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Pride Month offers numerous events where members of the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate who they are. But June is also a good time for everyone to show support for their LGBT friends, relatives, co-workers, and workout partners.
We spent some time with LGBTQ+ business owners Kyle House and Kyle Miller (the Kyles) who own Kyle House Fitness in Chattanooga, TN, to hear from them about their tips to being a better ally inside and outside the gym.
Here are three things they say are important to remember when strengthening your commitment to being a good ally in the community.
The saying, “Knowledge is Power” isn’t just a cute tagline, it can be the best place to start.
In 2020, individual identity has expanded dramatically, and this can make understanding and connecting with people in and outside the LGBTQ+ community more complicated. With new terms entering our worldwide vocabulary, it’s important to have a general understanding of terms so you can easily have conversations and connect with people who identify with these terms.
The good news is, The Trevor Project has made a great resource to help us better understand the terms in their online glossary.
Learning terms are just a starting point, but the most important thing to remember is that the power of the word lies in the individual who identifies with it. What that means, simply put, is never label someone with a term. The power to own a label is their own, and when speaking with someone in the LGBTQ+ community, you never want to take that power away from them. The easiest way to ensure you avoid this misstep is the practice of inquiry over advisory. Ask more questions and let the answers drive the conversation. But, don’t directly ask, “are you gay” or “are you bisexual.” Start just like you would with anyone else, and if you are interested in learning more about an individual's identity, an easy opener is “are you in a relationship?
When we learn about someone, and when we have a positive connection—especially as an ally—it's easy to be excited, and you may want to show support by sharing your interaction with an LGBTQ+ person.
Remember, coming out is one of the hardest things an LGBTQ+ person can have, and it’s not a once and done type of thing. LGBTQ+ people are constantly “coming out.” Whether it’s to family, old friends, new friends, co-workers, or people they interact with each day, LGBTQ+ people are coming out on a daily basis. The last thing you want to do is say something to others that a person shared with you. Building trust is key, and if you can connect with someone and build trust with them, you will be a huge help in allowing them to drop their guard and be more authentic in their daily lives.
As the world continues to grow during a trying time, one thing has become very evident. Prejudice and the power that allows it to exist and grow can be found in the most subtle of things said or actions taken.
If you hear something or see something, say something. I know, another catchphrase, but it’s an easy rule to follow.
Being an ally and a builder of an inclusive community starts with your own expression of what’s acceptable in the environments you call home. If you hear someone make an anti-gay joke or a crude comment, let them know you don't appreciate it. Not only can small statements and actions have an adverse effect on the overall environment, they could be that one small thing that makes a vulnerable person give up on pursuing their goals to be a happier, healthier person.
Hold that close to you as a responsibility, and you might even teach someone else that there’s a better way to engage with others who don’t look, act, and live like they do.
Want to try a Kyle House Fitness class? Check out their schedule!
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.