Teaching Yoga Online: Pros and Cons

Many yoga teachers are now offering their classes online, allowing people to practice yoga from the comfort of their own homes.

While teaching online yoga classes has its benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

This article will explore the pros and cons of teaching online yoga classes to help you decide if it’s the right path for you.

Pros of Online Yoga Classes

Although many classes were initially taught online out of necessity, there is no denying that live online classes have their advantages.

  • No commute. Online classes are incredibly convenient for students and teachers. With no commute, both parties save a significant amount of time. For many students, the transition to online made it easier to attend classes. After all, it takes five minutes to roll out your mat and long on, compared to the time you would normally spend to travel to the studio, change your clothes, and set your place in the room.
  • No childcare. Anyone with kids knows that finding a reliable babysitter can be a challenge, not to mention the costs. For parents with young children, online classes meant they could finally attend yoga without worrying about childcare!
  • A wider selection of classes. With in-person classes, you are limited to the places within your reach, your budget, and your schedule. However, online classes open a whole new range of possibilities! You can practice with teachers worldwide from the comfort of your home. And if you have an unusual schedule (e.g., shift work, on-call work), you can tune into classes at any time of day or night. You no longer have to limit yourself to the classes within your local time zone!
  • No venue costs. If you’re a teacher or a studio owner, taking classes online significantly reduces costs. Finding the right venue can be difficult, considering all the necessary criteria: ample space, lighting, facilities, access… Depending on location, rent of the premises can be quite high, not to mention utilities such as heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. With students practicing from home, you don’t have to worry about venue costs. Plus, you no longer need to provide equipment like yoga mats or props.
  • More opportunities for teachers. Previously, many yoga teachers were at the mercy of studio owners and gyms. Even if you find employment with a studio, the pay is usually pre-determined, no matter how popular your classes are. And to start a class independent from a larger venue, a teacher must find a venue, invest in equipment, and figure out a way to find students. Even then, competing with local studios with an established customer base is hard. With online yoga classes being the new normal, many teachers had a chance to facilitate classes with fewer obstacles.
  • Tune in from anywhere. Finally, you can enjoy your favorite class even when you’re on vacation, visiting family for the holidays, or traveling for work. This advantage applies to yoga teachers as well. All you need is your laptop and yoga mat when traveling.

Cons of Online Yoga Classes

While there are plenty of advantages to taking and teaching online yoga classes, it does have its cons.

  • No sense of community. One of the greatest reasons people go to group classes is the sense of community. Yoga promotes compassion and togetherness, which is why students who attend the same class often become friends. This extends to the community as a whole. In-person classes allow teachers and students to bond and network. Unfortunately, this type of connection hardly translates to online classes.
  • Less visibility. In an online class, we are limited by the camera angle and the picture quality. Students might struggle to grasp a pose or transition if they can’t see it properly. From the teacher’s point of view, it limits their ability to gauge how the students are doing, making it difficult to make verbal corrections or adjust the tempo if someone is struggling.
  • No possibility for adjustment. There is only so much you can do from behind your laptop. Sure, it’s possible to demonstrate the poses and give verbal cues, but in some cases, that is not enough. One of the advantages of in-person classes is that the teacher can spend time with each student and make adjustments where necessary.
  • No atmosphere. To create optimal conditions for a yoga class, studios will often take extra measures to put students at ease. This may include dimmed lighting or candles, heating or AC, incense, and music. Not everyone can recreate this type of atmosphere at home, which can hinder the students’ enjoyment of the class.
  • Technical difficulties. This struggle is not exclusive to online yoga. Almost anyone who had to work or study from home knows that technology isn’t 100% reliable. Your internet might be sketchy, your camera might stop working, and your sound could suddenly cut out. And if the teacher can’t fix the issue immediately, it directly impacts their earnings.
  • Lack of space. For many people, practicing yoga from home is a blessing. Unfortunately, not everyone has adequate space to do that. Whether it’s due to the living conditions or the layout, for some students, a gym or a studio is the only way to have a fulfilling practice.
  • Distractions. Home practice may not be ideal for people who live in a noisy environment or a busy household. For some students, coming to a yoga studio is a respite from their hectic home life, and online classes can’t provide that.
  • Privacy. Frankly, not everyone is comfortable being in front of a camera, let alone “inviting” people into their home, albeit through the computer screen. This extends to other household members that may not want to appear in the background.

Is Teaching Online Yoga Classes Worth It?

It depends on the individual’s goals and circumstances. Teaching online yoga classes can be a convenient and flexible way to share one’s skills and knowledge with a potentially large audience.

However, it may also be more challenging to establish a consistent income and build a strong community compared to teaching in-person classes.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the technical and logistical requirements of teaching online, including having a reliable internet connection, camera, and appropriate space.

Ultimately, whether or not teaching online yoga classes is worth it will depend on one’s personal goals and circumstances.

Tip: If you want to start teaching yoga online, start with our guide on how much to charge for a Zoom yoga class. This guide will help you find a suitable business model and pricing plan to give you a leg-up against the competition.

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