Some tips for practicing mindfulness as we adjust to a new norm
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This is a post from our (always amazing) Mindbody community.
I remember when I took my first trigger-point therapy (TPT) yoga class. The instructor, Annika, combined these hard but-seriously-amazing lacrosse balls with hot yoga to deliver the most therapeutic class I’ve ever taken. I remember seeing her at the studio, pouring over an anatomy book, eager to learn more so she could deliver the best class. I consistently went whenever my schedule would allow it, and did so until I relocated. I still think about how amazing the TPT was for my left hip.
The same goes for when I took what my home studio dubbed a “Meg class.” Meg, the instructor, taught the most difficult hot vinyasa yoga class I’ve ever taken. Not because of how advanced the poses were, but because she knew how to combine quick movement and strength-based poses to obtain optimal exertion. This was no doubt due to her years of expertise in yoga, personal training and massage therapy. I knew when I went to her class, it was going to be sweaty, thoughtfully-sequenced, and hard.
As a student, I never really thought about what it was like to be a teacher. I simply thought of myself and my experience. My mind never went to the preparation they must have done to deliver such a killer class. I never thought about how this was their livelihood and how they pay their bills. Not until I became a teacher myself did I think about the anxiety they must have felt, commanding 30 students for an hour at a time. Or how many emotions they absorbed while holding space for me to feel mine.
The wellness industry is experiencing a huge hit, and its instructors are at the center of those losses. Their hours have been cut greatly, and if they are teaching virtual classes, oftentimes they are at a lower rate than in-person. Many of their other revenue streams (in-person private sessions, yoga retreats, local business collaborations) are nonexistent for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of how intense (Meg) or yogic (Annika) your favorite teachers may seem – they are human – and they are likely experiencing the same stressors you are. They’ve given their heart and soul to their work, and a lot of that work has been taken away. Much like we need our boss and coworkers to give us positive reinforcement and support, fitness instructors need to know they still matter to the communities they’ve dedicated their lives to. A simple DM or text will go a long way. Let them know just how much you loved their core series, or how they helped you achieve your first pullup. The recognition will help fuel them to get through these hard times.
If you’re feeling called to do more, there are many options to support your favorite instructors. If they are offering private virtual sessions, purchase those and take them (what else are you going to do with your Saturday?). If they are offering virtual classes through a studio or gym, take them (and invite your friends)! And if any of their offerings are free, please consider donating directly to the instructor via Venmo or another money-sharing app. They work hard to bring you quality content that you can enjoy through the screen, and they deserve to be compensated for their work.
If you can’t donate, there are other ways to help. Whenever you see them promoting their offerings online, share them. When you take their class, share it. When you see another friend post about their offerings, share that! Write them a review on the Mindbody app. Text a screenshot of the schedule to your friends. Give them a recommendation on LinkedIn. Tag them and @mindbody on Instagram, and we can help spread the word as well! All these actions say, “Thank you.”
Find out how you can show support for your favorite studios here.
Anything helps, and remember—we are all in this together.
I wonder how my two former teachers are doing. I think I’ll reach out. Will you?
It’s safe to say, the way we conquer our daily routines has changed drastically over the last few months. The way we perform our jobs, how we socialize—even the way we workout—have flipped from in-person, group settings to virtual platforms to keep us safe and healthy. There's no denying that navigating this new normal has certainly come with its ups and downs, to say the least. In fact, a recent survey revealed one-third of Americans said this pandemic has caused more stress and anxiety in their lives, which isn’t surprising given the circumstances.
With anxiety levels at a high, people need relaxation, self-care, and movement more than ever. Enter yoga.
Yoga has long been touted for its amazing ability to calm the mind and help folks stay in-tune with their body—which is probably why more and more people are embracing an at-home practice.
Whether you’re looking for a powerful Vinyasa class to help kickstart your morning or yearning for a gentle, evening flow to wind down after a busy workday, taking a yoga class is now more accessible than ever. With 91% of group fitness studios offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, those who are ready to get their asana on have plenty of yoga classes to try all over the country.
While there’s no place like om, most of us could go for a little virtual vacation right now. I know I could! Ready to get a taste of what yoga classes are like all over the country? Here are the U.S. cities with the most virtual yoga classes available.
It seems poetic that Chicago hits our number one spot on this list because it was the first city in America that was introduced to yoga back in 1893. Swami Vivekananda presented yoga at the World Parliament of Religions and made a speech on the concept of body, spirit, and mind. It seems the presentation made a lasting impression on the city.
Try getting your Zen on with one of these studios:
• The Lab Yoga
• Bottom Line Yoga
• Bare Feet Power Yoga
Everyone knows that Washington DC is where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments, memorials, and museums. But you may be surprised to learn that it also offers one of the most robust libraries of virtual classes to help yogis sample some classes at the nation’s capital.
Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America—in fact, you can folks speaking 145 different languages and thousands of restaurants serving up food from more than 70 countries. If those facts have you working up quite an appetite, feel free to indulge. They also have plenty of virtual yoga classes available to help you torch some calories.
Did you know one of the first businesses to open in the City of Brotherly Love was a brewery in 1683? If you’re familiar with the ever-evolving trends of yoga, then you have most likely heard of or participated in beer yoga sesh. Get ready to try yoga the Philly way by cracking a cold one and doing some downward dogs in the comfort of your own home at the end of the day.
New York City is home to 8.4 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the entire nation. With that many people, you know there must be a ton of yogis looking to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start spreading the news and flowing with some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S.—there are a ton of virtual yoga classes to choose from in the Big Apple.
Get ready to make some virtual yoga neighbors. Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is considered the heart of the country? The reason for that is because nearly half of the America’s residents live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Ready to put your heart and soul into your at-home yoga practice? Then check out what this city has to offer virtually.
San Diego is known as one of the happiest cities in America—mainly because of the beautiful weather, picturesque beaches, and the abundance of yoga classes available. While a vacation to this area may not be in the books for this year, you can certainly flow with the best of them by booking a virtual class at a San Diego studio.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the yoga studios offering virtual classes to help you stay fit, healthy, and calm during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these offerings inspire you to either start a new at-home practice or are helping you seasoned yogis continue your path to wellness. Interested in seeing what other cities are hosting a bevy of online yoga classes? The options on Mindbody are endless—literally!