A step-by-step guide to film yoga videos on your phone | make high quality videos for FREE

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film yoga videos on your phone

I still remember the day I realised I didn’t have to push myself to teach 20+ yoga classes each week to actually make a decent income teaching yoga. I’d just had my second baby. I was hormonal and teary reading Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week while lying in the sun, in an attempt to heal my stitches. Money on maternity leave was tight. I wanted to earn my own money but I also didn’t want to miss out on time with my boys.

The idea that I could prerecord my classes, work in my own time and makes sales while I slept became my obsession. (Or rather, while I didn’t sleep because – newborn).

I spent the next few years making videos and sharing them to YouTube. I created courses and a membership. I trialled yoga challenges and instagram strategies and also just shared my journey of motherhood and yoga.

Fast forward 8 years and I now have an online yoga business that earns me money while I sleep. I make a full time wage working about ten hours each week. I get to teach the yoga I love without burning out.

I also work with a lot of new yoga teachers (through my specialist teacher trainings), who also want to build an online business, but think they can’t because they’re “not tech savvy”.

I want you to know. When I first started I’d never filmed anything before. I didn’t know how to edit videos. I’d never uploaded a video to the internet. I also felt overwhelmed by the tech stuff.

So I started small and filmed with what I had. First with my phone. Then my ancient SLR camera which certainly wasn’t built for video. Slowly I upgraded. First with an external microphone and then with better cameras and lenses.

Anything I didn’t know I googled or asked a friend. You don’t have to know it all now. You just have to take the very next step and get started. You’ll work it out along the way.

If you’ve been putting off getting started because you don’t have the right equipment or you feel like you’re not tech savvy enough – THIS is the post for you (or watch the video below). Let me show you how you can film yoga videos on your phone AND make them look great.

What do you need to film yoga videos on your phone?

You can get started filming yoga classes on your phone today without any added extras. Hell, I got started in 2015 with my iPhone 6 – so I’d bet whatever phone is currently in your pocket has wayyyy better video quality! However, there are a few inexpensive extras you might want to use to upgrade the quality of your videos. They’ll be so good your audience won’t even be able to tell you filmed them on your phone.

Smart phone [cost – whatever you’ve already spent]

I want to acknowledge that using your phone to film yoga classes is not actually free or inexpensive. Most of us have spent thousands of dollars on the smart phone in our pockets. But you’ve already spent that money. I’m not telling you to go out and buy a new phone to film your classes on. Instead, I’m hoping to encourage you to use what you already have.

Phone tripod [cost – $20]

A tripod is not an essential to film yoga videos on your phone. If you watch this video you’ll see that when I first started I just propped my phone up on some books or blocks. While you can film without one, a tripod definitely makes the process of filming so much faster and easier! They’re also pretty inexpensive, so if you can afford $20 I’d recommend picking up a phone tripod to hold your phone while you film.

Editing software [cost – free]

You can film and upload your videos to Youtube directly from your phone, but at the bare minimum I think you should use the edit feature in your photos app to cut off the beginning and end (where you walk in and out of frame). There are also loads of great FREE video editing software available these days. I’d recommend learning how to do some basic edits to make your videos high quality. If you want to edit directly on your phone use Capcut. If you prefer to edit on a computer you can use iMovie (for Macs), Moviemaker (for PCs) or the desktop version of Capcut.

The “voice isolation” and “noise removal” tools are great for reducing the echo that you might have from filming on your phone. I’d also recommend adjusting the “exposure” to make your video lighter and brighter and “saturation” to increase or decrease the warmth of your video.

Wired Headphones [cost – free or $29]

You can film the audio of your videos directly into the microphone on your phone, but if you want to increase the audio quality without spending any money, use the wired headphones that came with your phone. These headphones have a built in microphone that allows you to film close to the mic and reduce echo. This will mean that you’ll have to film the audio and video separately though, so it does add an additional step to your filming process.

How to set up to film yoga videos on your phone

If you want your videos to look high quality, face a light source. Position your yoga mat so that you’re facing a window or glass door. Facing the light also makes you look better on camera. Try a little test film of yourself with the light of the window on your face, verse the light behind you. Which one do you look better in? I guarantee it’s the one where you’re facing the light.

You’ll also need to consider the scene around you. Ideally you’ll be able to find a blank wall in your home to create your “set”, although a cozy corner of a room can also work. I like to include a few plants and other props (think yoga bolsters, cards, singing bowls, blocks etc), but other teachers film with a full room behind them to help create that feeling of a home practice.

You might also like to think about coordinating colours so that the whole scene (you included) looks appealing to the eye. Of course this won’t make or break your yoga class, but the online world is a visual medium and we naturally gravitate towards things that we find attractive. Colour is also an important element to consider so that your students can see everything you’re demonstrating. I used to teach on a black mat, but as I’m often wearing black yoga tights it can be difficult to see exactly where my legs are positioned. Make sure what you wear stands out from the background.

How should you record audio for your yoga videos?

When filming yoga classes on your phone you have 3 main options when it comes to audio.

Option 1. Record straight into your phone.

Pros – Recording audio straight into your phone means no extra cost. If you record audio this way you can also get away without doing any editing to your yoga class.

Cons – Because you’ll be recording a fair distance from the microphone the audio will sound far away and may have a fair bit of echo.

How to do it:

  1. Hit record on your phone.
  2. Jump on your mat and film your yoga class.

Option 2. Record audio with the wired headphones (with microphone) that came with your phone.

Pros – Low cost ($29). The sound quality you’ll get using wired headphones is much better than straight into your phone’s microphone.

Cons – This method makes filming and editing more time consuming. You’ll also need to edit your audio and video together later, which adds an extra step to the process of creating.

How to do it.

  1. Film yourself moving through the asana you want to teach on your phone.
  2. Use an editing program to record a VoiceOver into the wired headphones.
  3. Edit the audio and video together removing any errors and making sure the instruction lines up with the action.

Option 3. Purchase an external lapel microphone and transmitter.

Pros – This will get you the best quality audio when filming yoga classes on your phone. You won’t have to do any extra editing to make it sound great.

Cons – Filming with an external lapel microphone is the most expensive option. There will be a small learning curve to using this new audio equipment.

How to do it.

  1. Connect the receiver of the microphone to your phone and attach the other side to your shirt. (If this is your first time using the microphone you will have to also link them together in settings).
  2. Record a short test video to make sure the microphone is working (Do NOT skip this test or you’ll end up with a whole yoga class filmed without any audio at all.)
  3. Hit record on your phone and teach your yoga class.

What’s the best microphone for Youtube yoga videos?

Currently, the most popular external microphones to use with your phone are the Rode Wireless GO 2 and the DJI Mic. My favourite is the DJI because they’re so compact and come with a handy charging case. The audio quality between the two is pretty equal though so this mostly just comes down to personal preference. If you only upgrade one aspect of your filming set up, audio is my first choice. Your audience will forgive the video quality, if the audio is crisp and clear.

Both of these microphones will cost between $200 and $300 though. So get started using your phone first. Make four or five videos and publish them. By this stage you’ll be feeling more confident teaching on camera and you’ll know whether this is something you’ll be likely to continue. Then you’ll be ready to upgrade your audio to one of these more expensive microphones.

What program should you use to edit your yoga videos on your phone?

Personally I like to edit my videos on my laptop, but Capcut on my phone is the next best option. The app is really user friendly and they also have a Mac and PC version if you do want to change to editing on a computer without have to learn an entirely new program.

Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by all of the editing options available. When you’re just getting started, you might just delete any mistakes and adjust the audio quality slightly. As you edit more and more you can learn new tricks along the way. I’ve only learnt how to edit my videos by searching for tutorials as I went. Eg. “How to make my video look brighter”. or “How to reduce echo in my audio.” Don’t underestimate the power of the school of google.

It’s time to get started!

More importantly than all of these tips though is just getting started. If you never start filming your classes, you’ll never get to the point where they look and sound great. I know you want them to be perfect from the start, but it often doesn’t work that way. You have to move through the frustration of them not looking exactly as you want, to get to the place where they do.

Keep trying. Keep working. Don’t let yourself give up. If you get stuck and have questions along the way, feel free to pop back here and ask them in the comments.

Please also come back and share your work with me when you’re done. I can’t wait to see what you create!

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