You have set up a Zoom account, your payment system is in place, and your first virtual "yoga class" is ready. However, while you have the key areas covered, it is all too easy to miss out on the smaller details of teaching online. In the following, we delve deeper into the areas of online teaching that shouldn't be overlooked.
Playing Music/Music Licence
Adding background music to your online class is a lovely touch and can help students settle into the practice. There are a few things to think about if you are playing music during a live or pre-recorded online class. Firstly, on a practical level, consider whether the music drowns out your voice? Will it distort over the internet and distract your students? Will it distract you?
Secondly, on a more serious note, like a physical yoga class, if you decide to include a subtle soundtrack, you will need a music license. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patent Act of 1988, using music to benefit your customers and or employees in a non-domestic setting requires permission from the copyright holder, something you can obtain with a music license. (Much easier than going out to each musician individually to request permission). Each country has its own version of this Act.
It might seem crazy that you have to pay to play music, however, if your video goes viral or the wrong person watches it, you could end up in hot water. The original owner of the music can file a claim against you. Your video host service could also remove the video and place sanctions on your video.
While yoga is incredible - think carefully before including music.
The ability to share yoga with a community facing immense uncertainty, loss and anxiety is truly a gift, and of course, the more people who can access yoga in this current climate, the better. Nevertheless, knowing the limitations of your online reach is crucial to remaining protected as a yoga teacher.
Yoga Alliance Professionals offers insurance through Balens Ltd, a highly reputable insurance provider for professionals in the health and wellness industry. Their master policy enables you to teach online, both pre-recorded and live classes, as long as the teacher is aware of who is accessing the session. Both old and new students can attend the virtual class, as long as the individual has carried out a pre-class-consultation with the teacher to ensure they are fit and healthy enough to carry out the class (just like an in-person class).
The issue is if you upload a public Youtube video or Facebook Live class, you do not know who is accessing your class or if they have an underlying health condition. Most insurance providers will not cover you to teach classes in this manner, so it is worthwhile checking on your personal cover.
While the insurance provided through Balens Ltd with Yoga Alliance Professionals does not specify a limit to the number of students able to participate in your class, some insurance providers do.
Our policy recommends keeping to your typical class size and always operating under best practice.
You must confirm all of your online students are fit and healthy enough to carry out a virtual class. This requires checking for any pre-existing health conditions and injuries, much like you would for an in-person class.
We recommend having a health questionnaire and disclaimer form, which you can send students in an email before the session or create a pop-up form on your website when students go to book the class. This is an essential part of record-keeping. Remember to keep hold of the documents for at least seven years, as part of your standard record keeping.
Your students need to be able to contact you should they have any questions or concerns during the class. How you do this will depend on whether you opt for running live classes or pre-recorded videos, make sure that your contact details are clear and that you are available to answer these.
It is a good idea to add in a disclaimer notice to your online yoga classes. The following text is a recommendation of things to include in a disclaimer.
Viewers must follow all safety instructions before beginning the class and throughout the session. When participating in any exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. If you experience any discomfort, you should stop immediately and seek medical advice. Please check with a health professional if you have any concerns. If you engage in this activity, you agree to do so at your or own risk. You are voluntarily participating in these activities and assume all risk of injury to yourself. The teacher accepts no responsibility for any damage (to possessions or persons) while undertaking the activities in this video.
Any other questions about teaching yoga online? Get in touch and we will do our best to find the answer for you!