Make social distancing work for your yoga studio.

In this uncertain time with shelter-in-place laws and social distancing, nearly everyone is staying home. People are living outside their normal schedule and adjusting to a very uncertain time. They need community. They need yoga.

During this challenging time, your studio can offer the same thing it’s always offered – community and a chance to become the best version of yourself.

You may not have physical classes, but your community remains intact and vital to your studio. Your members will remember how you showed up for them during this time with social media posts, encouraging messages, online community and even virtual classes.

Not sure about online classes? Don’t overthink it!

The most important thing is to get yourself out there. Your members won’t remember if your first online class was a little wonky or not. What they’ll remember is that you showed up for them and kept their brain occupied during this uncertain, stressful time.

Truth →  Launching is EVERYTHING.

Don’t be scared to just get out there and get better as you go. If you spend too much time trying to curate a perfect system instead of putting the content out there it won’t be as powerful. They’re not expecting perfect, they’re expecting you to show up.

We live in a very technologically advanced world. At the end of the day all it takes is some open floor space, a computer and Zoom or Facebook Live to run an online class. Getting the lighting and camera position right definitely helps – but at the end of the day if you have a computer and the internet you’ve got all the essentials.

Some tweaks for sharing yoga online.

Running online classes is a little different than running them in the studio – beyond the format. When you’re teaching an in-person class a limited number of people must be in the room at a set time to benefit from the experience. Online you have completely different limitations.

You don’t need as many yoga classes when you’re running live. If people can’t make it, they can watch the recording later. Instead of 5-7 classes a day you can streamline into one of each type of yoga you offer. Then members who miss out are free to watch the nested video later that day or even on the next one.

Try this → Streamline your schedule to a couple full length classes a day at key times.

People are living a different reality right now. Instead of going off to work and dropping the kids at school, practice and rehearsal they’re home. Don’t be scared to change up your class times. You’re not working around their schedules in the same way and people’s daily rhythms may change too. 

Tip → Think about your community and what would appeal to them.

You’re competing with different things now.

To get to a physical class, your members must work around their schedule, drive across town, park and set up their yoga mat in a dedicated space. Getting there is the challenge for your students. By the time they unroll their mat they’re ready to concentrate and enjoy the yoga experience.

Online it’s a bit different. Now your community is in their living rooms instead of your studio. Getting there is much easier, staying focused is A LOT harder. Most people aren’t going to do a full 90-minute yoga class because right beside their living room is their kitchen with snacks and wine… or their partner who wants to use the T.V., the kids fighting again or any number of other distractions.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do any full classes, but it may be an opportunity to try out shorter options. People are much more likely to get a 20-minute or 30-minute class in. That’s even something they could invite their family to join in for.

Try this → Stream some of your shorter classes publicly. Get the word out, build a broader community.

Want to restrict some or all of your online classes to members only? Make a password protected page on your website. This is easy to do on all the major platforms – Squarespace, WordPress, Live Edit. Once the page is ready, embed the videos directly on it so members only have to put their password in once… AND they’re staying on your website, boosting traffic.

Teaching yoga online might feel a little awkward at first, but keep going! 

Here’s the thing → everything feels uncomfortable until you do it a few times. You probably felt a bit nervous your first time on the yoga mat. You might have had a bit of anxiety when you taught your first in-person class. This is normal… and you should expect a few of those same feelings now. That’s okay. 

When things get tough, dig deep. Remember how much your community needs you in this moment and at this time…and keep going. You can do this!! 

Our community of dedicated yogis is here to support YOU. You’re not alone. Tune in to our regular webinar series “The Yogapreneur’s Guide to COVID-19” for the latest information and help with implementation.

And check out the Webinar Recordings and additional resources and checklists here.

You’ve got this!

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4 Comments

  1. Just wanted to thank you for the suggestions in your first video. I jumped into FITGRID and ZOOM and now have 6 of my instructors and myself teaching 16 online classes a week. There were a few bumps and bruises but for the most part, our community loves that we are there for them, even though they could do any number of free classes on Youtube. Love our community in Fairbanks, Alaska.

    1. That’s great Marsha! Taking action in times like these can be hard but is what will separate the pros from the amateurs. Keep us posted on how the studio is doing.

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The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide to Social Distancing
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