Some instructors choose to start the class off with all participants on mute - this might be helpful for a yoga class where you’re trying to create a relaxed environment. Others want a bit of chit-chat in the build up. Just remember that some platforms default to the user who is currently speaking. So during your class you might want to mute all of the participants so that only your camera is being focused on, or "pin" your camera as the main video feed.
Hand gestures offer a good way for people to get your attention. However, they are also a great way for you to easily check if people are OK without taking everyone off mute. "Raise your hand if you want me to demonstrate that again" or "give a thumbs up if you're feeling good" will allow to you quickly assess how everyone is doing. 👍
People may have questions during the class whilst everyone is muted, so make them aware at the start that they can type them into the chat so you can read them. That way you can answer the question, which might be something other people are thinking anyway.
Remember, some people might prefer to have their camera off. This is nothing against you - they just might not want their home on the video or may be embarrassed as it’s their first time. Helpful words of encouragement is sure to help their confidence.
Try to offer and demonstrate different versions of the same exercises, e.g. seated exercises as opposed to standing, slow movements as opposed to fast, static moves as opposed to dynamic, etc. This, coupled to regular feedback to those who are opting to do the different options, will benefit all participants, regardless of age, ability or physical impairment. For more information on catering for the needs of both disabled and non-disabled people, please see 👟 Put yourself in their exercise shoes.