How To: Teaching Online

There were a few questions about teaching online. You know that I’m pretty ol’ school and teaching online is not something I recommend to anyone. BUT, desperate measures for desperate times. And there are lots of advantages as well.

Advantages of Anonymity

Instagram has gotten rid of numbers of likes to be displayed a while ago and on top of that, we live in this strange time, which means that more than ever, anonymity is not a disadvantage. ANYONE can do whatever they like. And you know what? Everyone is confined at home so many people don’t have fancy facilities to showcase their talents with fancy editing gadgets. Even for me, there is much less pressure to have professionally curated photos and more about just messages. This is just to show you, totally DIY, island way of doing what I do. Some of you would have a much more sophisticated way.

Gear

  1. My laptop
  2. Camera
  3. Smart phones
  4. Headphones with built-in microphone
  5. Software: iMovie/Garageband/canva
  6. YouTube/Zoom/Instagram accounts

One of the things I’ve learned is that more than visual, audio quality is important. At this point, visual is easier to deal with as any smartphones or digital cameras create great videos. But audio….if you’ve seen some of my videos, audio is really not great. Until I have a better headset, I use the headset that came with my iPhone and it made a world of difference.

Create, Edit, Post

Once you create a video content, it’s time to decide what you want to do with it. You can create an account on YouTube and post it (be careful, Vimeo does not work in certain countries including Indonesia but YouTube is everywhere) or post it on IGTV. For thumbnails or banners, I use canvas (actually I use canva for everything). On YouTube, you can also add closed captions. Apparently, 70% of people who watches videos on the phones watch them on silent mode.

Live stream

I’m really not good with this, nor am I comfortable with it. But this is another way of doing this. Again, I’d use either Zoom or IGTV (be careful it only allows 1 hour of recording time).

“Guiding the practice” or “Doing the practice”

Whether you want to go live or video edits depend on whether you are guiding the practice or doing the practice. If you are going for live, you can certainly do both. Our training focused on being able to guide without having to the poses. So use your foundation, breath, and movement cues to guide and observe their practices.

Many many people are doing the practice while they cue. In this case, you are basically sharing the practice as opposed to teaching.

Or do you have some housemates who can participate in this practice? That way, you won’t feel too foolish talking to the camera alone either, saying “great job, everyone.”

It’s never the same

Anyway you do it, it will never match the real practice with a teacher in the same room. It’s just to share your own practice and that’s about it. I know that many of you feel resistant to the online teaching idea. I’m just warming up to it. It will never replace in-person class or training. But just think of it as an offering. You have lots of people who would like to practice with you that are not in your house right now. It’s for them because everyone is feeling the same thing right now: “I miss connections.” So provide a place to reconnect. It will be nice for you to see your students (or future students), too and you never know who is going to be your most devoted student after all this is over.

About the author: Tomomi Becot

Tomomi is the owner of Flying Elephant Yoga in Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. She started practicing yoga when she first moved to Canada as a teenager in 2000. She then became a certified yoga teacher in 2008 and has been an integral part of extensive yoga teacher training programs both at a 200hr and 500hr level. After teaching and traveling in North America, Mexico, Australia, and Bali, Indonesia, she established her own independent yoga school in 2014. Her classes are based on vinyasa or flow mixed with her own personality and experience, and various styles of yoga she studied along her journey. With the background of vinyasa, power vinyasa, yin, pre- and post-natal yoga, she encourages her students to observe their minds while nurturing their own individuality. Her classes are about honoring both the traditional and the modern, physical and mental aspects of yoga.

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