The whole time I was thinking, “I should’ve told my friends to join!"
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This is a post from our (always amazing) Mindbody community.
It was Sunday, and the adrenaline was high. I added a few things to my getting-ready routine to aid in my confidence: eyeliner (damn that unattainable wing), my favorite leggings, and my new, fresh-but-not-intense perfume. I had already done all I could do to prepare, but in anxious-millennial fashion, my mind raced with all the lovely, worst-case scenarios that could happen. God, my imagination is good at that.
As I threw my hair into a low pony, I started to practice a breathing technique I do when I’m about to speak in public. In for six, hold for six, out for six. Times six. It has been my go-to, doing the job of lowering my cheetah-fast heartbeat and bringing my breath back to baseline. I wasn’t technically public speaking, but I thought this technique could assist. Turns out, it didn’t.
As a yoga instructor, I live for the face-to-face student connection. I love when I get to experience someone new – they come to my class, and they leave with a light atop their head, as if they’ve just discovered something lifechanging (because they did!). I love observing a student’s progress - gently helping them into a deeper version of a pose, or watching them nail something they’ve been working on for months. I love stepping onto the cold, hardwood floors of a studio, feeling the energy of a thousand practitioners with my bare feet.
Maybe it’s my ego talking, but I also love who I am when I teach. I love everything about it. I can oftentimes lean towards feeling inadequate or like an imposter (I believe it’s actually a skill that keeps me humble and hungry), but not when I’m leading a class. When I’m teaching, I know it’s to serve a higher collective – it's not about me, and that allows me to comfortably step into confidence.
That is, until I went virtual
Back to Sunday. The breathing technique wasn’t working. Reassuring myself I had everything ready to go – sequence formulated, playlist laid out to a T, living room staged, camera angle dialed in – wasn’t working. I was, as my late Italian grandmother used to call it, plagued with the “nervoso”.
There I was, about to teach a class to 25 virtual students, and my cheetah heart was pumping full blast. I felt like I was teaching my very first class. And in a sense, I was.
There was so much more that went into a virtual class than I was prepared for, most of which I learned while teaching my first one. For example, a teacher should test whether the participants can hear their voice over their music (didn’t do that). A teacher should also make sure the WiFi connection is strong, and turn off any unused devices (didn't do that, either). One should definitely make sure their pets aren’t able to open doors and come billowing into the staged yoga “studio”. But *sigh* - we live, and we learn. Did I mention how freaking hard it is to teach and take the class at the same time?
My new name is Huffaluffagus.
The moral of this story is I made it through. I was supported by a beautiful yoga community I love so much, and even some close friends from all over the country. There were a few bumps, but I realized halfway through how incredible this opportunity was to share my class with folks outside of my studio’s city limits. I realized how much we need social connection as humans, and how important it is to be part of a collective. I was so impressed by how quickly Mindbody’s customers created new ways to bring yoga to their communities in times of struggle.
Yes, it was scary. Yes, things happened that weren’t planned. But with every virtual class, I’ll get better.
To instructors: don't let the events of today’s world keep our work frozen. We have to continue doing what we love outside of our comfortable studio – or gym – spots.
To students: losing the studio experience is devastating, and to teachers, it comes with a whole host of stressors naked to the human eye. Take our virtual classes, share our work with the world by tagging @mindbody on Instagram, and go easy on us when the house cat makes a special appearance.
Find out how you can show support for your favorite studios here.
The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes has become the new normal for the majority of fitness studios across the world. While we all have augmented our workout schedules to accommodate in-person and online classes, I suddenly got the motivation (it could be because I am getting married soon) to get back into in-person HIIT classes.
Pre-COVID, I had just started getting into HIIT. Coming from a girl who grew up dancing and doing barre her whole life, it was a big adjustment for me, but I started to love the classes. And with studios near me reopening, I realized that I felt ready to go back into the studio to test out a new style of HIIT class.
I found Gemini Fit by Scott Baker on the Mindbody app. It’s a HIIT/ Tabata training studio in San Diego, CA that aims to create a unique, fun, effective group and personal training experience. What immediately sold me was the class sizes were limited to 5-6 people to allow for social distancing, so I signed up a week or so in advance and was ready to go.
Not going to lie, when the day came to go to class, I was a bit nervous—what was an in-person class going to look like in the new normal? Luckily, my fears subsided when I arrived.
Scott excitedly welcomed me and gave me the low-down on everything in the studio. I got there 10 minutes early to make sure I had enough time to go through everything and check in. I also got to meet the studio mascot, Alabama, Scott’s adorable dog! Scott explained that the class would be HIIT/Tabata style (like an F45 class), where you go from station to station for a certain amount of time. He explained the exercise at each station and equipment accompanying.
He then went over the several COVID-19 precautions they were taking:
• Limiting the classes to 6 people
• Sanitization wipes and hand sanitizer at each station
• 50-minute class times
• Masks required in the lobby areas (can be worn working out depending on comfort
• Optional gloves
• Extra cleaning between each class and station
I was a bit intimidated; my workout regimen had been less than optimal (thanks, COVID), so I was scared to get back into things. Once we got moving all my concerns disappeared, and I got into a groove. The music was blasting, the exercises were dynamic, fast-paced, and effective. Each station had different props and moves, and they all felt extremely safe and clean.
What stood out to me immediately was the personalization of the class.
I was so impressed with the way he personalized each move at the different stations for each person. He really gets to know his team and provides separate workouts for everyone based on their comfort level and what they want to achieve—it’s almost like a personal training session!
As the 50-minute class was drawing toward the close, I realized I didn’t want it to end! It had flown by due to the moving of stations and dynamic mix of exercises. I was feeling the burn and going to be sore the next day—but I loved it.
What I enjoyed most about the class was the fact that I felt so safe the entire time, and could go at my own pace and comfort level, which is especially nice coming back to an in-person for the first time since COVID-19. I can’t wait to go back and would recommend trying the class. The fast-paced style of HIIT may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a new workout to mix up your fitness routine, it’s definitely worth a try.
Want to try it for yourself? Book a class at Gemini Fit! Not ready to go in person, browse virtual HIIT on Mindbody.