Yoga has come a long way in the past few thousand years. As an instructor, using the technology and social networks available to you can be highly beneficial to your practice.
Publishing video content online can help you reach a wider base of students, increase your exposure and maybe even put some extra money in the bank.
Filming your own videos doesn’t have to require excessive amounts of time and money. Most reasonably-priced digital cameras, or even cell phone cameras, will yield high enough quality footage. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you on your way to instructing viewers in no time, with some useful risk management advice to keep in mind.
Type of content
Ease into producing your own videos with some shorter, more digestible content. This could be a quick 10 minute yoga sequence, a guided meditation, or techniques for proper form. You can show off your yogi wisdom, and make yoga accessible to people wherever they are.
Whichever format you choose, make sure to preface it with a clear and captivating intro. Viewers will decide within the first few seconds of your video whether they want to continue watching, so make those seconds count.
Setting the scene
Find somewhere clean and beautiful to unroll your mat and set up your shot. Clear away any clutter and place your tripod and camera far enough back that your poses will fit into the frame. A horizontal orientation is usually best. Try shooting from three different angles (side profile, diagonal, and close-up) to give yourself lots of options when editing.
Pay attention to lighting. Filming outdoors is ideal. Some soft morning light or an overcast afternoon makes for a perfect backdrop. Indoor overhead lighting can work as well, just be sure that you’re not heavily backlit or washed out by any harsh fluorescents.
Be confident and clear when you speak. Viewers will have more trust in you, and it will be easier to follow along. There is no need to write out an entire script, but make a plan and give yourself bullet points to discuss.
You can either give instructions as you move, giving your message an “in the moment” feel, or you can do a voiceover after the fact. Always do multiple takes. This will cover you if you stutter or fall out of a pose. Your comfort level and delivery will get better with practice. If you have perfectionist tendencies, set yourself a limit for how many takes you will do to avoid frustration.
Production and publishing
Keep it simple when you make your first foray into video editing. Do not bother with too many graphics or effects to begin with. Whether you use a Mac or PC, there will be built-in editing software that is easy and intuitive to use.
If you are using any music, make sure that it is open-source. YouTube actually provides a directory of free music to use in your videos. If you are going to be charging for your content, that could introduce new copyright infringement issues. The same goes for any copyrighted images in your video, so consider leaving your logo tees in the closet. You can always reach out to a musician for permission to use their work, maybe in exchange for including a link to where their music is sold.
When it comes to choosing a platform for your content, streaming services are usually preferable to downloadable files. Once people download your video, they have the opportunity to distribute it without your permission. It is free to upload your content to a Youtube channel and, for a small cost, you can post higher quality files on Vimeo.
There’s more to think about than just proper lighting and music, however. When you produce content on the internet, it can be accessed by anyone, all over the world. That could cause problems if legal action is taken.
Yoga instructors can be sued for many reasons. Perhaps a client does a certain stretch, position, or lift that exacerbates a back condition. With an in-person session, the client is more likely to tell their instructor their medical history, and the instructor can tailor the workout to their unique needs. But in an online setting, there may not be an avenue for that exchange of information. If there is significant pain and suffering that results, the client may seek legal action. Get in touch with our risk management specialists for more information.
Video content can help grow your yoga business by connecting you with potential students. It provides you with a platform to promote your classes and retreats. It can also become a source of revenue in itself. Try charging money for your content by making it for sale on a platform like iTunes. Your videos can also attract sponsors and advertisers who will compensate you for promoting their products to your audience.