The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Yoga Online: 10 Digital Platforms You Should Consider Right Now, Plus Pro Audio, Lighting, and Camera Tips

Sarah Platt-Finger

As studios and retreat centers shuttered their doors in response to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, studio owners and yoga teachers had some choices: They could completely cancel their classes, workshops, and trainings… or they could get creative with their wifi and webcams. Many landed on the latter, and it’s resulting in a defining shift in the business and teaching of yoga. 

So, how exactly are high-profile teachers making it happen? YJ spoke to ten folks, including Carrie Owerko, Jillian Pransky, and Tracee Stanley, to find out which online platforms they’re leaning on and why, so you can get a snapshot of what’s out there, along with some takeaways from their trial runs. Yes, in the last few months, you’ve probably already been on a class or call via Zoom, which is on the list below, but teachers who are using it on the regular and have discovered, even created, new platforms have some tips and tricks to share. We’re confident that, from their great experimentations, you’ll pick up a new idea, process, or perspective.

See also Tools for Teachers

And don’t feel like you have to rush to do it all. “Identifying short- and long-terms goals will be extremely helpful, because that will factor into why you choose a platform,” says Owerko, who recently launched The Playground, a subscription and live stream service. “Are you looking for a quick short-term fix while you’re unable to teach in-person classes, or are you wanting to create something that will be around long after COVID-19 has passed?”

Finally, words of wisdom: Perfection is relative, and students are forgiving. “Building the plane as you’re flying it” is a common phrase in these times—and it’s assuring because teachers who seem to have it under control are in reality courageously figuring it out as they go. In a way, it’s been a practice of yoga—the yama aparigraha, or letting go, comes to mind—to embrace new technology and everything that comes along with it. Every single teacher warned us of the inevitable tech hiccups, so there you have it: Even if you’ve been doing this awhile, expect out-of-the-blue mic mishaps and sluggish connections. Keep calm, troubleshoot, and teach on.

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