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Hey yogis! We’ve got a treat for you.
We’ve compiled the best filming tips to help you teach yoga online.
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Table of Contents
One of the first things to think about is the presentation of the overall scene where you’re filming your online yoga classes.
Just like you’d set the scene in your yoga studio, think of where you’re filming like a TV set - consider the colors in the space, what your background might look like, and whether you’ll use any props (beyond your usual yoga blocks, bolsters, blankets, and straps!)
A bit of forethought into what the space will look like will help students to settle into their practice. It can be as simple as bringing some lamps into the space, maybe a plant or two, or maybe a wall hanging to set the scene.
This can be tricky one, as it depends on the poses you’ve chosen to focus on in this practice. You’ll want to make sure you have enough space to capture both your Savasana, and the most flourishing tree pose.
Setting up your camera to take wide shots that can capture your range of movement is ideal. Try to think about the ‘square’ of space your head will be occupying in the screen. As long as you’ve got room for your head to move up and down, or from one side of your mat to the other, you’ll be OK.
Some other things to consider include lowering the camera for a floor sequence, thinking about your eye level, and how you’d like to record the video. You may want to offer a narrated voiceover as you demonstrate each pose, or introducing them in the video as you do them, working up to a flow.
Our strongest recommendation? Make sure you do some test runs first.
There are a few things to think about when navigating noise. As with all things video, planning and organization will help you hugely. If you’re keen to talk students through poses during the class, think about investing in a shotgun or clip-on microphone (known in the industry as a ‘lavalier mic’ or ‘lav mic’ - you’re welcome!). We do recommend you incorporate this post-production when you’re editing.
Another thing that will really help is to figure out which room is the quietest room in the house, or the space where you’re planning on recording. Is there an ideal time of day to record your class? Can you close doors and windows temporarily? Anything you can do to create natural silence will pay dividends in the noise quality of your online yoga class.
We also recommend having a think about whether you want to play music whilst teaching, or if you want to add it in post-production. Some online yoga teachers also like to send out playlists in advance as a community-building exercise.
Lots of natural light is ideal when filming yoga classes, but not so much that you’re over-exposed.
Striking a balance between natural light, harsh light, and too many shadows is ideal. Sometimes closing drapes or blinds can be handy to reduce the amount of light, as is bringing in an additional lamp or two to lighten things up.
A bright room is good for filming if you have space, but use what’s available and get creative, and make sure you test in advance - get someone to help you with focus. If natural light is causing a glare, try using a white sheet over a window to get a diffused effect.
And if you don’t have quite enough light? Use the same sheet opposite the light source where you’re filming, to amplify and reflect the natural light you do have.
Is it a good idea to invest in a tripod?
Yes, yes, yes!
All joking aside, having a tripod is a brilliant way to help your videos look instantly more professional. No more wobbles (we do recommend you check for jiggle if you jump into chaturanga dandasana) - a tripod gives you much more flexibility. You can use it to explore new angles for filming, and flip your smartphone to selfie mode so you can see what you’re doing, too.
Small but mighty, you can get some pretty great smartphone footage with a bit of careful planning!
First up - no filter. Apart from the fact that natural you is fabulous, a filter can be quite distracting for your students. Other essentials include making sure you’re using full HD mode, and avoid slo-mo where you can, unless it’s vital for demonstrating a pose.
Much like any video for an online class, make sure you’ve got the right white balance going on, and that the color temperature on your recording isn’t either too warm (orange) or too cold (blue).
And just a last note - selfie cameras, whilst they’re so helpful in showing you what you’re doing, they can often be of lower quality than the camera in the ‘back’ of your phone. Check the resolution and go from there.
Take your time, and enjoy it!
Editing is essential to helping your students have the best experience - and there’s a wealth of info and educational resources out there for you to learn from. Start with YouTube - and look up basic editing skills. One of the best ways to learn is to experiment, so make sure you’re trying out what you’ve learned! Isn’t it all part of the fun?
As for tools, we thoroughly recommend Adobe (of course!), DaVinci software, or SonyVegas. Both are great and you can see demonstrations of how to use them, again, on YouTube. DaVinci is particularly great as they offer a free version which is useful when you’re getting started.
When it comes to teaching yoga online, make sure you’re looking at the whole scene - try to think like a director - and test out what you’re doing.
Most importantly, have fun! If you need any further advice or if you’d like to book your free demo, get in touch now so we can help.
We’re Fettle - a tech business that builds affordable digital platforms for yoga teachers all over the world.
Launched during lockdown, Fettle helps people move their yoga, health-focused, and wellbeing businesses online with ease.
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