How to Choose an Online Yoga Studio

Before the Coronavirus pandemic, showing up to an online class was 100% a convenience. If you had kids at home, minimal finances, or just couldn’t seem to find time to head to the local yoga studio, online yoga platforms were a great solution. Flash forward to inside the pandemic, where being online is not just convenient, but a necessity if you want to maintain any kind of normalcy, routine, and take care of your mental and physical health.

But where do you even begin? The surge of online yoga programs has amassed in just a matter of months. Formerly, it was online businesses like YogaGlo or individual instructors that were only online such as Yoga with Adriene—now it’s every studio in the country, in every country. Can you imagine the competition? At the beginning of the stay-at-home order, I’ll admit I saw it as an opportunity. I had the unicorn hope that people would justshow up from all over to join us online,but that was a silly amateur hope. Nothing in the world of business works that way. Building an online yoga studio takes as much, if not more work as building a brick and mortar business and it’s certainly not something that yoga studios included in their business plan. It’s also an endeavor that most will only halfway embrace. They’ll use it to get through it while secretly waiting for things to return to normal. But if they’re 100% embracing it, practicing online with an actual yoga studio may be a GREAT option. Here’s why:

  1. You get to practice with a variety of instructors that hone similar philosophy
  2. The instructors can actually get to know you, your practice, and help you improve
  3. You become a part of a community rather than a lone yogi ranger practicing with someone you may never meet

So if you’re sold on practicing with a yoga studio that’s gone online, that still leaves a lot of options to choose from. I’ve put together a list below to help you swim through and find which online yoga studio is right for you. Here are the things to consider:

  1. What’s its longevity?  As with most people, many studio owners are secretly wishing things would return to normal. Although they’re saying they will offer an online resource forever, if numbers drop down or become non-existent, the option will go away because they will no longer be getting a return on the time and effort it takes to run online. You’ll be able to gauge this by the amount of effort they are putting towards enhancing the experience and appreciating you as an online customer.
  2. They’re providing what you need. There’s a lot that can be offered online. The most common offerings are live stream and on-demand classes. When choosing an online yoga platform, be sure that you can participate in live classes that are 100% relevant to the moment you’re in, and also on-demand classes, for those times you just can’t make it to the live class. Other offerings may include workshops, online private sessions, courses, and other offerings to further deepen your yoga practice.
  3. You’re receiving quality instruction. This one is actually a large one to consider. Up until about five months ago, all online yoga options were a one way experience. For most online platforms, you can see the instructor, but the instructor cannot see you. This means that when the instructor is teaching or recording, they are imagining the students. This, first of all, is a skill. It’s very difficult to teach imaginary people. So if you like the one way option of you seeing the instructor, but prefer not to be seen, make sure the instructor is still addressing you. However, in my 11 years of teaching, I’ve had a number of students come to my classes that have started their practice online. The one thing that 100% of them express is that they’re uncertain if they’re doing the postures correctly. Luckily, we now have the option to see students utilizing Zoom and teach them as if they were right in the class with us. So if you want the best quality, find classes that utilize two way viewing (teacher and student can see each other) and become a part of the class. This will increase your confidence and integrate you into a yoga community by practicing with other students.
  4. Sound and video quality. The number one priority is sound. You want to be able to hear your instructor well and also have the sound be nice and clear. If the instructor is skilled at cueing, sound is really all you need. But there are times you need to see also. So secondary is the video quality, which is a little more challenging. Cameras are expensive and the compatibility with various softwares is difficult to figure out (especially for newbies). If your studio has upgraded so that the image is 80% clear… be grateful for that. If they’re using a high-end camera to provide a crystal clear image, send them a Thank You card!

Online yoga is an excellent way to take care of yourself in any worldly climate. There’s a lot to choose from, but ultimately it’s most important to just get started. Ignite Yoga just launched their online platform, so if you’re ready, join us today!

PS – want to set up the perfect home sanctuary for your at-home practice? Click Here.

PSS – how are you enjoying the new platform? Comment below!

Justina and the Ignite Team

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