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This is a post from our (always amazing) Mindbody community.
It was Sunday, and the adrenaline was high. I added a few things to my getting-ready routine to aid in my confidence: eyeliner (damn that unattainable wing), my favorite leggings, and my new, fresh-but-not-intense perfume. I had already done all I could do to prepare, but in anxious-millennial fashion, my mind raced with all the lovely, worst-case scenarios that could happen. God, my imagination is good at that.
As I threw my hair into a low pony, I started to practice a breathing technique I do when I’m about to speak in public. In for six, hold for six, out for six. Times six. It has been my go-to, doing the job of lowering my cheetah-fast heartbeat and bringing my breath back to baseline. I wasn’t technically public speaking, but I thought this technique could assist. Turns out, it didn’t.
As a yoga instructor, I live for the face-to-face student connection. I love when I get to experience someone new – they come to my class, and they leave with a light atop their head, as if they’ve just discovered something lifechanging (because they did!). I love observing a student’s progress - gently helping them into a deeper version of a pose, or watching them nail something they’ve been working on for months. I love stepping onto the cold, hardwood floors of a studio, feeling the energy of a thousand practitioners with my bare feet.
Maybe it’s my ego talking, but I also love who I am when I teach. I love everything about it. I can oftentimes lean towards feeling inadequate or like an imposter (I believe it’s actually a skill that keeps me humble and hungry), but not when I’m leading a class. When I’m teaching, I know it’s to serve a higher collective – it's not about me, and that allows me to comfortably step into confidence.
That is, until I went virtual
Back to Sunday. The breathing technique wasn’t working. Reassuring myself I had everything ready to go – sequence formulated, playlist laid out to a T, living room staged, camera angle dialed in – wasn’t working. I was, as my late Italian grandmother used to call it, plagued with the “nervoso”.
There I was, about to teach a class to 25 virtual students, and my cheetah heart was pumping full blast. I felt like I was teaching my very first class. And in a sense, I was.
There was so much more that went into a virtual class than I was prepared for, most of which I learned while teaching my first one. For example, a teacher should test whether the participants can hear their voice over their music (didn’t do that). A teacher should also make sure the WiFi connection is strong, and turn off any unused devices (didn't do that, either). One should definitely make sure their pets aren’t able to open doors and come billowing into the staged yoga “studio”. But *sigh* - we live, and we learn. Did I mention how freaking hard it is to teach and take the class at the same time?
My new name is Huffaluffagus.
The moral of this story is I made it through. I was supported by a beautiful yoga community I love so much, and even some close friends from all over the country. There were a few bumps, but I realized halfway through how incredible this opportunity was to share my class with folks outside of my studio’s city limits. I realized how much we need social connection as humans, and how important it is to be part of a collective. I was so impressed by how quickly Mindbody’s customers created new ways to bring yoga to their communities in times of struggle.
Yes, it was scary. Yes, things happened that weren’t planned. But with every virtual class, I’ll get better.
To instructors: don't let the events of today’s world keep our work frozen. We have to continue doing what we love outside of our comfortable studio – or gym – spots.
To students: losing the studio experience is devastating, and to teachers, it comes with a whole host of stressors naked to the human eye. Take our virtual classes, share our work with the world by tagging @mindbody on Instagram, and go easy on us when the house cat makes a special appearance.
Find out how you can show support for your favorite studios here.
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, Kyle House and Kyle Miller (AKA 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.
Since they happen to be one of the most influential duos in the fitness industry, we were eager to sit down and learn more about what wellness means to them. Ready to get to know The Kyles better? Let’s dive in.
We have always had a love for fitness. From an early age, we were both very athletic (swimming, gymnastics, and cheerleading). Once we graduated, we slowly transitioned into training young athletes and then later started working on our careers. Kyle House started personal training at a large gym and began building a solid career as a personal trainer and groups fitness instructor. Kyle Miller started working in marketing and communications ranging from politics, law enforcement, and tech becoming a leading public relations professional. After working in their fields for about 10 years they decided to combine their love of fitness with their experience and built one of the most successful fitness facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
During our time working at other gyms and visiting other facilities that many were either missing qualified and motivating trainers, topnotch customer service, or a workout that was balanced and would lead to results for everyone whether they were casual fitness enthusiasts or hardcore athletes. We are motivated on a day-to-day basis by the idea that we can always be better. The experience can get better, the community can grow stronger, and we can continue to show people that fitness is more than just a way to look good, it's therapy.
Wellness to us has always been about leading a life that is balanced. It's not all fitness, it's not all work, it's not all fun... it's not all healthy food, it's not just junk food—it's about finding a way to reach your own personal goals while still having a healthy relationship with fitness, friends, family, and food—otherwise known as the four Fs.
If you're in the Chattanooga area, you should definitely check out Kyle House Fitness to take your wellness routine to the next level. You can book classes on the Mindbody app or through their KHF app.