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Fitness
Published Tuesday Aug 03, 2021 by Denise Prichard

It's Time for In-person Fitness Classes

Fitness
Wellness

Do you remember what your workout routine looked like a year ago? The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes had become the new normal for most fitness studios across the world—and for a lot of studios, the hybrid format will still play a huge role. But for me, I live in Phoenix and fitness studios all over the city are now open for us fitness aficionados to enjoy the in-studio experience we so desperately missed.  

While I still plan on taking advantage of virtual offerings when traveling—or for when that 4 pm meeting goes just a tad bit too long to make it to the studio in time—the fact that I can now get a good sweat sesh in at my favorite studio has me pumped. Don’t get me wrong—I had a lot of fun supplementing my normal spin routine with virtual barre and yoga, but there are some attributes of an at-home workout that I am happy to leave behind. As much as I love my overly affectionate pit bull (okay, I’m obsessed with her), it was difficult going into a downward dog pose or popping up into a headstand without her attacking my face with kisses. On a less adorable note, it also started to feel a bit...lonely. I mean, nobody was there to witness my first handstand—something I’ve been working on for years. Okay—I may have only held it for a second, but that is still progress!  

While it’s great to still have these virtual options (they were a total lifesaver when fitness businesses were closed last year), I can’t even put into words how great it feels to be back in the studio. That first class back, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with all the things that I had missed about the in-studio experience. If you’ve been back to your favorite fitness studios, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you have yet to jump back into your pre-pandemic fitness routine, here’s what you can look forward to:  

That ambiance you crave

I know I’m not the only one who started to feel less-than-inspired while working out in my living room every day. While the convenience of rolling out my mat for a yoga class or setting up shop at my kitchen counter for barre class was great—I really missed the hustle and bustle of my high-energy spin and yoga studio. I go to The Madison Improvement Club in Phoenix and am a frequent rider in all the classes they offer from “Party on a Bike” to their themed rides (think Billie Eilish vs. Justin Bieber). These classes are inspirational and just downright fun—not to mention you’re surrounded by carnival-eqsue lights that flicker to the beat of the music. This is a type of experience you can’t find just anywhere—let alone in my tiny apartment. If you want to get a taste of the action, just check out their website.  

That community feeling  

I don’t know about you, but I go to my spin studio so much that the people I’ve met there are some of my best friends. While we didn’t lose touch with each other over the last year (thank goodness for Zoom happy hours and the occasional virtual workout sesh), it has been so nice being able to ride next to them again. Being able to see their smiling faces, celebrate our victories, and just feel like you’re a part of your fitness family again just hits different than working out at home every day. 

High-fives (and hugs) are back 

Celebrating and empowering my fellow riders is something I missed a lot. We couldn’t be in a class with other fitness fanatics, and we also had to let go of those post-class high-fives and hugs. I can speak firsthand about how powerful a high-five or a hug is after a tough workout. I remember my first spin class over four years ago—and how dead I felt after it—but having my neighbor cheer me on and give me that celebratory high-five was absolutely exhilarating. I felt welcomed and accomplished—I couldn’t wait to go back to another class. While the first few phases of going back to the studio after the shutdown still warranted some restrictions (like wearing masks and continuing to social distance), we’re starting to get to a place where folks are feeling more comfortable with bringing these confidence boosters back and I am here for it.  

Those feel-good adjustments  

Let’s push my spin routine to the side for a bit and focus on yoga. Can we all just agree that adjustments in yoga (or any workout class for that matter) are super beneficial? Even as a yoga instructor, I know that I’m not always setting up in certain yoga poses correctly, whether that is due to fatigue in the middle of a practice or if a certain pose is just not as accessible to me as other poses are. Having an instructor shift your body into the correct alignment not only feels good but it also helps you practice safely and avoid injury. And I’m sure it goes without saying that we are all ready to experience those Savasana massages at the end of class. Am I right?  

While I’m grateful for the opportunities that arose to practice fitness virtually while we were advised to stay at home, I’m so excited to get back to the unique thrills of working out in an in-person class—from the motivation of being in the studio to the celebratory high-fives and helpful adjustments. We are excited to connect you to in-person experiences again. It’s time for wellness! 

Ready to feel exhilarated in an in-person class once again? Browse Mindbody.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.
black-owned fitness businesses black history month
Fitness
Published Friday Jan 28, 2022 by Denise Prichard

Black-owned Fitness Studios to Support Now...and All the Time

February is Black History Month—a month to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. Inclusivity in wellness has been a topic for much discussion, especially as of late. 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. 

We celebrate the inspirational Black voices in the industry—and right here in our wellness community. “No matter how woke you think you are, we all have biases. So, it’s good to be aware of what our individual biases are, and what we can do about them,” says Sunil Rajasekar, President and CTO of Mindbody. “Driving change is hard, especially at a society-level. It’s going to take the best brains to solve this.” 

In recent years, a wave of Black fitness entrepreneurs have stepped in to create a more inclusive landscape within the wellness industry. How can we all make sure we are all putting an effort in to make sure we promote diversity in this space? Well, for starters, we can support their businesses. 

Whether you’re ready to try out a calorie-torching HIIT class or find your moment of Zen in a yoga class at the end of a long workday, odds are you’ll be able to find a Black-owned fitness studio that suits you. 

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of Black-owned fitness studios that should be on your radar:  

Align Brooklyn

Align Brooklyn is a boutique wellness studio offering mindful practices including yoga, Pilates, barre, HIIT, chiropractic, and nutrition to increase your functional vitality. Align Brooklyn is owned by a chiropractor, who specializes in sports injury and performance—making them able to provide clients with the highest quality fitness and wellness science available.

Body Space Fitness

Owned by celebrity trainer Kelvin Gary, this studio is focused on functional fitness—the kind that helps you live your life better, faster, stronger, and more efficiently. As functional trainers, they believe that every body is different and cultivate fun and dynamic workouts that emphasize teamwork and cooperation. Classes start at just $18.

BURN Dallas 

By incorporating resistance training mixed with some cardio components, BURN has developed and designed a unique fitness concept unlike any other studio in the Dallas area. Their innovative approach promises to not only challenge your physical abilities but your mental capacity as well. Currently, online and in-person classes are available starting at just $20 for a drop-in.  

CYCLED!  

Offering a unique mix of fat-blasting cycling classes, toning barre classes, and strengthening yoga sculpt classes, CYCLED! Studios located in Washington, DC and Maryland has something for everyone. They are currently offering socially distanced indoor classes (masks required), outdoor cycling rides in Takoma Park, and virtual classes all starting at $25 for a drop-in.  

E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness 

E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness is a premier physical performing arts facility located in the heart of Atlanta. By balancing fitness and creativity, their techniques will inspire you to commit to your overall health and wellness goals. They offer numerous types of fitness classes including bootcamp, interval training, cycling, and personal training sessions. Classes start at $25 a pop.  
 

HealHaus 

If you’re looking to find your calm amongst all the chaos going on in the world, then consider HealHaus as your one-stop-shop for peace and serenity. Right now, they are offering virtual yoga classes in the styles of Vinyasa and Restorative for $10 per class.

JTW Fit 

At Harlem-based HIIT studio, JTW Fit, they know that if you are willing to put in the work, they can help you achieve your fitness goals. Their customized programs are designed to motivate and challenge you while expressing the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Are you ready to trust the process and put in the work? Good. Virtual classes start at $10 while outdoor classes are listed at $25 per session.    

PIES Fitness and Yoga Studio 

PIES Fitness and Yoga Studio is aware there is no one exercise program that is right for everyone, but they firmly believe there can be one fitness place that is right for “every body.” With a mix of different styles of yoga, Zumba, and belly dancing classes, their virtual schedule is jam-packed with fitness offerings that will keep you in-tune with mind, body, and soul. In-person and virtual classes start at $12.  

Pilates Barre and Jams 

When Teresa Ellis opened Pilates Barre and Jams, she was keen on creating a space that helped people become stronger in their bodies. Since 2008, her goal has been to make movement available and accessible to the people who have never felt comfortable walking into a status quo studio because of the fear they didn't fit the aesthetic. Her mission is to make sure her clients are always feeling good, feeling strong, and able to do functional movements pain-free. Virtual classes start at $97 for a 4-class pack.  

Soho Yoga 

Soho Yoga’s philosophy is that yogis of all levels should be able to experience everything that yoga has to offer. While their public heated and non-heated studio classes are currently on hold, they are currently offering a variety of classes indoors and outdoors (at the beach, specifically) that fit into any schedule. Outdoor and virtual classes start at $20.  

Soul City Yoga

Founded in 2016 by Shanel Anderson, Soul City Yoga is a unique community Yoga studio with locations in Lynn and Malden, MA. Whether you are just beginning your yoga journey or looking for a deeper connection, at Soul City they encourage practitioners of all levels to come flow with them in a safe practice space where diversity is celebrated and representation is valued. Drop-ins start at just $14—or if you're new, swoop up one of their 2-week intro offers

Studio 34 Yoga 

Since 2008, Studio 34 has cultivated a community; it has offered affordable yoga classes, workshops, and art shows for those who seek healing, as well as space for wellness practitioners to provide various forms of therapy. This energetic space respects and honors all bodies–encouraging everyone to breathe and move in their healing-centric studio. Their online yoga and meditation classes are only $15.  

The Fit In 

The Fit In's mission is to make quality health and wellness accessible to underrepresented communities. They knew there was work to be done which why they set up shop in fitness deserts to provide quality fitness to underserved areas. At this studio, you can enjoy a bevy of interval training classes both indoors and outdoors. Classes start at just $25.  

TrapFit 

Whether you’re a total newbie to the fitness scene or simply just trying to take your workout routine to the next level, consider TrapFit in Raleigh your new home away from home. With a schedule full of bootcamp, boxing, circuit training, and dance classes, we’re certain you’ll find a class that suits your fitness needs. Classes start at just $20 per session.  

TRILLFIT 

At TRILLFIT, everyone belongs. They take pride in being Boston's original hip hop workout party and believe that fitness should be fun, inclusive, and set to the illest soundtrack. Ready to squad up and make it TRILL today? Classes start at $20—and they even have an intro offer available for new students!  

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 these lists, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well! 

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.