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12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

Yoga teachers are no longer only confined to teaching in yoga studios or on yoga retreats. Why? Because now yoga teachers are also expected to show up online with their classes, teaching, and tips. 

The truth is, teaching movement classes virtually has actually been around for awhile. Well before the internet, in fact. Think Jane Fonda VHS tapes. 

But since the rise of the internet, coupled with social media, and then especially since Covid…teaching online is more common than ever. To the point it’s actually expected of teachers in some cases. 

Plus, let’s be real, teaching yoga online can open up a whole new salary range for yoga teachers, which is super helpful in creating more financial freedom in an industry that is otherwise pretty low-paying. 

Due to the high demand for teaching online, it’s important that yoga teachers understand that- sure- they’re still teaching yoga. But actually, teaching online and teaching in person are two different styles and skills. 

Today’s post will share a round up of 12 ways that online yoga teachers can improve their teaching by understanding the difference between online and in-person yoga classes, while expanding and refining their teaching skills.

Learn more about how to start an online yoga business HERE.

Check out more ways that you can work remotely HERE.

12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

One of the best things about bringing your yoga business online is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. Honestly, just show up with your phone and quality mic, and you’ll be totally fine. 

What’s more important is that you have a solid grasp on what it means to teach online, how it differs from in-person classes, and how you can continually improve yourself as a teacher. 

Remember, it doesn’t really matter how pretty your Instagram photos are if your classes are sub par. Focus on becoming the best teacher possible, and the rest will follow. 

Improve your teaching with my 100 hour continued education course today!

Learn more about working through imposter syndrome as a yoga teacher HERE.

Properly Labeling Your Classes

This sounds like a no-brainer, but I swear, people forget to properly label their classes all the time. You need to label your classes the same way that a studio would label theirs. 

Why?

In order to keep students safe! 

Imagine if you’re teaching a more advanced flow, and a beginner showed up to the class? You’re not in-person, remember, so you can’t help them. In fact, if it’s pre-recorded, you won’t even know who buys it at all. 

Make sure to include a title, share the style of class, and difficulty level.

Teach According To The Defined Skill Level

The next step is to make sure the class that you teach is actually appropriate to the skill level you’ve defined. It seems simple, but again, I see a lot of variants in the description versus the classes themselves. 

I know that defining intermediate level classes can be tricky, because there’s a huge range of skill when it comes to being an intermediate yoga practitioner. 

The best tip I can give you is to clearly define your skill levels by number of classes. Meaning, intermediate means they’ve taken 10+ yoga classes. Keep in mind, you can come up with your own numbers and skill gradients.

Learn more about intermediate yoga poses HERE.

Use An Anatomical Focus

Most people take online classes because they want to improve something physically. Whether they’re working on a new skill, or they want to gain strength, improve flexibility, increase balance, or tighten and tone…people are drawn to online classes for physical reasons. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t include any mental or spiritual elements in your classes. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should abandon your authentic style and voice as a teacher. 

It just means your classes will likely be more successful if you include anatomical focuses, peak postures, or skill building into them. 

Check out my How To Handstand series as an example.

Breath, Posture, Cue, Refinement Cue Method

If you’ve read my blog before, or if you follow me on Instagram, then you know I love the breath, posture, cue, refinement cue method. 

Check out my FREE yoga podcast to learn more about the breath, posture, cue, refinement cue method to get a clear understanding as to why this cueing style is helpful to both you as a teacher, and your students.

Learn more about how yoga teachers can improve their cues HERE.

Cueing To The Midline

When you teach online, you can’t see your students. Even if you’re teaching a live class, it’s hard to see everyone’s little square on your screen as you film the class. 

This means that your cues have to be on point, because you’re not able to cue according to what you actually see, in the same way that you can when you’re teaching in-person.

Cueing to the midline means you’re using cues that are most relevant to the majority of the class. I’d also include cues that you find your students most often need when you’re teaching in-person.

Learn more about cueing to the midline in my 100 hour continued education course.

Know Modifications

Trust me, even if you properly label your class, and even if you teach a class aligned with the label- people will still show up who don’t have the skill level that you expect. 

Plus, there’s plenty of people who might have an intermediate or advanced practice, but still need modifications due to specific physical limitations. 

While you don’t need to modify everything when you teach online, you do need to make sure you at least know the modifications for the peak postures, or the biggest poses of the class. 

Learn more about modifications in my 100 hour continued education course.

12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

Understand Prop Use 

Because you’re including modifications, that means you’ll probably also be using props. While yoga props are a wonderful addition to yoga classes, they can also be clunky and distracting if not set up and cued correctly. 

This means that you should know where the props need to start, and how they’ll move throughout the class in order to best set your students up for success. 

Keep in mind, this is also true for in-person yoga classes. The biggest difference is that not everyone will have yoga props if they’re practicing at home, so it’s best if you can include some prop alternatives, too.

Check out my Journey To Splits series as an example of alternative yoga prop use, and prop usage throughout class.

Sequencing To The Midline

Similar to your cueing, you also need to sequence to the midline when you teach online. 

Think about when you teach in-person, you can choose to turn it up, or turn it down based on the students who actually show up to class. 

When you teach online, you won’t have that same option, especially when you sell pre-recorded classes. So, you need to create sequences that hit the midline mark, instead. 

Of course including modifications and props can help you with this. But you can also do this through your transitions and peak postures, as well. 

Plus, remember that sequencing will also look different due to the lack of hands-on assists in class. Think about ways you can adjust accordingly…like offering cued self assists!

Pros and cons of hands on assists.

12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

Style Of The Class

Remember how I mentioned most people practice yoga online for some kind of physical gain? Well, this can impact the style of your classes, as well. 

Again, please don’t abandon yourself as a teacher by teaching something that’s not authentic to you and your voice in order to be “successful” online. Because that won’t translate through the screen anyways. Trust me.

Instead, use your own unique voice and style to curate a physically focused class that provides challenge for the body, building skills, and peak postures, while still weaving in your own personal touches.

Check out my app for a variety of class styles and examples across the board.

Speed Of The Class

I have all different styles of classes on my app. I also have classes that are as long as 90 minutes, as well as classes that are as short as 10 minutes. However, the majority of my classes are right around the 30 minute mark. 

When I teach in person, on the other hand, most of my classes are over an hour long. 

Why?

Because the demand is different! 

Most people want a short, punchy flow online. While most people in-person are seeking the full *experience.* 

That’s not to say I don’t ever have long, juicy flows on my app, because I do! And I also get requests for longer classes. However, majority of requests are for short, quick flows people can squeeze into their busy lives. 

Shortening your classes to 30 minutes or less can be a huge adjustment for studio teachers. And trust me, I get it. It was hard for me, too. 

But it’s worth it, I swear.

Check out my No Time For Yoga series as an example of short, effective flows.

Length Of The Class

With a faster pace also come shorter classes. 

Again, it can feel pretty dang jarring for yoga studio teachers to try to squeeze a full class into just 30 minutes or less. Especially when you have a peak posture like Wheel Pose, or another big yoga backbend or inversion. 

How can you possibly get them warmed up enough? How can you keep them safe?

Don’t worry, you can! You just need to carve back in some areas, turn up the heat in others, and put your creative cap on to do so.

Learn more about creative sequencing in my 100 hour continued education course.

Unguided Savasana

One of the best ways to trim off time of your classes is to guide your students into savasana, but not guide them all the way through, or out. 

This means you can bring them into savasana, and say your few closing words followed by:

“Feel free to stay here for as long as you like, or as long as you need. Thank you so much for joining me.”

This way they know a clear direction, rather than the video just shutting off, or waiting for you to bring them out. Plus, it puts the power back in their hands at the end of the practice to stay for a super long savasana, or a quick one because they’re about to rush the kids off to school.

12 Ways For Online Yoga Teachers Can Improve Their Teaching

Let me know which tip was the most helpful for you in the comments below!

xx,

K

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