MAKING YOUR VIRTUAL FITNESS CLASS EVEN BETTER THAN IN PERSON CLASSES  

“WOW!” I exclaimed as I did my 8th curtsy lunge. Never tried that one before, but I could feel  my glutes and quads working hard. As the teacher moved onto the next pose, I continued with the lunge, exploring my weakness and strength. I now integrate this exercise into my home practice, which honestly is sometimes in front of the stove while cooking and other times in front of the TV.   Most of us reading this has probably attended one group fitness or yoga class in the past. The energy is motivating, the instructor inspiring, and there’s socializing before and after class. With a virtual fitness class, it is an entirely new experience, and one that many of us have had to learn to love.  

  • It’s a home studio! Personalize to make it fun.

Wear funny socks.  Wear your favorite pants with a hole in them. Put your hair in pig tails. Light a vanilla flavored candle.  Play your favorite folk rock.  All the class flair is up to you!  Create a meditation nook or a fitness area.  Devoting a space for your exercise regimen will help you to remember to attend class and will signal your mind and body to be ready to exercise.  

  • Screen junkie

We may all feel like screen junkies nowadays: meetings, happy hours, classes, and now exercise all through the computer. Rather than feel fatigued by another screen, try casting your fitness class to your TV. Get outside with the device.  Have a friend or family member join you.  Focus on connecting with your own body during class.

  • To share or not to share?

Online you have a choice: share your audio or video or remain an anonymous black box.  Our instructors love it when you participate in class with your video on! It’s not just motivating to the teacher, but to the others in class who are working hard right along with you.  And we don’t mind it if you are in a stained shirt, oily hair, or your dog howls along to the music.  

  • Pushing our limits.

We may find that our limits are different when we are not together in a studio.  Practicing at home means we can both take more risks and limit our effort.  Scared to try that balancing pose at the yoga studio? Now, you can fall all you want without the fear of embarrassment.  Want to do 20 more squats after the class has moved on? Push 

yourself, ease up, there is a lot of freedom to explore what you really want in class.    

  • Trusting ourselves

We may have completely trusted the instructor in the past to guide us through all of the poses. Now you have the opportunity to trust yourself as your instructor is more of a guide into your own experience.  Being on camera, our instructors cannot often   see how you are moving and practicing the pose. Hands-on variations are impossible. Ask questions after class and trust what you learn about your body while you practice.    

  • We love our introverts

Never liked small talk before your in-person class?  Now there’s no obligation to interact! Chat with the participants and instructor before and after class if you want. We love to hear about you: where you are joining from, what you are looking for in class, and what’s important to you right now (even if it’s not health/fitness related).  This is how we create community and accountability within our virtual classes.  

We are all in the midst of great changes both inside and out. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to take care of the body and keep our immune systems strong in the midst of a health crisis.  Stress weakens the immune system and so does a dominantly sedentary lifestyle. Develop the neural pathways to make mental and physical self-care a habit. Get up. Right now. Walk, stretch, find movement that you LOVE and that will keep you coming back!          

 

By Marla Pelletier Inward Office This may be reproduced with consent of the author.