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Whether or not you want to actually leave your house these days, 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 their 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.
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 practice! 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 stress related to the state of the world right now. You could be discouraged by how talented everyone else seems on social media. Or maybe, you 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—and all the benefits—flow (literally).
It’s no secret, that yoga has some incredible mental and physical health 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 benefits for your overall mental health. Regular yoga practice has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety, calm the nervous system, and even improve symptoms of depression. (Not to mention increased balance, better posture, and more flexibility!)
On top of that, in a time of much anxiety, stress, and 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 and get some relaxation 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, and especially if you have arthritis, you can focus on bringing fluid, breath, and awareness in your postures to release tension and increase flexibility.
There are many different types of yoga, all involving different poses, benefits, and fitness levels. 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. If you just want to make time for some relaxation in your day, maybe try meditation and breathing exercises. 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 your yoga practice 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?
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.