We are living in an age of adjustment. As yoga studios reopen with a limited class capacity and restricted timetable, many teachers are looking for ways to adapt to the new lockdown conditions while making their classes financially viable. As it stands, hybrid yoga classes are a popular solution.
Streaming in-person classes to a wider online audience makes holding the class more financially viable. Where social distancing measures permit, say, 4 students in the classroom, their fees alone will not cover the costs of opening the studio. A hybrid model overcomes this.
Offering an online version of the class also provides individuals who are more clinically vulnerable or less confident in returning to the studio the opportunity to experience a “real-life” yoga class. Upload your online classes to your profile here.
So how do you live-stream your yoga classes? The following are some pointers.
Naturally, the teacher should be visible to those students participating online, and vice versa. It is worth testing with the position of your filming equipment prior to the class, to ensure their view is unobstructed by the in-person equipment of students.
One option is to place your recording equipment on a mat at the front of the class, allowing you to teach your online students as if they were physically present in the room. Depending on the equipment you are using you may need to elevate your camera, or adjust throughout the class.
Likewise, the lighting and sound quality of the venue need to be sufficient for your virtual audience. This, again, should be tested before the class begins.
You should also ask your in-person students for their consent to be featured in the live stream recording. Even if they are not directly visible, it is best practice to ask all studio attendees to consent to the class being streamed beforehand.
A good internet connection is a must when it comes to live-streaming studio classes. You do not want to have a technical disaster while your in-person class is mid-Warrior III.
As a guide, a streaming speed of 3mbps is a good goal; your internet connection should be twice as fast as the streaming speed. Sound complicated? It’s not as bad as it sounds. You can check your connection speed using this site.
Getting your volume right for hybrid classes is a tricky one. You need to be heard by your online students, but don’t want to deafen your in-person class. Wireless microphones or headsets are a good option for this. The best wireless headsets will have a comfortable-fit, water-resistant properties, a windscreen and built-in transmitter
Popular microphones for live-streaming yoga classes include the Fifine wireless microphone, Shure headset, Røde WiGo wireless microphone and the Apple AirPods. A word to the wise, make sure your all devices are charged before class.
Music audio doesn’t always travel well over Zoom. To avoid noise interference between groups, send a pre-made playlist to your muted, online participants to play during the class.
In my conversations with yoga teachers, the same question keeps cropping up: How do you avoid neglecting one student group over another? In order for the class to be a success, both online and in-person participants should feel equally valued and respected.
To do so, give both of your audiences equal energy and space. One suggestion is to start the online class slightly earlier, in which time you may test the volume and lighting of the venue, and welcome your online audience. During this period you can take questions, check for health concerns or injuries and conduct your students into a state of relaxation before placing them on mute as your others arrive at the studio.
Likewise, when taking questions at the end of the class, you may need to deliberately separate questions from online and in-person students to ensure both groups can be heard. This can be achieved on a rotational basis so that the whole can benefit from the questions asked.