Best Practices: Streaming a Yoga Class
Teaching yoga can be a spiritually and physically fulfilling life. However, it can also be demanding and difficult. Many yoga teachers aren’t able to generate a sustainable income and end up having to work a second job or rely on a partner to supplement their earnings.
A 2012 study from Yoga in America that surveyed more than 800 yoga teachers found that more than 80% of them only taught part-time. The average salary for a yoga teacher is about $35,000 per year, with more than half of teachers making less than $31,000.
This doesn’t have to be the case. With more than 36 million yoga practitioners in the U.S., there are plenty of people out there willing to pay for yoga instruction. In this blog, we will examine how to increase your income and reach a larger audience as a yoga teacher by live-streaming a yoga class online.
Introduction to Live Streaming
For those who aren’t already familiar with this technology, let’s provide a brief overview of what live streaming is. Live streaming is simply the practice of broadcasting video in real-time over the Internet. Simply put, it’s like the ability to broadcast television, but in this case to devices connected to the Internet.
Live Streaming Platforms
To live stream a video, you need a video host that you’ll send your video to and will distribute it to an audience using their network of servers worldwide.
There is a wide array of live streaming video hosts available today. For example, Periscope and Meerkat are mobile applications that let you live stream for free at any time. More complex, but still free, is YouTube, which allows for basic live-streamed events.
For more advanced features, like the ability to set up a pay per view live streaming (which, for example, could be used to charge $5 to join a live yoga class), you’ll want to look at a full-featured live streaming host like Dacast.
The Dacast live streaming system allows you to charge for viewing your videos (on a one-time basis, a subscription model, or both) and makes it easy to embed your live stream on your website. This greatly simplifies the process of setting up a live stream, even for someone with no technical experience in the field.
We work with a variety of sporting and athletic organizations (including yoga instructors and studios) to provide live streaming services.
To live stream, you’ll need a few pieces of basic equipment. Most obviously, you’ll need a camera. This can be as simple as the webcam on a laptop or a smartphone. You’ll definitely get better quality from a dedicated video camera, but the picture quality of smartphones is steadily increasing.
You’ll also need other accessories like a tripod, an extra battery or wall charger, and possibly a microphone.
The other crucial piece of equipment you’ll need is a computer installed with live streaming software. Basic versions of live streaming software can be found for free (like OBS) and installed on most laptops and home computers (see system requirements calculator here).
For more professional environments, dedicated live stream encoding devices are available, but these will be overkill for live streaming most classes.
With all your equipment, be sure to conduct a real-world test before you set out to live stream a class in order to ensure all your gear and software is in working order. High standards are always a good thing. After all, it’s one thing to FaceTime or Skype with a friend, but utilize a more reliable platform to broadcast live video in order to represent your business.
Best Practices for Streaming Online Classes
If you’re a yoga teacher, you probably already have the structure of your class down pat. However, when it comes to live streaming, there are a few additional things to keep in mind. Let’s look at a few of the practical considerations for live streaming a yoga class online.
Have a Niche
To make the biggest possible impact as a yoga teacher online, you should develop some sort of niche. Perhaps you combine yoga with another exercise routine or meditative practice. You could even select a specific target audience for your class. Whatever your style, make sure your class stands out among the pack.
Make a Plan
When setting up a live stream, you should have a clear plan. This will help you prepare for your class, but also make marketing it easier and more effective. A clear description of what you’ll cover and the goals of your class will help your pay per view streaming class gain a larger audience.
Solo Class or Audience?
When streaming a yoga class, you probably shouldn’t just point a video camera at your regularly scheduled class.
For one, this may be illegal (if you’re going to film people for commercial purposes, you need to get them to sign a release form).
But beyond legality, this will be awkward. Your yoga studio probably isn’t set up to properly stage a live stream, and even if it is, other problems may arise. For example, if the camera is pointed at the front of the room, where you, the teacher, will be standing, it may not capture anything as you walk around the room correcting form and giving individualized tips.
One way to get around this is to stream a yoga class just for the camera; don’t have anyone else present, but instead, just teach the audience that’s watching behind the lens. This is a simple method but will make for a smooth class.
However, if you want the more interactive experience of working with a room full of people, you may want to set up a special class for your live stream. Participants should sign a waiver and be warned about the format is a bit different. You may also need a friend to operate the camera to make sure it follows you when you walk around the room.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just like yoga, effective live streaming takes some practice. But you’ll quickly learn the basic procedures and refine them over time until you master the process.
Fortunately, Dacast offers a free trial account for anyone who would like to try live streaming with no commitment (and we don’t ask for your credit card info, either—choosing to continue is up to you). To learn more about this service and sign up for the free trial, visit our website.
Thanks for reading, and Namaste!