How to Teach Yoga Online

Phone & Laptop Setup

I’ve taught over 3,000 classes online including 200 hour online yoga teacher training courses. Here’s my go-to setup for filming.

  • Natural light or ring light behind your phone
  • Phone as camera
  • Laptop as control center
  • Bluetooth earbuds

Lighting. Lighting is perhaps the most complex and variable aspect of video class, so I usually skip it altogether and use natural light. Make sure your light source is behind your phone camera, not behind you, or you’ll show up as a dark silhouette. During evening classes (post sunset), I’ll often us a cheap, USB-powered ring light. They conveniently come with a built-in tripod for your phone, and for around $20, you have a totally decent solution. Will it look like Hollywood? No, but it doesn’t matter. Good enough is great. Focus on your teaching instead of wasting time with clunky lights.

NOTE: these ring lights are small and light. I often travel with one even in my carry-on luggage.

Phone as Camera. I own all kinds of cameras, but I don’t use any of them. My phone works better because the lens is great, the battery life is excellent, and most importantly, we’re all extremely familiar with how it works. I personally use my front-facing camera so I can see my image framed, but the back camera is lens is better. Always use horizontal view as it will give your students a wider view.

TIP: we often recommending logging into Zoom twice. Once with your laptop, and then next with your phone using the same login. If you want to skip that, and you want a slightly wider view, there is a simple app called, Camo App that turns your phone into a webcam. Like any software, it takes a little tinkering to learn, but it’s simple.

Laptop as Control Center. Your laptop has a bigger screen and a mouse, so use this to mute participants, spotlight your phone while teaching, and control recordings and chats during classes. You can do all this via your phone, but it’s clumsy. It’s nice to have a bigger screen, keyboard, and mouse.

TIP: when you login to Zoom, use the same credentials on both devices.

Bluetooth Earbuds. I use Airpods, but there are lots of great options. The key thing is they are charged up, hands-free, and ready to go. Some teachers do use old school Bluetooth headphones (with a band over the top of their head), but they are heavy and can fall off in some poses. If your earbuds fall out in down dog (mine too) you can buy little ear hooks on Amazon for a few dollars that will allow you to do anything including inversions without dropping them out.

Zoom. I can’t tell you how many software developers have contacted me telling me they have a solution to Zoom that is better for yoga. The problem is, Zoom doesn’t have any major problems. Really, Zoom is awesome. There are lots of options, yes, and you need to learn the interface, but I’ve been teaching online yoga classes since 2010, and I can tell you that a $15/month Zoom account is life changing. Don’t wait time with anything else.

Organization / Scheduling. If you have your own system for scheduling classes, this is great. If you need a system, our site is free and makes it easy to plan classes, charge for classes, store recordings, and more.

How to start teaching yoga online by writing a great yoga teacher bio.