When you're teaching online, it's the small details that make the difference. Like an in-person class, your students will appreciate the effort you put into creating a visually-appealing and welcoming home studio. We've asked some of our instructors for their top tips on designing a welcoming and functional virtual gym. Read on to hear what they told us.
Tidy Your Background
Before you enter the warm-up room, take a minute to look around your space, and remove unnecessary or distracting items. A busy background can take the focus off what's important—you!
Karen Pagano, a Yin yoga teacher, creates a comforting atmosphere with framed pictures, colorful throw pillows, and on-theme decorations (check out the gong!)
Instructor, Hope Elliot, goes the minimalist route for her studio, displaying a few plants and props to be used during class.
Pro tip: Make sure your class notes, timers, or other details are out of frame. We like to put them behind our camera.
Check the Lighting
Lighting can help set the mood. Think about the time of day that you'll be teaching. Will there be enough natural lighting or do you need to add other light sources?
You’ll want to make sure you're lighting from behind the camera as opposed to behind you. This helps to avoid a backlit situation, which can make you look like a dark silhouette.
Jessie Dwiggins, a yoga teacher on Moxie, creates a bright, clean environment with a ring light positioned behind the camera and LED panels to bounce light off the ceiling.
Instructor, Isabel Allen, takes advantage of the ample natural light she has from a window behind her camera.
Pro tip: Use what you have: lamps, candles, a window, or a simple lighting kit can help create the ambiance you want.
Frame Your Shot
Set up your camera on a stable, flat surface. Consider the angle and distance you’ll have from your camera to yourself. The best experience for students is when your camera doesn’t move at all, so if you're moving from side-to-side or jumping, make sure your entire body stays in the frame.
Jordan Owashi, a Barre instructor, uses a MacBook Pro + Logi 1080p HD camera set far enough away from her mat so that attendees can see her full arabesque.
Pro tip: Use an external HD webcam for the clearest and most crisp image.
Don't Forget the Audio
One of the essential pieces to creating an excellent virtual fitness experience is making sure that your audio is clear and background noise is kept to a minimum.
It's a good idea to invest in a microphone or wireless headset, rather than relying on your computer's microphone, which isn't set up to capture your voice at a distance. Instructor favorites are the Blue Yeti USB Microphone or Apple Airpods.
Do you have lots of background noise? Try a sound machine outside the room for sound reduction. Experiencing too much echo? Wall-mounted felt pads or a simple throw rug do wonders for reducing echo.
And finally, if you're looking for the best way to add music to your online fitness class, check out Moxie Music!
Test, Test, Test
Once you have your home studio set up ready, we recommend creating a test class and inviting your friends to give you feedback on the audio quality, lighting, background, and so on. You can also watch a VOD recording of your class and look for opportunities to improve the experience.
With a little practice and love, your home studio will look fantastic!