Much like meditation, a sound bath can guide you through trying times.
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All around the world, in millions of houses, billions of long-ignored to-dos are suddenly getting some love now that everyone’s trying to wait out COVID at home.
Those dressers that had been disorganized since they first held your drawers?
Sorted on day two.
The yucky grey glop formerly known as crispy green broccoli lurking in the crisper?
Evicted from its flophouse on the bad side of the fridge.
That cycling class you’d meant to try way back in the days when you could go places and do stuff and the world wasn’t ending?
Wait, you’ve never taken a cycling class?
Seriously? It’s literally never been easier to do from home.
For one thing, it’s literally only been possible for a little while, and there hasn’t been much variety to the offerings. That’s changing now, especially with so many studios starting to offer virtual classes on Mindbody.
Even better, there’s no room full of strangers at home to judge if you fall down your first time up on the bike—just rooms full of (possibly strange, probably bored) family members.
One place where rookie riders can run into difficulty is with the special cleats people wear in spin studios. “If you’ve never used clip-in cleats, it’s great to get comfortable with them at home before trying them in class,” says Libby Acquafresca, an instructor at Cycletribe cycling studio.
If you already have a bike of your own, all you really need to purchase is something called a bike trainer. It holds your bike in place but offers resistance to the rear wheel as if you were riding on the free road.
(If you’ve never played around with a bike trainer, it might be worth setting up a video consultation with your local bike shop. Lots of them are still open, even if it’s only for service calls and contactless sales, like Foothill Cyclery in San Luis Obispo, California.)
Don’t have a bicycle of your own? A smart option is to rent a spin bike locally. Since most spin studios can’t hold classes in person, some are renting out their equipment—an arrangement where everybody wins in the interim until the pandemic passes.
Once you have the equipment you need, the most important thing is to make sure it’s set up the right way.
“Bike setup is key,” says Libby, the Cycletribe instructor. In fact, she says, people riding at home have a certain setup advantage. “A lot of times people don’t show up to class with enough time to set up—or even learn how to setup.”
She recommends new riders “try out different seat and handlebar heights to find their perfect match,” something they can do at their own pace without the pressure of class start time looming. To get the seat dialed in, Libby suggests you “stand next to the seat. Hip height is a good place to start.”
All that’s left at that point is the easiest part: browse virtual cycling classes on Mindbody!
If you try a couple classes that you don’t enjoy, you still have a perfectly good exercise bike. Plus, with everyone adjusting to life with COVID, more and more fitness studios are moving online to stay open. Even if cycling isn’t for you, you’re sure to find something else you love.
You find another healthy hobby you love—AND you return to society with quads and glutes strong enough to crack walnuts.
Not only that, once the world opens up again and you’re able to try out your first live class, you’ll already be a grizzled veteran.
“The experience would be almost the same working out at home,” even if you lose the feeling of being among your teammates,” Libby says. She points out that by starting out at home, you can “work on certain moves we do a lot in class, like tap backs, handlebar presses, and figure 8's.”
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.