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This is a post from our (always amazing) Mindbody community.
I remember when I took my first trigger-point therapy (TPT) yoga class. The instructor, Annika, combined these hard but-seriously-amazing lacrosse balls with hot yoga to deliver the most therapeutic class I’ve ever taken. I remember seeing her at the studio, pouring over an anatomy book, eager to learn more so she could deliver the best class. I consistently went whenever my schedule would allow it, and did so until I relocated. I still think about how amazing the TPT was for my left hip.
The same goes for when I took what my home studio dubbed a “Meg class.” Meg, the instructor, taught the most difficult hot vinyasa yoga class I’ve ever taken. Not because of how advanced the poses were, but because she knew how to combine quick movement and strength-based poses to obtain optimal exertion. This was no doubt due to her years of expertise in yoga, personal training and massage therapy. I knew when I went to her class, it was going to be sweaty, thoughtfully-sequenced, and hard.
As a student, I never really thought about what it was like to be a teacher. I simply thought of myself and my experience. My mind never went to the preparation they must have done to deliver such a killer class. I never thought about how this was their livelihood and how they pay their bills. Not until I became a teacher myself did I think about the anxiety they must have felt, commanding 30 students for an hour at a time. Or how many emotions they absorbed while holding space for me to feel mine.
The wellness industry is experiencing a huge hit, and its instructors are at the center of those losses. Their hours have been cut greatly, and if they are teaching virtual classes, oftentimes they are at a lower rate than in-person. Many of their other revenue streams (in-person private sessions, yoga retreats, local business collaborations) are nonexistent for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of how intense (Meg) or yogic (Annika) your favorite teachers may seem – they are human – and they are likely experiencing the same stressors you are. They’ve given their heart and soul to their work, and a lot of that work has been taken away. Much like we need our boss and coworkers to give us positive reinforcement and support, fitness instructors need to know they still matter to the communities they’ve dedicated their lives to. A simple DM or text will go a long way. Let them know just how much you loved their core series, or how they helped you achieve your first pullup. The recognition will help fuel them to get through these hard times.
If you’re feeling called to do more, there are many options to support your favorite instructors. If they are offering private virtual sessions, purchase those and take them (what else are you going to do with your Saturday?). If they are offering virtual classes through a studio or gym, take them (and invite your friends)! And if any of their offerings are free, please consider donating directly to the instructor via Venmo or another money-sharing app. They work hard to bring you quality content that you can enjoy through the screen, and they deserve to be compensated for their work.
If you can’t donate, there are other ways to help. Whenever you see them promoting their offerings online, share them. When you take their class, share it. When you see another friend post about their offerings, share that! Write them a review on the Mindbody app. Text a screenshot of the schedule to your friends. Give them a recommendation on LinkedIn. Tag them and @mindbody on Instagram, and we can help spread the word as well! All these actions say, “Thank you.”
Find out how you can show support for your favorite studios here.
Anything helps, and remember—we are all in this together.
I wonder how my two former teachers are doing. I think I’ll reach out. Will you?
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, 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 Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!