!

Sharing this list here in case it’s helpful to anyone.  Some things involve buying equipment. Some things are free/low cost.

I (and my partner and co-teacher Adrian) are mainly teaching group classes on Zoom, then recording that output and editing for YouTube.

  • MICROPHONE – Day 1. Got a Rode Wireless Go + headset
  • ACUITY – integrate all the Zoom stuff into my Acuity booking system. Lifesaver.
  • ANY KIND OF LIGHTS – Borrow all the random lights in the house to get the shot lit adequately (spotlights, lamps, desk lamps, whatever)
  • EDITING with iMOVIE – gets me started with doing YouTube content.  I love editing…. 
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS – convert all my yoga people who were willing to go online into monthly payers
  • BIG TELLY – Borrow a massive TV from a friend so I could see students better
  • GET CONNECTED TO SEVERAL NETWORKS – for backup I have my home broadband, and two different mobile networks I can use.
  • START LOCAL RECORDING OFF ZOOM – means less downloading. And the quality is better.  
  • TWO COMPUTERS – Start connecting two computers to Zoom – one to just be on my spotlight and to record locally – one to feed the ‘gallery’ of all the students onto the big TV.  I usually have each Zoom connection on a different broadband or mobile network
  • WEBCAM – get a Logitech 930e plug in webcam which is a big improvement on my old laptop’s webcam, plus I can put it on a tripod
  • MURAL – commission my neighbour Harri to paint the wall behind me.
  • YOGA TEACHER TRAINING MODULE – I run it online, via Zoom. It works.
  • EDITING WITH PREMIERE PRO – borrow Adrian’s computer and Adobe login and start using better editing software. It’s faster and less flaky.
  • VIRTUAL VAULT – create a secret library of recorded classes for subscribers. Low tech setup: unlisted videos + a single password protected webpage.
  • LAVALIER EXPERIMENT – Break headset cable and go to using a plug in Lavalier mic
  • WEBCAM – figure out we can turn off the autofocus and also slightly tweak the exposure and colour constrast to get a prettier shot
  • TRIPOD – Get hold of a decent tripod, so we can change the shot between seated poses and standing poses
  • LAVALIER FAIL – Break Lavalier mic cable and just use the Wireless Go.  Very little difference in quality. I also get better at using Wireless Go (cuts out if my body is in the way of the transmission, and it’s better anchored to non floppy clothing)
  • INSURANCE/DISCLAIMER – finally get around to sorting out my insurance to cover me for YouTube. Start adding a disclaimer to videos.
  • LIGHTBULBS – as I have a lot of light coming in the windows, I switched all my room lightbulbs to cool blue light to match
  • EXTRA SPEAKER – we do 6 weeks of Outdoor yoga.  With a speaker.  And also broadcasting onto Zoom at the same time. All the technology, all at once.
  • HEADSET – Finally get my Rode headset back.  I now use it super carefully, but I mildly prefer it to the Wireless Go box.
  • RING LIGHT – get hold of a ring light, stop using three extra plug in random desk/bedroom lights.
  • PARALLEL SESSIONS – in-person classes start again, with masks, 2m distancing etc.  Figure out the setup for a simple Zoom connection at the same time. No lights, camera low down, no big preview on a telly. I use: laptop, external webcam on a mini tripod, Wireless Go.  My coteacher Adrian uses: iPhone on a mini tripod, AirPods.
  • YOGA TEACHER TRAINING MODULE – we move to a local hall to do it, so we can be at a 2m distance.  I take most of the studio equipment with me (lights, telly, mobile dongles).  We run the with half the group in-person in the big hall, half the group on Zoom.  

CURRENT GOALS

  • Publish a public yoga video a week, a subscriber-only video a week, and do an email/blog post a week
  • Get a few more virtual only yoga subscribers
  • Rewrite my 2020 Yoga Teacher training structure for a 2021 YTT designed for blended delivery (rather than making it up as we go along)

NOT DONE YET BUT WANT TO

  • Record 4k during live classes as it will be better for YouTube
  • Use the 60 videos I’ve done so far to create email-based sequences and challenges
  • Make the Virtual Vault more secure and trackable with individual logins

Happy to do interviews on this for podcasts or YouTube!!