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Colorado is home to an amazing (and inspiring) yoga phenom—better known as Big Booty Yoga. The driving force behind this movement? Kady Lafferty, who was recently named one of the 35 Under 35 in Wellness to Watch by Wanderlust. On a mission to show people that yoga is for everyBODY, Kady is taking it on herself to make sure all who practice know alternative poses and language to make yoga feel more inclusive.
I recently met up with Kady during her first class at Bulldog Yoga in Boulder, CO. Kady often teaches musically themed flows, and this one ended up being one of my favorites: Namasbey. That’s right you guessed it! A whole yoga class taught to Beyonce’s greatest hits. After savasana, we headed around the corner to Eureka! on Pearl Street for good food and great conversation. Kady is extremely personable and hands-on—maybe the opposite of the soft-spoken, ethereal yoga teacher that many of us may have experienced. She laughs wholeheartedly, holds eye contact, doesn’t shy away from curse words, and creates a safe space for you too to share some of your biggest insecurities about yourself or your yoga practice.
Over crispy glazed Brussel sprouts and cauliflower bites, Kady tells me a little of what she has on the horizon. She recently paired up with Valery Brennan of Fiercely, a local, female-owned clothing company that gives a portion of their sales to organizations that support women. Kady’s line with Fiercely includes everything from tanks and t-shirts to cropped hoodies—all adorned with Big Booty Yoga and body positive slogans. And this summer, Kady will be making her Wanderlust debut at Denver’s Wanderlust 108!
A two-day Denver event that draws in a big yogi crowd from across the globe, Wanderlust 108 is an epic experience. Kady is no stranger to large-scale yoga flows that bring out the masses—she’s led a practice at Red Rocks! Infectiously enthusiastic at the honor of joining such an influential yoga festival, she talks positively of the work Wanderlust has been doing to be more inclusive to all types of bodies.
Next month, Kady, and her business partner Sami Mattei, will see their dream come true in the shape of their Yoga Alliance-approved yoga teacher training for accessible and inclusive yoga, better known as Embrace. Embody. Empower. This training is beneficial for all yoga teachers as it focuses on how to better serve different communities of people, all types of bodies, and (dis)abilities.
After our post-yoga snacks and conversation, I’ve become even more inspired by her spirit. We head into Old Tibet, a shop on Pearl St., where Kady is looking for a gift to give to one of her very own teachers, co-worker, and friend, Katy Rowe. Moving around the store with ease and respect, Kady chats up the shop’s owner and makes a connection, having found out she recently collaborated with the owner’s niece on a mala making workshop. While watching this interaction, I am reminded: This is Kady.
Everything she touches is infused with this mission: to make everyone feel at home in their bodies. To teach people how to access their breath in these times we live in. She lifts them up and leaves nobody behind. Kady is building community through Big Booty Yoga, where everyone is welcome.
Want to find your flow with Kady? Check out one of her classes on MINDBODY at The River Yoga in Denver. You can also learn more about Big Booty Yoga on their Instagram or visit https://bigbootyyoga.com/.
As we’re all trying to get our fitness in, support our favorite studios, practice social distancing, and stay sane during these crazy times, many of us have turned to virtual workouts as a way to come “together” and sweat over the past few months. With 91% of group fitness businesses offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, there are plenty to choose from, not just in your area, but all over the world.
We surveyed people who use the Mindbody app and found that, 21% of you have been attending classes at studios outside of your local areas, and a whopping 40% are booking workouts with studios you’ve never even physically visited before. Live stream and on-demand workouts are awesome for discovering new studios, connecting with friends and family across the country (or world) through fitness, and getting to try workouts you might not have had the option to before. Cardio, yoga, strength training, HIIT, barre—you can find just about any fitness classes you’re looking for, without leaving your house.
Compared to the 7% of app users who did live-streamed workouts weekly in 2019, 85% are doing so now in 2020. Nearly half of those are working out with a remote group, family, or friend, and 61% are doing it in their living rooms. Talk about we’re all in this together!
While you can take just about any class from the comfort of your home, we were curious about which ones you all booked the most over the past few months. So, we did some data digging and number crunching and got the answers.
Here are the top five most booked virtual classes during COVID-19 (to-date):
Yoga is the top booked category for fitness classes in general, so it’s no surprise that people continued booking yoga classes during quarantine (an average of nearly 22,000 bookings per day!). But on top of that, it’s likely that we have a lot of first-time yogis as well, as yoga is one of the easiest workouts to do from home (once you learn to love it).
There are a million reasons why someone would decide to try yoga right now. Whether you’re trying to support your local yoga studios, figuring out how to recreate a hot yoga vibe at home, working on getting over your exercise embarrassment, trying to stay grounded, or just not quite ready to go back to studios yet, finding your flow in your living room (or backyard, bedroom, balcony, wherever) is a great way to work on your body and mind right now.
Speaking of mental benefits, there has also been an increase in the availability and popularity of virtual meditation classes. 88% of meditation’s pre-COVID booking levels have been maintained on virtual, the highest of any category. Sound bath, anyone?
Like yoga, Pilates is also fairly easy to do from home (mat Pilates at least, unless you have a Reformer in your bedroom). Using a series of micromovements, at-home workouts in the Pilates category are all about technique and control—so you’re not gonna be running sprints or doing jump squats across your living room. It's also similar to yoga in that it helps you find your center, while improving flexibility and posture (goodbye WFH back pains).
You won’t think you’re going to be sore tomorrow from all those little movements, but just ask the thousands of you who have been taking Pilates fitness classes each day—I’m sure they’ll tell you you’ll feel it.
Book virtual Pilates on Mindbody
Maybe this one’s popular because its name—combined with a wine bottle as a weight—is the closest thing we can get to a real bar right now. Or maybe, you all have just realized the incredible benefits of this strength-building and balance-perfecting workout.
You don’t have to be a ballet dancer—or a woman—to try out a barre class. All you have to be is someone looking for a low-impact, full-body workout that won’t bother your downstairs neighbors (looks like that includes a lot of you).
Grab your grip socks, a chair, couch, or anything you have at home to keep you balanced and meet us at the (virtual) barre.
Book virtual barre on Mindbody
Ever heard of HIIT? It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and apparently, a lot of you have been loving it lately. If you’re feeling cooped up, fed up, or just want to get up and get some exercise, HIIT is a good way to go.
In a virtual HIIT workout class, you’ll go through some quick (and yes, intense) bursts of exercise—using all your effort—with shorter recovery periods in between. Before your heart rate can return to normal, you’ll be up and going again, but it’s all worth it for that sweet release and great after-class burn. If you’ve never tried HIIT, now’s a good time to start.
Like interval training, circuit training also involves a series of exercises with short breaks in between. But rather than focusing on the intensity of what you’re doing, you’re focusing on targeting specific, and varied, muscle groups. So, in one circuit, you could hit legs, arms, core, and back, letting one muscle rest and recharge while you work the others.
For those of you who have been enjoying circuit training workouts at home, first of all, way to get creative with your space—we’d like to see your home gym setup. But also, you’re probably feeling evenly toned and equally worked this quarantine season. It’s all about that balance, baby.
Book virtual circuit training on Mindbody
If you fit into one of these categories, you understand the appeal. If you don’t, maybe you’re thinking about a new workout to try. Either way, we hope you’re hanging in there and remembering the awesome benefits of virtual classes, despite the frustration you’re probably feeling. We’re going to get through this one way or another, and we might as well be sweating together safely in our living rooms while we do it.
Ready to try one of these class types, or maybe push another to the top of the list?
Book now on Mindbody.