Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson—a pro wrestler, actor, and arguably one of the fittest men ever—once said, "If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied." If you're facing obstacles to growing your fitness business, one way to move them is to begin offering services as an online yoga instructor.
In the U.S., yoga participation has increased dramatically over the last few years. Case in point: in 2015, roughly 36.7 million Americans engaged in a yoga practice; by 2020, that number had grown to 55.05 million. Teaching an online class enables you to connect with a larger portion of this demographic. Instead of being limited to your local city or town, you can now be a yogi to someone living in another state or country.
Coaching online also means not needing a dedicated yoga studio. Building and operating a yoga studio can be costly. Eliminating this expense means less money going out of your business. All you need is space for a yoga mat and a clean background for your videos.
Adding an online yoga class to your current services also shows that you have a wide range of fitness experience. Your teaching goes beyond cardio and strength training. This may be more appealing to athletes who want to expand their fitness regimen.
Coaching online reduces the time spent traveling to and from your clients. This is time you can use for training, which increases your income. By not making your clients travel, they save time too. And if they have transportation issues, they're still able to take your yoga training.
Another benefit to those you coach online is that it gives them access to a yoga class even if they're unable to appear in person. Maybe they're taking care of their kids or parents and can't get away. In times of community-wide shutdowns, like with COVID-19, they're still able to engage in their yoga practice. This can help keep them grounded at a time when it feels like the rest of the world is out of control.
The first step to teaching yoga online is to obtain the necessary training to become an instructor. This training will help better prepare you to become a successful yoga teacher.
For example, in the ISSA's Yoga Instructor certification course, you will learn all about the yoga philosophy. This is important because, for many, yoga is more than just exercise. It involves reaching a higher level of consciousness. It offers both meditation and movement, helping them improve their body and mind.
Yoga teacher training provides education in the various yoga postures and how they impact the body. (In yoga, a posture is also referred to as an asana.) This training helps you create a yoga practice for your clients based on their fitness level and desired results.
Once you've completed your yoga teacher training, the next step is to decide which style of yoga you want to teach online. You can pick one type of practice or many. All of them offer benefits related to meditation, mindfulness, and movement.
A few styles to considering offering in your new online yoga classes include:
Ashtanga yoga. This yoga involves transitioning through six series of postures rather quickly, each one more difficult than the last. It is a good cardio workout that also improves strength and flexibility.
Hatha yoga. The great thing about hatha yoga is it enables you to use your entire yoga teacher training and incorporate many styles together. That's essentially what hatha yoga is, a mixture of multiple practices. Have fun and see what you come up with.
Iyengar yoga. If you're interested in a slower paced yoga, Iyengar yoga is all about holding poses for longer periods of time. This practice is also good for students who are injured or have a hard time with poses because it often uses assistive props like chairs and blocks.
Power yoga. With power yoga, you take the class through a rigorous workout where they are constantly moving from one pose to the next. This is good for more advanced students looking for a cardio yoga workout.
Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga is all about variation, of transitioning from one posture to another while paying attention to your breath. It is a graceful practice also sometimes referred to as ‘flow yoga.' Vinyasa yoga will get your heart rate going while providing meditation for your mind at the same time.
Which type of yoga is best for you? The type that fits your personal training style. If you like the idea of teaching a class that is slow and controlled, Iyengar yoga or hatha yoga (the mixture) are options to consider. Prefer something a little more fast paced or difficult? Ashtanga and power yoga may be more satisfying.
If you're new to being an online yoga teacher, the whole process can feel overwhelming. One way to calm your nerves and to step into this space slowly is to offer a beginner class. Teaching this practice to those who've never done yoga is a great way to get started. Once you begin to feel more comfortable, you can start teaching higher-level yoga students.
Another option is to end some of your current training sessions with 5-10 minutes of yoga. This provides some experience as a yoga teacher. It also gets your current students used to this centuries-old practice. This increases the odds that they'll want to join your new online yoga class once it begins.
Teaching online can mean offering live training sessions. You may also decide to start selling pre-recorded yoga training videos. Either way, your video needs to be appealing to your class. If it isn't, you're not likely to get many coaching clients to return.
Here are a few tips to help you create videos that compel students to want to join your training sessions:
Think about your background. When people watch your videos, does it look like you're in your unfinished basement or a top-notch yoga studio? The more professional your class looks, the more appealing it will be to potential students. Remove distracting furniture and picture frames so their eyes are drawn naturally to you, their new teacher.
Pay attention to background noise. Technology today is good at picking up on sounds that you may not hear. Or you do hear the noise but tune it out because you've heard it so many times before. Run through a practice class before going live to see if you hear noises that shouldn't be there. This is also a great way to make sure your students can hear you. If they can't, you may need to purchase a microphone that connects to your recording device.
Be energetic, but not too energetic. If your class tunes in and sees a teacher who acts like they just woke up, they're not likely to tune in again. Show the class your energy and get them excited to practice yoga. Just don't go overboard or it may come off like you're not genuinely excited or you're trying too hard. Both of these can be a turn-off.
Start each video with a brief introduction. Unless you have closed your online classes to only select students, it's likely that some of your attendees are new members. So, take a minute or so at the beginning of each class to share a bit about yourself. Talk about why you wanted to become a teacher or what type of yoga teacher training you have. Tell them why you chose that particular style or practice. This helps them better connect with you, especially if they have the same interests or desires.
Keep in mind that you don't have to spend a fortune to create a top-notch video production. You can create a workout video on any budget.
What makes your yoga class different than all the others available online? If you're not sure, it's important to figure this out. If you don't, your class will look the same as every other option out there. This will make it harder to bring more clients into your online yoga practice.
If you struggle with identifying how you're different, look at what some of the most popular online yoga classes do to set themselves apart. Here are some questions to consider when checking out their practice:
Do they focus on a particular style of yoga?
What does their backdrop look like?
How are they engaging with their students?
What is their teaching style?
What type of yoga teacher training have they had, if any?
How long are their videos?
If you think it will help, take one of their online classes to go through their practice yourself. This gives you a firsthand look at why they are a sought-after teacher. It may also give you some ideas as you create your own practice or develop your own teaching style.
Once you see what is out there, think about ways you can make yourself different. Maybe you decide you want to offer online classes teaching yoga for weightlifters or for athletes in a specific sport. Another option is to work with a particular demographic, like moms with small kids or seniors with arthritis.
Expand your online personal training business with ISSA's Yoga Instructor certification. This class teaches yoga philosophy, yoga postures, and how to design an effective yoga session. Offering online yoga classes is a great way to grow your business and make more money. With this course, you'll learn what it takes to create a successful yoga practice.
Learn the benefits of yoga, techniques and tools for teaching, and fundamental information for jump-starting your career.
Receive $50 off your purchase today!