Alice Camera For Yoga Instructors: In Conversation With Ilana Sabban and Ellie Richardson
In recent years, pandemic restrictions in addition to the rise of technology have changed how we live and work. Yoga instructors are not immune to this change and in the past few years, many have started teaching their classes virtually.
Despite the fact that virtual offerings like wellness sessions have opened up new opportunities, there are a number of challenges that come with teaching online. To answer the on-going dilemma that fitness pros face in their day-to-day routine, we’re having conversations with yoga instructor Ilana Laurette Sabban (@koukayoga) and pilates and barre teacher Ellie Richardson (@manipulation4thenation) who share their personal experiences of moving their physical classes to virtual ones and discuss how the right camera device can shift over-all class experience, creating more opportunities than challenges in the ever-growing competitive space.
What does your day as a wellness instructor look like?
Ilana Sabban has been teaching yoga professionally for about 4 years now, while her interest in Vinyasa and Pranyama has been nurtured for about 8 years.
Ilana “I was active with my in-person classes in Miami and then London. However, due to the pandemic I had to transition to virtual space and continue my teachings online.”
Ellie Richardson has been teaching in London for 7 years, and started to host pilates and barre classes online just before the pandemic.
Ellie “I started using zoom to teach mums who could not leave their babies alone and wanted to try online classes due to the convenience of it. When the pandemic hit, I moved all the clients & classes on to Zoom. Many of my clients and classes have remained on Zoom because it was a lot more convenient for them”.
How has this changed pre vs post pandemic?
Ilana recalls that transitional phase as a challenging experience as she did not have the same technology capabilities as her fellow teachers.
Ilana “Making videos on Facebook or Zoom was difficult, however the biggest obstacle was also - not having the ability to assist people physically, alongside missing out on the communal and energizing experience of everyone being together face to face.”
“For anyone, new or experienced yoga teachers, it was the same challenge. It taught yoga teachers as a collective, to learn how to communicate better, how to describe every bit of the pose so people would follow along. Learning how to guide people with your voice instead of your hands.”
Even though her home studio is based in London, Ilana still continues working with her students from Miami remotely. Whereas Ellie mentioned that new circumstances provide a less-time consuming schedule because there’s no need to travel to people’s homes.
Ellie “The only thing that has changed in post pandemic is that I save on quite a lot of travel time and I can give less hands on adjustments.”
Ilana “Pandemic has opened up the mind that you can teach from anywhere and work on an international level.”
What camera gear do you currently use to stream the classes and/or promote your services and what technical obstacles do you usually face when working with your current camera?
Ellie “I’ve been using Macbook to stream my classes. Breaking wifi connection was one of the biggest issues, hence the difficulty that music wouldn’t translate in combo audio well over Zoom.”
Ilana “The sound gets affected then teaching as you have to place your device far from yourself so you fit in your computer or phone screen.”
Wellness instructor also points out quality as another factor making recording problematic if using her laptop or phone.
Ilana “Some of the student’s would prefer to have their classes over facetime due to quick and simple connection.The quality, in fact, is better on a smartphone than laptop, but the small screen on the phone makes it difficult for me to see what my clients are doing as the phone is usually placed further away from me for better frame positioning”.
How does it affect how you interact with your clients?
Because of the poor positioning abilities, the communication with the students becomes inefficient as it is hard to respond to them on the spot.
Ellie “I can't read their body language as well which makes judging the exercise intensity difficult”.
What Alice camera features stand out to you the most?
CONNECTIVITY bridging the gap between exceptional quality and fast navigation and shareability of a smartphone makes a huge difference in how smoothly you can teach online.
Ilana “You don’t have to sacrifice quality for availability. You don’t need to use a laptop and have a bigger screen but lose quality. With Alice you can have great quality and upload your videos straight away on your platforms in 4k quality”.
LIVE-STREAMING is essential for an online class as you have direct contact with your client.
Ilana “It can stream high quality video footage to your clients, which allows you to have a direct connection with your students. You can have an external microphone to ensure you have excellent audio quality to complement great visuals on the spot.”
EASY SETUP - Alice connects with your smartphone at a good distance so you can place your phone next to you and place the camera further away from your body.
Ilana “So you could still see the questions students ask, whether they write it or say it, you could answer their needs with no issue. With my laptop, it was hard to find the right angle, trying to find a spot with the most light, moving the device place to place, making sure the computer doesn't overheat. The sound also gets affected if you try to fit in the screen then teaching as you have to place it far from yourself. Using Tripod would for recording would be helpful for stability and making sure the set up is not that complicated and time-consuming.”
“COMPACT size that doesn’t take much space would make the practices a lot easier.”
What advice would you give for aspiring wellness instructors who want to teach from home when it comes to the gear and effective workflow.
Ellie “Make it as streamlined and professional as possible for the client. Good connection, nice background, seamless and secure login process.”
Ilana “Utilize all the opportunities that have come up whether it means teaching in person or teaching online. Employing tools as Alice Camera that would make the experience easier and more professional. Be open for a challenge, to teach in any circumstances. Continue getting on your mat. Better yourself, your practices, your teachings, just how you want your students to.”
Alice Camera is a new AI camera tool that can help fitness instructors do better in the virtual world and people who are participating in wellness sessions feel more connected to their teacher.
Big appreciation for Ellie Richardson and Ilana Sabban for sharing their experiences and opinions! You can find more information about them by clicking on their names.
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