TO YOUR HEALTH
By Caitlin Brown
Fitness for mental and physical well-being is more important than ever. Covid seems to have put people in two categories: those who responded by stepping up their workout game, albeit online or outside, and those who fell off the fitness beam, maybe indulging a bit more than usual.
But now that we’ve gotten through the worst of the pandemic, as well as winter, it’s time to get our bodies out of hibernating mode and back to normal — or better — getting our wellness routine down, and maybe mixing it up a bit.
But what will that look like?
While we all bemoaned the shutdown of gyms at the beginning, I, for one, soon discovered that at-home or virtual fitness solutions had their share of benefits, notably convenience and saved time.
For fitness enthusiasts, the new online, or digital format changed our daily schedule for the better, no longer having to add the time it takes to drive to the gym, fit in a workout, and drive back in time to meet family and work responsibilities. The digital platform can fit into anyone’s lifestyle and schedule.
The first few months of 2020, I bemoaned not being able to get to my yoga studio, see all my friends, meditate with them, but soon after — and, not by choice obviously — I warmed up to Zoom classes keeping us together, albeit differently and getting that workout in (mental and physical). I could even turn the video off, so I couldn’t be seen by the group if I felt like going incognito, doing sun salutations in my PJ’s, or getting into Savasanah (corpse pose) sooner without feeling like a wimp.
Covid forced us to get creative, and the internet helped us do that, immaterial of place.
This is not to say that gyms have gone up in smoke. They haven’t, and won’t, but they will look different once they fully reopen. Most gyms have included online options (classes, training, etc.), and they’re likely to continue, even when we’re all vaccinated.
In a time when we were forced to be apart, digital fitness brought us together. It has offered a more inclusive, non-judgmental atmosphere for all ages, shapes, and sizes to take part in numerous options (yoga, Pilates, barre, Zumba, African dance, HIT) they may otherwise not have tried, or ones that would’ve intimidated them at the gym.
New fitness tech apps and gadgets have exploded on the scene this year, keeping up with our fitness: helping to set goals, provide education, offer personalized workout plans, compete with others (and ourselves) … the list continues.
The bottom line is that technology has upped the ante when it comes to our fitness. Wearable technology, connected home equipment, smart clothing, streaming video and fitness apps have led to innovation that has changed the landscape and our perspective. Right now, online fitness (given it’s too cold out and indoors is limited) is the <main> option that people have. But in the near future, it will be an option that complements an already active lifestyle, and something people can do as well as going to the gym. Online classes are here to stay.
The warmer months are coming and soon we’ll have options outside. I, for one, cannot wait to park my mat on the grass and Namaste amongst friends. That said, I will be mixing it up with my streaming classes. Things may be different, but the future looks bright.
Kaia Yoga is my home base (kayayoga.com). It offers Vinyasa open flow, free morning medication, and gentle yoga.
I also had the opportunity to try new things that I can heartily recommend, notably Taryn Toomey’s “The Class”. It’s a workout that offers mental clearing and emotional release. Toomey also offers a two-day retreat, something I would have been too self-conscious to try had I not done it online.
Taking classes at one of my favorite studios from my Manhattan days, Jivamukti yoga (jivamuktiyoga.com) was also a treat.
Many in Rye and nearby have taken advantage of the wealth of yoga offerings at Wainwright House.