There are a whole host of reasons to set up online yoga classes rather than in person. Whether you’re just aiming to reduce the amount of time you spend in the studio or you’re looking to scale your business by reaching further afield, offering online classes is a great way to reach more people with your lessons.
But the tech involved with moving online can be overwhelming at best, and totally offputting at worst.
In this post, we’re going to cover the two main ways to set up online yoga classes:
- Prerecorded content – students sign up for access to a library or sequence of videos
- Or live sessions – students meet with you via video chat for a real-time group session
For both options, we’ll cover exactly how to set up the tech platforms you’ll need to start offering your classes this week.
Let’s dive in!
Before we start, let’s make one thing clear.
YOU are the yoga expert. So we’re NOT going to tell you what to teach your students.
But we ARE the online business tech experts. This is our jam. We spend all day, every day helping business owners set up courses, classes, guides, products and services so that they can sell them online.
So you handle the lesson content, and we’ll show you how to do everything else.
Option 1: Live online classes
In this section, we’re going to cover how to sell live classes. This is where your students sign up for a specific date and time, and then meet you in a group video setting to complete the class with you in real-time.
Sound familiar? That’s because this is almost exactly what you’ve been doing in the real world. Except now you’ll be doing it remotely after you’ve set up your online yoga classes.
✅ Benefits of live classes
The huge benefit of offering live classes rather than prerecorded content is that you can get set up with this method today. The set-up can be done in around an hour and you can be hosting your first online class this week.
Prerecording a whole program can take weeks or even months of hard work. It’s totally worth doing, but not if you’re eager to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
❎ Downsides of live classes
The only real downside of offering live classes is that you’re tied to a particular date and time, whereas when you have prerecorded content, students are able to access the content without you present.
But if you’re coming straight from offering real-world live classes, there’s no real difference here!
What software will you need?
You’ll need just three tools to start offering live online yoga classes:
Acuity Scheduling ($15/mo)
Acuity will provide visitors with the option to sign up for one of your upcoming classes or even pay for a multi-class package if you’d like to offer one. You keep your calendar updated with classes and share your Acuity link to allow people to book a date/time.
PayPal (1.9%-3.4% transaction fee)
PayPal is by far the easiest way to take payments online. They take a small cut of each payment but it’s normally worth it considering how easy it makes it for your students to pay. PayPal also integrates directly with Acuity, so it’s a super-easy way to set up payments.
And finally, you’ll need a platform to actually host your live classes. Zoom is a great video conferencing tool that hooks up with Acuity, and will allow students to attend your class at the date/time they’ve booked.
Setting up your software (step by step)
Step 1: Setting up your Acuity account
First, head to AcuityScheduling.com and sign up for their free trial. After the 7 days are up, you’ll need to be on the “Emerging” plan ($15/mo) in order to keep the group class feature, but starting with the free trial is fine for now.
Once you’ve created your account, use the sidebar menu to navigate to the Appointment Types section and click New Type of Group Class.
Fill out the details of your class “type” here. The types of class you offer might be Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Seniors and/or Prenatal, for example. If you’d prefer to keep things simple to start with, one general class type works just fine too. Make sure you add a longer description of your class so that people know what they’re signing up for.
For the rest of the settings, if in doubt, I’d recommend keeping things as close to your real-world sessions as possible. If you usually do 60-minute sessions, stick with that. If you usually limit class sizes, set the same limit to start with too. It’s easy to overthink here when the most important thing is to just make the transition and then you can tweak once you’re up and running.
Pay special attention to the final two settings on this page. Make sure you’ve ticked that this is a group class and set your limits, and also specify whether someone can sign up for just one session or whether they must sign up for all of the times on offer. If in doubt, leave this unticked for now and you can always test out package purchases in future.
Once you’ve click Save, the page will refresh and you’ll see a new section appear on the right-hand side. Click Offer Class to specify when you’ll be holding this type of class. You can either set a specific series of dates or create a recurring time slot.
Repeat that process for each of your class types (if you have multiple types).
That’s the technical side almost done, so now it’s time to add any extra details you’d like your students to see on your scheduling page.
Use the sidebar navigation to go to Customize Appearance and check out the settings available to you. Play around to see what you think will work best for your visitors and make the most of the preview options to check how it will look.
Step 2: Setting up and connecting your PayPal account
Now let’s get your payment method sorted. First, head to PayPal.com and sign up for a free account.
Once you have your PayPal account, jump back over to Acuity and use the sidebar menu to go to the Payment Settings section.
Find the section that says Accept Payments from Clients Using and select PayPal from the dropdown. Enter the email address that you used to sign up for PayPal and click Save.
That’s it! Your payment method is sorted.
Step 3: Connecting with Zoom
First, go to Zoom.us and sign up for an account. If your classes will be longer than 40 minutes, you’ll need to sign up for the Pro account rather than the Free account.
Once you’ve set up your Zoom account, head back over to your Acuity account and use the sidebar menu to go to the Integrations section. Scroll down to find Zoom and click Set Up and then Connect to Zoom.
Log into Zoom if prompted and the click Pre-Approve then Authorize to give Acuity permission to set up calls for you in Zoom.
Once you’re back in Acuity, tick the checkboxes to specify that a meeting should be created in Zoom for each of your class types.
All done! People can now visit your scheduler to see, book and pay for classes.
When someone signs up for a class, they’ll receive a confirmation email that includes a Zoom link. When it’s time for the class, they’ll click that link and join you live!
Step 4: TEST!
No matter how confident you are in your set-up, it’s always essential that you test to check for technical issues. Testing also means that if someone gets stuck when booking, you’ll have been through the process yourself and can guide them through it.
So go and grab your scheduling link by using the sidebar navigation in Acuity and clicking Scheduling Page Link. You’ll see your link there and you can copy/paste it into a new tab.
Go through the booking and payment process as if you were a visitor to check that everything goes smoothly
Hosting your live class
When you’re ready to host your class (or host a test class with family/friends), go to Zoom.us and log in.
In the top menu, click My Account and then Meetings in the left-hand sidebar. You should see your meeting listed there.
When you’re ready to start, click Start next to the class you’d like to start.
Zoom will open up (or guide you through the installation process) and automatically take you to your meeting, where your eager students will now be able to join you!
Congrats! You’re officially an online yoga instructor.
So, what next?
Option 2: Prerecorded content
In this section, we’re going to cover how to start selling a library or sequence of video classes that your students can access in their own time, at their own pace. This is the second way to set up online yoga classes.
✅ Benefits of prerecording
The beauty of this method is that once you’ve got your content, you aren’t tied to a particular class schedule and can focus on selling your program to more and more people.
You’re not limited to a certain class size and you can record the content at your own pace and really fine-tune the videos in post-production to get them exactly how you want.
Some instructors like to create 12-week programs (one for beginners, one for intermediates and one for advanced students, for example). While some instead like to use a subscription or membership model, where content is released to students on a weekly schedule and continues for as long as they keep paying their membership fees.
Both options avoid the need for you to be in a particular place at a particular time, which means more time for you to market your programs or develop new products, or even offer 1:1 coaching sessions.
❎ Downsides of prerecording
Creating a library or sequence of videos can be a time-consuming way to set up online yoga classes.
Aside from the program planning and video recording itself, it’s easy to spend weeks or even months fiddling with the post-production video editing and the technical set-up of your hosting platform.
Is it worth doing? Totally.
But if you’re in a rush to get your classes online ASAP, it might be best to set up live classes first. Or at least offer live classes while you’re also working on your prerecorded programs.
What software will you need?
You’ll only need a few bits of software to launch your yoga program online:
Recording tools (free)
To record your videos, you’ll need a smartphone, a laptop with a webcam, or a digital camera. If you’re recording on your laptop or computer, you can use a tool like Quicktime, VLC or the Camera app for Windows. These will let you record video through your webcam.
iMovie (or similar, free)
Once you’ve recorded your videos, they might need a little bit of editing. Tools like iMovie, Lightworks and Camtasia allow you to remove any mistakes you made while filming. iMovie is free for Mac users, while Lightworks is a great alternative for Windows users.
Teachable is an online course platform that lets you host all of your content so that students can access it. This is where you’ll upload your videos, set up your payment options, create web pages to promote your program and respond to any questions from students.
Creating your video content
Step 1: Record your videos
The simplest way to record your videos is with your smartphone or laptop. Find a space with plenty of natural light, add additional lights if necessary, and position your laptop or smartphone in a landscape position at a height where you won’t be looking down at it.
By all means, plan out your videos, but remember that they don’t need to be perfect, especially if this is your first online program. Students don’t expect perfection, so relax and have fun with your recordings.
Step 2: Edit your content
Depending on whether you made many mistakes in your recordings, you may need to crop some parts out. This can be done with tools like iMovie, Lightworks or Camtasia.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some excellent guides to these video editing platforms.
But REMEMBER… “done” is better than “perfect” so don’t beat yourself up or waste too much time fixing small bloopers. Students will appreciate a dose of reality and it can even help build rapport. You can always come back to the editing studio once you’ve started getting sign-ups.
- Top Tips for How to Use iMovie on Mac
- Getting Started with Lightworks
- Basic Video Editing with Camtasia
Setting up your Teachable school
Step 1: Uploading your videos
First, head to Teachable.com and create an account. Once you’re in, we’re going to jump straight into creating your “curriculum”.
Use the sidebar navigation to go to the Courses section, then click New Course. Fill in the basic information about your program then click Create Course.
Next, we’ll jump over to the Curriculum section and start creating our program structure. For example, if we were creating a 12-week program with one video each week, we would create 12 sections each containing one lecture.
Once you’ve got our structure, you can start adding your content. Click on each of the lectures and upload your videos or other content types one by one.
Step 2: Configuring your main settings
There are two main things to focus on here – your pricing plan(s) and your drip content.
Pricing your course
Open up the Pricing section to add your pricing plan. There are four options to choose from:
- Free – students can access your course without paying anything
- Subscription – students will have access to your course as long as they pay a monthly (every 30 days) or annual (every 365 days) fee
- One-time purchase – students can access your course by paying one singular amount
- Payment plan – students pay for your course in a set number of monthly payments
You can learn more about pricing your course in this article.
Next, consider whether you want your students to have access to all of your course content at once, or if you’d rather drip your content. Doing this allows you to publish sections of your course on specific dates, or a specified amount of days after a student enrolls in your course.
If you’ve decided you want to drip your course content, open up the Drip section. Here, you’ll see a list of all of the sections that you’ve added to your course.
In the first section, click the Set Schedule button.
Set either the date you want this section to go live, or type in how many days after enrollment the content will become available. For example, you might want a student to wait four days after enrolling before the first section becomes available.
Note: It’s recommended that at least the first module is available straight away (0 days) after enrolling, so when students sign up, the course doesn’t look empty.
You also have the option to send students an email announcement once the new content goes live. To do this, click the Set Email Announcement button and write a quick email to let them know that they have new content available. Then click Save Announcement.
Once you’re done, click the Activate button. Repeat these steps for the rest of the sections.
You can learn more about drip content here.
You also have the option to create coupon codes for your course. To do this, head to the Coupons section. You can create coupon codes for this course only, or for every course in your school.
When you create a new coupon, you’ll need to add the following:
- Amount – The dollar or percentage amount (e.g. $10 or 10% off the total cost)
- Pricing Plan – Which pricing plan the coupon applies to
- If it’s for a payment plan, whether it applies to all payments, or the first payment only (e.g. 10% off the first payment, and then full price after that)
- Coupon Code – What you want your coupon code to be – this should be something easy to remember, like YOGA10
- Internal Name – A name that only you see; something that will help you remember what the coupon is for (e.g. “Early bird pricing” or “Introductory offer”)
- Expiry – When the coupon expires. If you don’t want it to expire, choose a date far in the future (it defaults to two years from now)
- Number Available – How many times the coupon can be used. If you want it to be for unlimited use, set the number high (it defaults to 10,000)
Once you’re done, click Add Coupon and repeat for any other coupons you want to create. You can add as many coupons as you’d like.
Step 3: Building your front end pages
Now that you have the content of your course created, you need to make sure people have all of the information they need, and they know what your course is about. You can do this by building your front end pages.
If you’re not a designer, don’t worry! Teachable has its own built-in page builder that’s easy to use and guides you through each step of creating your pages.
Start by opening up the Pages section. Here, you can add the following:
This will be your front page for your course. It should include all of the information people need, including what your course is about, a bit about you, the course curriculum, and how much the course costs.
The sales page builder has various customizable blocks you can add, so play around and see what you can create!
When a student clicks the button to buy your course, they’ll be taken to the checkout page. You can add testimonials, a few bullet points to remind them what you’ll get by signing up, and a stamp to show your Course Guarantee, which is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Course Guarantee is always recommended, as it gives students the confidence to purchase your course without being worried they can’t get their money back if they don’t like it for any reason. Think of it like a safety net that will encourage students to take the leap and purchase your course.
Thank you page
This is a simple page that thanks the student for purchasing the course once they’ve been through the checkout. You can also display a button that takes them directly to your course content so they can get started instantly.
You can add as many blocks to the thank you page as you’d like, but it’s best to keep it short and simple.
You should also create a homepage for your school. This can be very simple; it could even just contain the name of your school and a list of the courses you have available.
To customize your homepage, click on the Site section, all the way on the left-hand side. Then go to Pages.
Here, you’ll see a few pages that you can edit. Click the green edit icon next to the Home page.
You can add blocks in the same way that you can on other pages. You might want to add the name of the school at the top (otherwise known as the Homepage Hero Header), a short description of what you teach, and the Featured Courses block.
You can also edit the page’s meta title and URL, and whether you want to show the navigation bar and/or the footer.
Once you’re done, click the Preview button to check it all looks OK. Then click Save.
Your school’s theme
To finish off your homepage, as well as the general theme of your Teachable school, open up the Theme section.
Here, you can add a logo, a favicon (the small icon that displays on your browser tab), and a homepage background image.
You can also change the default font and color scheme that is used across your school. Choose your own colors, or select from a number of preset color palettes.
Step 4: TEST!
Once you’ve finished adding your content and creating all of your pages, it’s time to test them. This step is essential – you need to make sure everything works and looks OK from the front end as if you’re a student purchasing the course.
To ensure you don’t miss anything important, use our checklist! We’ve put together an in-depth, comprehensive list of everything you should consider before you launch your course. Click here to download it for free.
Launching your Teachable school
It’s time to launch your school! Once you’ve double-checked everything is ready to go, you can launch your school and open your new course up to students.
If you’re promoting one course, share your sales page for that course. You can find this by going to Courses, selecting the course you want to promote, and clicking the Sales Page button. Copy the page URL from your browser.
If you have multiple courses that students can choose from, share the link to your school’s homepage. You can find this by clicking on the name of your school in the top-left corner of the page.
You did it! You set up online yoga classes!
That’s how you set up your yoga business online. You’re now the proud owner of an online yoga school! Give yourself a pat on the back or a mini round of applause.
If you’re always coming up with new ideas, this doesn’t have to be the end of the process for your new course. Now you’ve set up your online yoga classes, you can continue to work on it and develop them as much as you like. Feel free to experiment and see what sort of content works best.
Don’t forget you can mix and match your options. Your course could have live elements as well as prerecorded ones. You could also work on including extra resources, like PDFs, transcripts, or even quizzes.
And if you’re not happy with how your pages look for either Acuity or Teachable, you could always try using a tool we recommend called Divi.
Divi is a WordPress theme that works as a drag-and-drop page builder. It has a ton of different elements and modules that are much more customizable than the native page builders you get with Acuity and Teachable, so you can make your site truly unique. Find out more about Divi here.
Still stuck on something, or simply don’t have the time to set everything up?