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Right now, it doesn’t seem as though there exists a “business as usual” mantra. In fact, it’s starting to feel less like we’re going to “return to normalcy,” and instead begin fresh, in a seemingly new world. Everyone is banding together in their own ways to support one another, remain as socially active as possible (tough for those extroverts out there), and find new at-home routines that are helping them rediscover their own wellness during this time.
This shifting landscape is especially true in the fitness world, specifically for studios and gyms. In a time of closures and social distancing, there’s seemingly no way for these businesses to provide services to their members the way they did only a few weeks ago. While this seems like a lose-lose for both sides, because the businesses still need a revenue stream to ride out the COVID-19 era, and their members—now more than ever—still need the benefits of physical activity and togetherness, Mindbody is doing everything we can to support both sides impacted by this.
Now, through Mindbody.io, as well as in your Mindbody app, when you search virtual, you will find a growing number of live and prerecorded classes to enjoy. Let’s get into how virtual classes can help you right now:
With times being as uncertain as they are, it perhaps has never been more important to prioritize wellness in our daily lives. While Mindbody focuses on all seven dimensions on wellness, let's dig into one of the more actionable ones: Physical wellness.
Now that we’re cooped up indoors more than usual, we need to counterbalance the extra sitting/Netflixing/day-drinking with a good sweat. Maintaining your fitness routine now not only helps with your current calorie-in-calorie-out conundrum but also keeps you on track so that when things do return to normal, you won’t have lost your fitness mojo.
But perhaps even more important than the physical benefits are the emotional ones. Being sedentary lowers our mood—and our immunity. Plus, it’s just really boring. With the added stress of so many of our kids (and partners) being home more than usual and right there in our personal space, throwing your earbuds in and getting in a good cathartic workout can help break the monotony and get your mind right.
Many gyms and studios are starting to offer their “virtual” classes on Mindbody.io and the Mindbody app, but If you don’t see much being offered by gyms in your area just yet, don’t worry! More and more studios are adding classes every day.
But think about it: what’s really cool about virtual classes is that—because they’re virtual—you’re not just limited to studios in your area. Broaden your search! From your living room in Los Angeles, you can drop in on a class happening in New York. It’s the perfect opportunity to try something new.
On the Mindbody app: Pop open your Mindbody app, and search “virtual.” You will be able to see any classes in your areas, from yoga and Pilates, to spin and even guided meditations. Select the class you want, whether a tried and true workout or a brand new sweat, now’s the perfect time to keep your wellness in line, virtually.
NOTE: If you aren’t seeing many virtual classes in your area, don’t be discouraged. The beauty of virtual classes, again, is being able to transport anywhere in the country, or world for that matter, and jump in on a class of your choice.
The COVID-19 epidemic isn’t doing the economy any favors, and fitness services are being hit especially hard. If you’re a lover of fitness and the businesses that provide it—and the fact that you’re reading this article means you probably are—taking advantage of these virtual classes is an excellent way to support these businesses in their time of need. It’s a total win-win: they get to continue living their passion and driving value to their clients, and you get a body-sculpting, spirit-lifting workout. Each side supports the other when everyone needs it most.
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
This June marks 52 years since the 1969 Stonewall Riots took place—a historical event that put the severe lack of LGBTQIA+ rights into the spotlight. Thanks to the efforts of activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, we now have the privilege of celebrating June as Pride Month where members of this community can celebrate everything that makes them beautiful and unique.
At Mindbody, we've created an inclusive, uplifting, and welcoming workspace where all our team members feel valued and inspired to bring their best every day. Here’s what some of our employees said when we asked them what Pride means to them:
“Pride means choosing to be my authentic self, even when it’s hard.” — KT Ellis, Business Relationship Manager
“Pride is about acceptance, community, freedom, and love.” — Josh Pierce, Content Designer
“Pride is about celebrating how far we’ve come, demonstrating how far we’ve got left to go, and focusing on our similarities rather than our differences.” — Bobby Jones, Payments Specialist
“Pride is about celebrating the visibility and accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ people. It’s also about celebrating the diversity among LBGTQIA+ people.” — Robert Arambel Senior Technical Program Manager
As we have discussed before, inclusivity remains an important topic in the wellness industry. We are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the LGBTQIA+ community that helps shape, grow, and provide access to wellness.
While Pride Month is a great time for fitness studios to show their support for the community, consistent support throughout the year is much more powerful. Being LGBTQIA+ inclusive is more than hanging up a rainbow flag—it's a consistent alignment with providing equal access for everyone. We’ve done some of the work for you and aggregated a number of awesome fitness studios you can find on the Mindbody app that are celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and creating inclusive spaces for all:
Kyle House Fitness is Chattanooga’s premier fitness program offering group fitness classes and personal training with the best-certified instructors and trainers in the area. Located on Chattanooga’s thriving Southside, Kyle House Fitness is more than a gym, they pride themselves on building a welcoming and inclusive community. The owners of this gym, The Kyles, may sound familiar to you since they recently wrote a blog post for us on how to be an LGBTQIA+ ally in the fitness space.
EVERYBODY is “creating a radically inclusive culture for all bodies to move, strengthen, and heal.” Not only is their $66/month membership affordable, but they also offer 100% subsidized memberships to folks who are in dire financial hardship, which helps remove barriers for those who are marginalized and/or low-income. Aside from their standard program classes, they also offer affordable $8 drop-in classes—some of which are bilingual (Spanish/English). And, they have gender-neutral locker rooms, which is a staple for LGBTQIA+ inclusive spaces.
At Pilates, Barre & Jams, owner Teresa Ellis’ mission is “to make movement available and accessible to the people who have never felt comfortable walking into a status quo studio...” and we are here for it. As a Black queer femme and a former sex worker, Ellis witnessed first-hand what it feels like to be othered, which is exactly why she opened her Pilates studio in 2017—to create a safe space for all. Knowing that financial restraints should never be the reason someone can’t attend one of her classes, she even has a “pay-what-you-can" membership option so everyone can have access to her amazing Pilates classes.
At Mark Fisher Fitness, “making health and hotness fun and inclusive” is their mission. As a member of their Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams (yes, you read that right), they promise fast results with a money-back guarantee. It’s not just rainbows and unicorns at MFF—their bright and vibrant space is filled with friendly trainers who are fiercely committed to your results and growth.
This self-proclaimed “gym + safe space + house party” fosters a supportive community without the homophobia, transphobia, and body shaming. Since it’s important to them to reduce barriers for folks with body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria, you won’t find a single mirror in this gym. They take “gym buddies” to a whole new level by offering a monthly social calendar for members to connect online. With classes like “Oakland Booty” and “Tops ‘n Bottoms,” The Queer Gym promises lots of sweat, an encouraging environment, and a dang good time.
At 305 Fitness, their mission is to empower people to love themselves harder and express themselves louder. Their passion stems from their core values of inclusivity, empowerment, self-improvement community responsibility. 305 exists to make fitness more inclusive, empowering, and fun. Movement is more than calorie counting or being the "best" in the room. Movement is about radical self-love, self-expression, and self-pride!
Compass Fitness is a journey for the body, mind, and soul. They encourage their members to find the best version of themselves. With classes like “Hustle & Flow,” “Buns & Guns,” and “HIIT & Run,” you know you’re in for a fun and powerful sweat sesh. On top of being a gym that embraces inclusivity and diversity, they donate all proceeds from their Pride gear to The Center on Colfax, the largest LGBTQIA+ community center in Colorado.
Yoga Box’s mission is to create a space where yoga is available to all. Their community of instructors, staff, and students creates a radically inclusive community of support and a place for people to connect to like-minded individuals. Through consistent, safe, and inspired classes designed to challenge, transform, and empower their students—both physically and mentally—this fitness studio is a safe and supported space to elevate your state.
While this is a great list to get you familiar with some fitness studios that support the LGBTQIA+ community, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep this list growing. If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a business we should be highlighting as well!
Wanna sweat it out? Explore more inclusive and empowering studios through the Mindbody app, where you can book everything from HIIT to hot yoga. If you’re looking for other ways to help support the LGBTQIA+ community, you can also donate to your local organizations or support national organizations like The Trevor Project or the Human Rights Campaign.