Soon we will be launching a free service for yoga teachers to upload “videos” of their yoga classes. If you’re interested in recording video of your classes, here are some tips to get you started.
Step 1: Lesson Plan
Pick One Theme
Pick one clear theme for each class you record. New teachers find it very tempting to cram each class with lots of stuff because they think by putting more into a class, they’re providing more value. Most experienced yoga teachers know that “less is more”. Here are 101 yoga class themes to give you a wee bit of inspiration.
Brainstorm an eye-catching title for your yoga class. Click here for 101 yoga class titles.
Yoga Lesson Planner
Spend a few minutes creating a yoga lesson plan using this Yoga Lesson Planner.
Once you’ve created the lesson plan, you’ll be able to click a button to turn it into a PDF document that can be uploaded along with the video. If you don’t normally create a lesson plans, you don’t need to.
There are also 250+ yoga class handouts within this nifty Yoga Lesson Planner that you can use and edit. You can upload the handout(s) as a PDF with your video.
If you’re taken the time to create a lesson plan and handout, you now have an attractive package.
This package will significantly increase the perceived value of your yoga video. The yoga teachers who include a lesson plan and/or handout with each of their yoga videos will be the ones getting the most downloads and streams.
Step 2: Where To Film?
Once you’ve completed step 1, decide where to film.
You could set up a room where you live to practice yoga and record. If you don’t have the luxury of having a spare room, you could set up your front room each time you want to record something. Just make sure you make it look as nice as possible (e.g. buddha statue, water lily, meditation bell). Put on your “film producer hat” and think how you can make the environment as attractive as possible. Then, try to set up the same/similar environment overtime you set up.
A great option is to take your mat and camera outside. That way you’re sure to get great lighting. However, if it’s windy your voice might get carried away in the wind (pick a nice sunny, calm day).
Are you going to be a one man/women band?
Or are you lucky enough to have a patient partner to work the camera for you? Will you get other people into the video (e.g. your son, husband, dog, stranger)? For example you could record yourself giving a one to one session with a student. Or you could have two or more students following along with you? Or you could record on a busy street and ask random strangers to join in?
Make a few test video recordings to make sure that things are set up before you begin the formal shooting.
Step 3: Point & Shoot
Camera Equipment Choices
There are loads of options to film a yoga video. It depends on your budget and goals. If you’re going to record lots of video and have a reasonable budget, I would recommend you splash out £450 on a Cannon D70 (DSLR camera).
If you have a top quality smartphone (e.g. iPhone 5s), you can get great results with that (though you will need very good lighting, otherwise the film will be grainy).
Video equipment that I use…
- DSLR (e.g. Cannon D70)
- Point-and-shoot digital camera (e.g. Kodak Zi8)
- Android Smartphone
- iPhone (iPhone 5s and above have amazing video quality)
- Tripod (hold camera steady and allow you to film without a helper)
- Natural light (use natural light whenever possible)
Be natural as you film. Viewers will relate to you best if you come across as a real human being. Don’t try to sound like a yoga teacher. Speak naturally, just as you would chatting to a friend.
Student Agreement Form
Be sure to ask your students if they are OK with you recording them. If you’re recording your live classes, I recommend getting your new students to sign an agreement (states they are OK with you recording the class and using the recording for online use).
One option is to make one class a month free! And film that class. Your students won’t mind being filmed if the class is free.
Step 4: Editing
You shouldn’t need to do much editing. There’s no need to be afraid of editing (if you’re not very technically minded) because it’s become really easy. A few years ago it was a dark art, but now it’s a walk in the park.
All you need is your computer and video editing software. Simply connect your camera to your computer and transfer the video. Open up your video editing software and do a few edits. If you’re new to editing the easiest option is to view tutorials (e.g. iMovie) on YouTube. Within an hour you’ll be an expert!
Video editing equipment
- iPhone: There are a bunch of APPs that let you shoot and edit footage on your iPhone
- iMovie (comes preinstalled on Macs)
- Final Cut Pro (Mac users)
- Movie Maker (comes pre-installed on Windows)
- Trim the start and end of your clips
- Add transitions
- Lay down voice-over (if you didn’t record with sound)
If you choose not to record with sound and are going to lay down a voice-over, make sure you invest in a good quality microphone (I personally use a Blue Yeti Microphone).
If you’d like to add music to your video, make sure it’s open-source (or you’ll need to get permission for its use). Go to Google and look around for “royalty free music” or “podcast-safe music”. If you’re editing in iMovie, they have 100’s of royalty free music tracks to choose from. You could go to fiverr.com and search for a musician to record a voice-over (only cost you $5!).
Titles at the beginning and credits at the end can point your viewers to any music you and to your personal website.