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Did you know 76% of Britons say they try to take care of themselves physically, yet two in five are afraid of change when it comes to exercise*? Considering these findings, we’ve created a tried and tested guide on what to expect if you’re signing up for five of MINDBODY’s most popular fitness classes for the first time**:
25% of MINDBODY app users schedule a yoga session—making it the most-booked class on the app. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on flexibility, strength, and breathing to encourage physical and mental well-being. Not only is yoga good for those who suffer from aches and pains, but it’s also been proven to help decrease levels of stress and depression.
Nahid de Belgeonne, founder and director of Good Vibes, gives a few tips on how to be prepared for your first yoga practice:
“It can be a bit daunting when you first enter a yoga class but do make sure that you choose a class that is the right level for you. Wear clothing you can move around in; most people opt for leggings, a vest, and a layer on top in case they need it.
Get there early to let the teacher know that you are either a beginner or new to the class and always let them know of any injuries. Place your mat where you have a good viewpoint of the teacher so that you can see as well as hear the instructions clearly. The teacher will show you a few poses that you can rest in, typically child’s pose, be sure to take it up whenever you need it.
Yoga is a practice that cultivates your skill in action, so take your time to learn the basics, and you will find a more nuanced practice sooner than those who throw themselves into a class that isn’t suitable for their level.”
A newly trending type of fitness, roughly 6% of MINDBODY app users book barre classes. Combining ballet-inspired dance movements with Pilates and other strength training methods, barre aims to make you stronger while improving balance and flexibility. Make sure to take it easy if you’re serious about signing up—this workout be quite challenging at first!
Nahid tells us what to expect with this full-body workout:
“So, you’ve decided to step up to the barre? It’s a great class for sculpting the whole body, but especially the legs and butt. Wear clothing that fits you well like leggings, a wrap-around top, and socks.
Get to class early, so you don’t miss the warm-up; where not only are you warming up the joints, but you will also go through some of the movements that you will do throughout the class. There are a lot of repetitions, which means that you have time to perfect your technique, plus it’s always to music, so you’ll feel energised and elegant afterward!”
Although only 6% of people prefer to book Pilates compared to its sibling, yoga, Pilates is definitely becoming more popular. Similar to yoga, Pilates is a form of exercise that practices flexibility and muscular strength to fortify the stomach, improve posture, and help to elongate the spine without bulking up.
Nahid advises using props for Pilates:
“Mat Pilates is a great class to help you to cultivate a connected core. You’ll need to wear clothes you can move around in and might need to wear socks with a grip depending on the studio guidelines.
You might also use props such as a Pilates ring, resistance bands, or weighted Pilates balls. Be on time to class because you spend the first ten minutes warming up the spine, and muscles and if you miss this you may not be let in. Over time, all of your workouts will benefit from a more switched-on core.”
Although a lot of cyclists may prefer to spend their time outdoors, 4% book indoor cycling through the MINDBODY app. With elements like weather, traffic, or the use of expensive equipment, indoor cycling is often a more convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy this cardio-driven workout.
Nahid reminds us that position is key to your cycling performance:
“The first thing you need to do is make sure you know whether the studio hires out cycling shoes or whether you can rock up in your trainers.
Get there early for help with setting up your bike. The position of the seat and the handlebars are crucial to enjoying your ride or not. You can expect to get pretty sweaty at this class, so make sure you take a small towel and a bottle of water to keep hydrated. The ride usually consists of a warm-up, a progressive endurance ride, and a little choreography from a standing to a seated position, before the cool down.”
The fifth most-booked class at 3%, bootcamp is perhaps the most strenuous of exercises we have featured. You can expect military-style group challenges using a variety of equipment and routines conducted by a hands-on trainer. Bootcamp is a full-body workout, so get ready for short bursts of intensive cardio and rigorous training which helps reduce body weight, improve endurance, and increase muscle mass.
Nahid has a couple of tricks for an outdoor bootcamp class:
“As well as taking your trainers, water, and layering up for a bootcamp session, be sure to take dry clothes to change into as you are going to sweat and the weather might not be ideal. Listen out for the techniques for each burst of exercise and remember to breathe!”
Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, is all about trying something new:
“It’s no secret that trying something new for the first time can be daunting, however not only will trying something new spruce up your routine and keep you on your toes, but it will also give you the chance to fall in love with a different kind of workout!
If you’re ever in doubt about what to expect before starting a new class, get in touch with the venue and someone will be able to advise you on what to bring, wear or answer any other questions you may have about attending a new class.”
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.