How to Stream Virtual Yoga Classes: Top Tips and Best Practices for Success
By PJ Taei, Guest Writer
Want to grow your yoga brand, attract more students, and make more money?
You and me both!
But here’s the thing:
Today, owning a brick-and-mortar yoga studio is hard, but awesome. You have a space that can host students, and it can make for a steady income.
But what if you want to grow your income and scale your yoga business? What if doing so allowed you to reach more yoga enthusiasts?
And what if you could scale with less overhead?
How can you do this? Consider live streaming. It’s an affordable, smart and easy way to reach more people. To help you get going, this blog story includes top tips and the best advice for getting started with teaching online yoga classes. It covers five of the most important steps, and each tip will help shorten your learning curve so you can go live fast!
Let’s dig in and take a look at how to stream virtual yoga classes!
1. Create a Live Stream Yoga Plan
You’re a yoga instructor and that means you’ve no stranger to planning. Here’s what your plan should include:
Pick a Class Topic or Theme
Start with who your class is for and what they need. In other words, pick your yoga niche. For example: Do you want to run classes for kids, for adults with limited mobility, or perhaps a regular mainstream vinyasa yoga class? You can narrow down your class type and niche by running a survey with your students and clients. If a survey isn’t an option, head to a Google search to see what types of yoga classes people are looking for.
Another easy way to pick the brains of the masses is to use YouTube. There are tons of yoga videos online. What you want to know is which videos address your customers’ problems and get the most views.
Once you’ve determined your class topic, it’s time to identify yoga poses and movements to incorporate into your virtual yoga class.
Always Plan Your Class
Document what will take place during your live stream. Each online class must have a start, middle, and end – just like an in-person yoga class.
Not sure how that translates during a live stream? Here’s a simple 3-step approach anyone can follow:
- Start: Warm-up movements
- Middle: Add in specific movement based on the class topic (back pain, flexibility, etc.)
- End: Wind down
Like in-person classes, guiding your students is important. One of the most exciting and engaging aspects of live video is interaction. If you can communicate through movement and poses, students will feel just as comfortable in a virtual class as they do in person.
Point People to What Happens Next
Once your class is over, share the next step attendees can take to elevate their yoga experience. This gives viewers a chance to grow and your business the opportunity to retain students for longer.
The next step isn’t a salesy push, and doesn’t need to be uncomfortable either. It’s all about sharing how yoga students can improve their health and how you can help. Perhaps you can encourage students to book the next session in a week from now or show them where they can access a collection of on-demand videos.
Sarah Beth, for example, is a Uscreen customer. She lets students know she has a collection of programs available at the end of her YouTube videos, and you can do the same. When students click on the link in her comments, they are sent to her lead magnet landing page, allowing her to capture their names and emails. Sarah Beth can then let them know about her membership platform and other offerings.
2. Promote Your Live Stream Yoga Class
Getting yourself out there may seem like an uncomfortable idea. How will people react? Will people sign up and attend your virtual class?
Before you let these and other negative thoughts dissuade you, it’s important to understand that everyone started from the beginning – and you can, too.
Promotion is all about getting in front of your ideal audience. And to do that, you’ll need to know where they are. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and Pinterest are some of many places where you can create profiles and share that you teach yoga online.
Here’s an example of how Pretzel Kids uses Facebook Events to promote live classes, workshops and events.
But don’t stop at organic content. You can perhaps invest in paid advertising, too. Paid ads reach more people faster because they are prioritized platforms.
Most importantly, leverage word-of-mouth marketing, and share your virtual yoga classes with your current students and friends.
3. Choose the Right Video Platform
Going live and making money isn’t something you can do just anywhere. You need a solution that allows you to broadcast to an audience, capture their emails and bill them for live classes. While those are the basics, there are other features that you should consider when shopping for a video platform.
Here are 6 of the most important features that will elevate your classes:
Live Streaming Functionality Without Lag
Nobody wants to watch a poor quality video or pay for a live class that’s jumbled or constantly loses connection. Your platform of choice should use what’s called a CDN or Content Delivery Network.
CDNs take video you create and distribute it to anywhere on the planet, without the lag, and in real-time. This means you can host people from any continent and not worry about poor-quality live video.
Live video recording
Hosting live classes helps you reach larger audiences, but there’s a way to reach even more people. Not everyone will be able to attend a live class. For these folks, you can offer recordings of your live classes. You can do so for a fee.
Live video recording will automatically record all live classes and you can add them to a catalog of on-demand videos for students.
Getting paid online is exciting, but figuring out how to actually get paid can be a pain. Choose a platform that includes smart integrations with payment providers like Stripe, PayPal, and more. You’ll be able to accept credit card payments and bill people for monthly subscriptions.
This brings us to different ways to make money from your live videos. We covered live recordings earlier, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Smart video platforms make it possible to sell live videos, subscriptions (with monthly, annual, and quarterly plans), rentals, bundle a collection of videos, or sell them for a one-time fee.
Can you see your earning potential growing?
Marketing and Community tools
Marketing tools help you reach out to students. These include email and chat, so you can engage users in the moment or send updates for upcoming classes. Sure, you can’t be at your keyboard and strike a pose, but chat is a tool available for live classes about other topics like diet or injuries.
Personal website and professional templates
If you don’t already have a website, working with website templates is a great solution. They make what can be a highly technical undertaking simple, fun, and easy to complete. Plus, this doesn’t require coding skills. You can add your logo, choose a layout you like, pick a color scheme, include images, and so much more!
OTT or Over-the-Top apps are apps that stream content to devices like AppleTV, Roku, your Android or iPhone, and other devices. Getting started with apps can sound overwhelming, but don’t dismiss it.
Video platforms like Uscreen let you create your own branded app, without the need for a coding background. This means making money with online yoga classes becomes easier as you can reach more people on any device. Plus, Uscreen found that clients with apps make 30% more revenue.
4. Set up Your Equipment and Environment
Streaming yoga classes shouldn’t break the bank. Your goal is to get online but do so with quality content. What equipment must you have? Take a look:
Today, you can stream to an audience around the world using your smartphone or standalone camera connected to a computer.
Not sure what to look at? Two options worth considering are:
The GoPro Hero9. It’s a compact, reliable action camera and captures 5K 30 frames per second videos. It usually retails for around $349.
Another solid choice is the Insta360 Go2. It’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket, comes with magnetic mounts, is hands-free POV, offers 2K resolution, a charging case, wireless remote, and horizon leveling.
Your video quality may not be as good as a GoPro, but you’ll save around $150.
Lighting has a major effect on video quality. Ideally, you want to capture as much light as possible, and at the right angles to eliminate shadows.
You can use artificial lighting and some great options include the Neewer 3-Pack 2.4G LED Softbox Lighting Kit. It includes LED lights, light stands, a remote control, color inserts, and a carrying case. This kit retails for around $300.
Neewer also makes a cheaper option called the Neewer 2. It comes with slim LED lights, a lighting kit, LED panel, and a battery charger (with batteries). Pricing comes in at around $90 for this kit on Amazon.
Don’t want to spend on lighting? Go natural. Find a space that’s positioned in front of an unobstructed view. This is usually a window in a room that gets lots of sunlight.
Important: Light must reflect off of you, so your camera will be placed with its back to the window.
Sound is just as important as lighting. Depending on your camera, you could connect an external mic or opt for the built-in mic. External mics offer the best quality and also drown out any unwanted noise.
You could go with the Rode VideoMic Go. It’s a shotgun mic that retails at around $100 and perfect for beginners.
Or use a lavalier mic, which is smaller and clipped to your lapel. Rode also makes one called the Rode Wireless Go, and it’s usually sold for $199.
Want to add music to your live stream? This can be tricky, especially if you don’t have the rights to the music. The good news is that there are sources like Artlist.io, Hooksounds, and Epidemic Sound that offer royalty-free music.
Environment and Staging
Finding the right space is a big deal. It must be clean and distraction-free. Adriene, from Yoga With Adriene, is a great example. She shoots her videos in a place where the only other features are plants and her dog Benji. Here are some other tips for creating a great yoga space for your classes. As Pretzel Kids founder Robyn Parets likes to say: Keep it simple and uncluttered!
5. Get Live Streaming Software
We’re in the final stretch. The last piece of the puzzle is live streaming software. It’s used to prepare video and sound and broadcast both through a video platform like Uscreen.
Depending on your setup, you could use OBS (and OBS with iPhone), Restream, Streamyard, Ecamm (for Mac), or many other options. Live streaming software is easy to use and configure, to create a professional look and feel for your live classes.
Over to You
Taking your yoga classes live is an exciting opportunity. It’s also a great way to grow your brand and income. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Just imagine where you could be 12 months from now!
About PJ: PJ Taei is the founder and president of Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.