What Hardware Do I Need to Teach Yoga Online?
Many of our Connected Yoga Teachers have made the leap to teaching online as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but teaching online requires some additional thought when it comes to equipment and hardware to ensure that you and your students have the best yoga experience virtually.
We asked yoga teachers in The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook group for some of their audio, video, and lighting preferences to share with you.
Audio for Teaching Yoga Online
Topping the list for microphone recommendations is the Blue Yeti USB microphone, with many teachers reporting that it produces excellent sound quality and crisp audio that can be used for recordings. For a more affordable option by Blue, check out the Snowball range of mics.
Rode USB microphones are also convenient, and allow for studio quality audio recordings so your students don’t have to struggle to hear your cues. Sabinetek SmartMike+™ is an option for those who prefer a wireless mic that connects via Bluetooth, while the Gamry Plug-and-Play USB microphone is an affordable option that helps improve audio quality.
Video for Teaching Yoga Online
A majority of yoga teachers prefer to use the in-build camera on their mobile phones or laptops, but if yours is not up to scratch, an external camera may be a worthwhile investment.
Logitech was the most popular brand recommendation, particularly the Brio Ultra Hd Pro Business Webcam and the C920 Hd Pro Webcam. For a more advanced setup, the Sony A6000 produces high resolution videos that are great if you are recording your sessions for later use.
Wide 18mm M-series Lens by Moment can take your Apple, Google, Samsung and OnePlus device camera to the next level with clear and sharp images. For a low-cost alternative, be sure to check out your local Costco, Sears, or electronics retailer for entry-level 1080p webcams.
Shannon Crow uses: the camera in her phone and computer mainly. She does have a Logitech webcam but hasn’t mastered how to use it for a yoga flow yet without the auto-focus acting up.
Lighting for Teaching Online Yoga
The best and most highly recommended lighting source for many yoga teachers was natural light, but if you are teaching at night or in low-light spaces, here are some lighting options to consider.
Ring lights are a popular choice to be able to move the source of light and change the warmth as necessary. They are also a good option for overhead lighting. Stellar Lighting Systems has options ranging from a simple USB powered ring light to more elaborate setups.
An alternative to ring lights are softbox lights, which help diffuse light and create pleasant, even lighting. These lights can also reduce harsh shadows in the right set up. RALENO Softboxes on Amazon are a light and portable option that is easy to set up.
For a long-lasting option, LED strip lights may be the way to go. This Neewer LED Light Studio LED Lighting Kit features adjustable lighting and light stands to help you create the right lighting for your needs.
BONUS: Setup Recommendations and Tips
Setting up your yoga mat for great audio and video quality, and in a way that you can see your students can be tricky. Our yoga teachers also shared some helpful setup recommendations and tips to create the best settings for virtual yoga classes.
💡 Hook your setup to a large-screen TV with an HDMI cable to see your students better.
💡 Using a tripod to hold up your phone or table is a simple and effective way to show up fully on video.
💡 If teaching on Zoom, log in on two separate devices, with the second one as a co-host. This can help you see if your image is frozen or pixelated.
💡 Avoid sharing yoga music via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. If you must play music, having a mixer helps to have full control of the music.
💡 Use as much lighting as you can facing you and to the sides. Backlight creates shadows on the body, which is great for pictures but not ideal for teaching.
💡 Avoid having too much busy fabric on yourself, or a cluttered background. Bold, contrasting colors between your mat and your outfit help you stand out.
For inspiration, check out Jooji’s set up in her living room for teaching yoga classes virtually.
Of course, there is no need to purchase a whole set of new equipment to teach online if you are just starting out.
Shannon Crow recommends that you start with what you have and adapt from there if you find that certain aspects need improvements. Many teachers have commented that they were using their laptops and/or phones with no additional equipment to great success – one of them is even using a 15-year-old laptop!
What does your setup look like to teach yoga online? Share your recommendations, tips and tricks for a great virtual yoga class in the comments below!
Jooji’s view (shared with permission)
What yoga students see
We’d also love to promote your virtual yoga offering – add your live and online yoga classes to this global registry to reach new audiences around the world!
Struggling to make the shift from in-person classes to virtual?
Need some help to get set up on Facebook, Zoom, Instagram or YouTube? Check out the Offer Yoga Online Masterclass with Amanda Mckinney & Shannon Crow to get started!
Related Podcast Episodes:
Teaching Yoga Online
- 161: Get Your Yoga Online in 48 Hours with Jennie MacGoy
- 165: Offer Online Yoga Masterclass with Shannon Crow & Amanda McKinney
- 120: Teach Private Yoga Online with Yael Oppenheim
- 078: Creating an Online Yoga Studio with Brea Johnson
- 006: Teaching Online Yoga with Rosslyn Kemerer
- 181: Grow an Online Yoga Business with Nikki Naab-Levy
- 203: What to Charge for Online Yoga with Shannon Crow
About the Author
Crunch Ranjani is a copywriter & editor who specializes in writing content for health & wellness professionals.
She loves to travel and has been a digital nomad since 2013.
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