Build a Thriving Online Yoga Community
Even before the pandemic, yoga worldwide has thrived with an online community. With the growth of all things homes workout-related, it has only continued to grow.
However, virtual exercise is not without its critiques. For one, it’s harder to give corrections and feedback. Second, building a thriving online community where people feel connected is harder.
(Only time will tell how virtual reality fitness adjusts this.)
From a yoga teacher’s perspective, it requires a different approach to organizing class, helping your attendees, and building a thriving only yoga community.
If you’re a yoga teacher making a move online, first you have to choose a platform.
It could be Zoom, yoga websites, your website, or limitless other options.
A bunch of factors should determine this. First, you have to think about your goals.
Zoom may be fine if you’re just trying to get a few virtual classes in, but if you want to build out your full business with it, you should consider working for the yoga websites or creating your website in the future.
Registering on the websites where you can teach yoga is an excellent practice for beginners. As you get experience working with other professionals, make some side cash and get your practice. Make sure to work on your profile and add your experience in teaching. You also have an opportunity to set your flexible schedule and pricing.
After some practice in online teaching, you can create your own website. Others can register and get yoga classes, or yoga teachers can register as tutors and teach from their online studios. Having your own website has many benefits and is super profitable; thus, after getting some practice, you can start working on it. Moreover, your website needs a perfect invoicing system, flexible programs for the target clients, and a user-friendly interface.
When setting up your online yoga class format, think about what will make your class different from the myriad others out there online.
The good news is that, in the online space, you can be as weird and unique as you want, and you’ll find your audience. (For more on this marketing idea, we recommend Kevin Kelly’s essay, 1000 True Fans.)
It could be a particular style, different themes, or just emphasizing your uniqueness and your personality.
Even though you’re teaching online, having the proper environment is still essential. In particular, you need to have good audio. Getting high-quality headphones will help to record valuable videos and have clear audio.
Next, ensure your location is tidy, clean, and with good lighting. You can decorate your classroom with yoga symbols and make them visible to the camera. If you are thinking of having other yoga instructors for your online studio, you might consider organizing small employee appreciation gifts to settle a friendly atmosphere.
Online yoga will have a learning curve. Just as when teaching in person, you had to learn to ‘read the room’ and strategize how you walked around, provided feedback, and more, online yoga will have a similar learning curve.
You can practice recording videos to get some experience and, at the same time, create some content for your social media platforms. If you haven’t heard, short video “Reels” are killing it these days on Instagram.
And, of course, it’s crucial just to be a good person. As strength and conditioning Mike Boyle says, he looks for coaches that are “CNPs – certified nice people.” Or, as RFS founder John Romaniello says, “people buy coaches, not coaching.” It is always beneficial to work on your communication skills. As a teacher, it may help to get some practice on conflict resolution through advanced de-Escalation workshops.
This is beyond the scope of this article, as digital marketing is a whole other topic. However, we must mention that it will be hard to grow your audience if you forget to market and promote your class.
(For fitness marketing, our archive of articles is a good place to start.)
There’s not one digital marketing strategy you “have” to do.
Some people do great on social media like TikTok and Instagram. Others prefer YouTube, where longer-form still works. Yet, blogging and email marketing still work, and there’s no reason and can’t still work for yoga.
We recommend that, whatever feels most exciting to you, do that. And if you don’t want to worry about marketing, then focus on crushing it for your small loyal audience and let them spread through word of mouth. Ask them to bring a friend.
Again, there are a million and one strategies for this.
How do you charge the right amount? Again, these are big questions with no easy answer. Consider that bigger classes can charge less than if you’re doing 1-on-1 virtual instruction.
In that sense, your style and class setup will go hand-in-hand with your pricing.
Some online yoga instructors are ready to ship some essential items for their students. Thus some gig economy apps are great for organizing courier services. Remember that extra packages always add up to your service value, and you can have high prices.
This is just a cursory overview of some of the biggest considerations. If you’re serious about succeeding as an online yoga teacher, there are a lot of different skills – from the art of teaching virtually to messaging, to promotion and marketing – that you’ll have to develop.
Don’t let it discourage you. As the maxim goes, “done now is better than perfect later.” Choose whatever format feels good for you, get started, and then make adjustments as you learn in the real (or I suppose, the virtual) world.
Anahit Babkenyan is a health and fitness marketing expert and content writer. She enjoys traveling, reading books on the trains, and creative writing in her spare time.