One instructor tells the tale of her first virtual class.
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Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced many fitness studios and gyms to temporarily close their doors. This situation is unfortunate of course for the business, but also for the member community who is still in need of physical activity (especially in our increasingly cooped-up, “shelter-at-home” world). To deal with this troubling situation, many studios and members have arrived at a mutually beneficial arrangement: equipment rentals.
The essence of this idea is actually fairly straightforward: if a studio can’t offer the use of their facilities right now, why not rent out some of their equipment to their clients who are stuck at home? With many retail stores also closing up shop, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find places that sell anything but essentials. For many fitness junkies, renting equipment may be the only option to get their fix for the foreseeable future.
Fitness studios have a couple of options when it comes to loaning out their equipment. They can either charge for the rentals, which keeps things fairly clean and transactional. This provides gyms with a much-needed influx of capital, and customers a no-strings-attached source of workout gear. Studios can also include free equipment rentals as a perk of clients maintaining an active membership with them, which rewards members for their loyalty and maintains a healthy client base for the studio’s longer-term future.
If you’re a member at a gym or studio that offers live-stream workouts, imagine how much more effective and enjoyable that at-home workout would be using the same equipment you’ve grown to know and love during your regular group workouts. Plus, renting equipment could add some much-needed motivation to actually join the streaming workouts and stay active: if you’re going to pay for the equipment (or at the very least go pick it up or have someone deliver it to you) you’re less likely to look at it sitting there and think, “Nah…”
At CrossFit Inferno, Bill Grundler sent out an email to his clients letting them know about the option to rent. He shared what they could rent and how they could supplement: “The checked-out equipment will start with a KB or DB, a band, and a PVC pipe if you need it. Ideally, I would like you to have a heavy object and a light object. I think we can get the light objects around the house, or if you have some small dumbbells at home those would work great.” In his message, Grundler promises that the situation is temporary, but also promises the same hard-core workout his clients have come to expect at his box.
Rentals don’t have to be limited to weights, either. Equipment rental is also a great option for indoor cycling studios and fanatics, making participation in live-streamed spinning classes not just possible, but fun. After days of forced isolation, nothing will feel better than hopping back on the bike with a bunch of familiar faces.
If you’re keen to get started, find out if your gym or studio is offering equipment rentals. They may have posted about it on social media or sent an email to their members. But if not, drop them a line to inquire. Maybe it hasn’t even occurred to them, and your suggestion could become a boon to both the business and other members there. Many studios are even offering delivery and pick-up of the equipment, which definitely sweetens the deal.
Of course, nothing compares to being with your fellow members and trainers at your studio or gym in-person. But for the time being, rentals like this can help you stay connected to your wellness community, at a time when both wellness and community can feel in short supply.
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
With the inability to leave our houses, right now might seem like the perfect time to try a lot of things we’ve never made time for. In this altered state of reality, and time indoors that seems to drag on forever, it may seem like the opportunities are endless. Organizing, decorating, baking, crafting, reading, TikTok-ing, and doing all those things you see online. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed with options, we’re here to tell you that now’s the perfect time to try yoga above the rest.
Bedroom. Backyard. Livingroom. Basement. Bathroom (hey, to each his own). Anywhere you have room to roll out a yoga mat is fair game. Sorry, extra tall peeps, you may have to move some furniture. As we’re all sheltered-in-place right now, we’re getting creative with how we get our fitness in. But if you just don’t have it in you to start transforming your guest room into a fitness studio (we get it), virtual yoga classes are perfect for you.
You’re probably already wearing yoga pants.
Unless you enjoy suffering and have been putting jeans on every day to WFH (props to you), you’re probably wearing sweats, PJs, or yoga pants on your lower half (with some business on top, of course). If that’s the case, you’re already almost fully dressed for a yoga sesh! Throw on a sports bra or top, push your coffee table out of the way, and you’re good to go (no shoes necessary).
As we’re all stuck at home, people's creativity has started to blossom. Some have started new social media challenges, taken up painting or knitting, or channeled their inner Chrissy Teigen and started trying out all those recipes they never had time to before. If you’re like me, though, you’re a little discouraged when it comes to getting the creative juices flowing. You may be feeling anxious about the state of the world right now, discouraged by how talented everyone else seems on social media, or simply can’t find the energy to take on a new challenge. If that’s you, that’s okay. I’m right there with you. I’m a writer, and usually a pretty creative person, but I just can’t bring myself to hop on this trend right now.
For me, however, yoga has been an awesome way to express myself—a different form of creativity that doesn’t necessarily yield a production at the end. You can start by attending a live virtual yoga class, and add in your own creative flair as you go (because what better time to try new poses than when you’re in your house with no one watching?). Listen to your body, get expressive, and let your creative juices flow (literally).
It’s no secret, that yoga has some incredible mental benefits. And it’s also no secret that a lot of us could use a little extra mental self-care right now. Focusing on your breathing, connecting your body and mind, and diving into meditation all have incredible effects on your overall mental health. It’s been shown to relieve stress, calm the nervous system, and even improve symptoms of depression.
On top of that, in a time of such uncertainty, we are all most likely craving routine. Carving out some time in our not-so-busy schedules to put down our phones, turn off our TVs, and tune in to connect with our bodies and minds could definitely do us all some good right now.
If you’re used to working in an ergonomically correct office and have now switched to a hunched-over-a-coffee-table-on-your-couch situation, we feel you. I know I’ve been having some serious back pain from all the weird positions I’ve been working in each day. Yoga can help strengthen your back muscles, improve posture, and increase blood flow. If you’ve noticed areas of pain or tightness in your body, you can focus on bringing fluid, breath, and awareness to them to release tension and increase flexibility.
There are many different types of yoga, and you may have to test out a few before you find the one that’s right for you. If you want it as a supplement to your other intense virtual fitness classes, you may want to try restorative or Yin yoga. If you want to heat up your muscles and break a sweat, you may want to try a more active Vinyasa or Power flow. Don’t be overwhelmed by choices; think of it as an opportunity to challenge your body and mind in lots of new ways! Here’s a guide to get you started.
If you’re feeling isolated and in need of a sense of community right now, you’re not alone. We’re all missing our friends, family, and general sense of human connection right now. A great way to get connected to a local (or distant) community right now is through virtual classes. Many studios are offering live-streamed virtual yoga sessions that are bookable through Mindbody, where you can flow in solidarity with others around the world.
Maybe you’d like to try out yoga studios near you in hopes of finding one you can frequent once they reopen. Or maybe you’d like to explore what other cities or countries have to offer. Perhaps you’ve been nervous to try yoga for the first time in a studio in front of others. Right now, you have the unique opportunity to experience classes and instructors from a variety of different studios from the comfort of your home. Take advantage of it! You’d be surprised how comforting it is to know that you’re sharing an hour of your day with people in the same boat. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a local community of yogis you love and a studio to visit once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, fitness type, creative release, stress-reducer, pain-reliever, or sense of community, yoga is all of that—and more. So, find a space, roll out your mat (or just try it on the carpet!), and find a class to try today. What’s stopping you?