One of our own shares her experience with a post-shutdown haircut.
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It’s no surprise we miss our beloved hot yoga studios. I miss joining my yoga community and sharing in movement during our joint yoga practice. I miss teaching in-person classes and connecting face-to-face. I so badly want to experience my body heating up, feeling the change in temperature as I walk into a heated yoga room. And of course, I miss all the benefits of hot yoga (flexibility, stress relief, calorie burn, and so many more.)
Yeah, this is hard.
To make these times a little bit easier for us hot yoga folks, I’ve created this list for you to experience hot yoga in your room at home. Think of it as a ritual you partake in, just for you. Think of it as something you deserve to create for yourself, even during this time of chaos. While it will never take our favorite yoga studio’s place, it will quell our thirst (or will it?) until we meet again.
This is rule number one. In order to have the full hot yoga experience, your room has to be hot. Position your infrared heater a few feet away from your mat, with the heated side facing you. I achieve my best at-home hot yoga sessions when I allow the room to heat up for 20 minutes prior to my flow. This is a great time to adjust to the temperature, drink water, meditate, or journal.
Please note: an infrared space heater should never be left unattended. When not in use, unplug that bad boy.
Now, we’re talking. All the best hot yoga studios know a combination of humidity and heat is what makes the room feel so dreamy and sauna-like. Adding this element of moisture to the hot air is a gamechanger (and helps us move through those poses with ease). You can place your humidifier in the corner of the room and turn it on at the same time as the heater. Build your personal yoga studio oasis, baby.
I know, don’t yoga teachers always say that? Well, we do, because it’s true. The key to building internal heat is by utilizing ujjayi breath. Keep a steady, consistent, strong breath; inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose—for the entire yoga practice. It’ll take some getting used to, but it makes all the difference.
When we target large muscle groups and incorporate dynamic movement in a yoga sequence, we can build heat more easily. Think oscillating between Warrior 2 (quadriceps, glutes) and Star Pose—or Crescent A (quadriceps, hamstrings) and Low Lunge Pose. However many times on each side until your heartbeat starts pumpin’ (and you start to sweat)!
The stomach area is where the Manipura chakra is located. The element of this chakra is fire, and it’s no wonder—when we engage our belly muscles, we build tons of warmth. A plank is a simple and effective static pose that will quickly create heat and sweat. Continue building your sweat by adding Side Plank Pose, Dolphin Pose, Boat Pose, or crunches. Must I go on?
Who wouldn’t want a softly-lit yoga space? Sprinkling candles around the room adds not only warmth, but an ethereal vibe to your practice. You can even use the fire from a candle as your Drishti (point of focus) when moving through your standing postures.
Please note: make sure the candles steer clear of flammable objects and are placed on stable surfaces.
Imagine yourself walking into your favorite hot yoga studio. What do you smell? I’m sure it’s a combination of moving bodies and essential oils (tell me I’m wrong). Add them to your at-home hot yoga ritual! Consider placing your favorite essential oil on your wrists and your temples prior to beginning your practice. If you have a diffuser, that works, too.
While we aren’t exactly stoked to be inside, we owe it to ourselves to keep our passions alive. By creating a home practice that mimics the studio experience (and going virtual when you can), we can continue to thrive as we shelter in place.
What would you add to this list? Let us know by posting on your Instagram story and tagging @mindbody.
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.