She noticed a lack of diversity in group fitness and did something.
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It has been around five months, give or take, since we have been living in this new normal. If you’re like me, this new way of living has you feeling pretty isolated. Not only are you being asked to shelter in place, but also to stay away from friends, family outside of your home, large groups, and businesses that bring you joy, happiness, and community.
This has kept us from our usual fitness, wellness, and beauty routines, but it’s more than that. To keep ourselves and our community healthy, we are actively staying away from others. While this is an incredible act of care and compassion, it has negative effects that aren’t comfortable to talk about.
Our beloved places where we moved our bodies, enjoyed social interaction, and practiced self-care are no longer available to us. These are real human needs, and in their absence, we are more isolated, becoming lonelier, and experiencing more mental health issues.
I noticed these issues springing up in myself, and while I did spend a day (or two... or nine) on the couch, wallowing in my lonely misery, I decided to do something about it. I began creating community in new ways—ways I am excited to share with you now.
If you’re like me and are struggling with not having as much social connection during these times, follow these 10 steps below. If you do, you will tap into connection like you never have before; connection that is rewarding, transformative, lifechanging—and virtual.
Even if you are an essential worker (we appreciate you!), you are likely experiencing more time on your hands. Use that time to discover the things that set your soul on fire. Love running? Reading non-fiction? Collecting plant pets? Building your core with Pilates? It’s time to do a little self-discovery.
Getting clear about what you love to do will make it easier to identify communities to join (or create). Once you identify those, continue.
Did you know—many businesses are providing virtual, outdoor, and socially-distanced offerings? Think HIIT cardio in the morning sun, a lunchtime meditation to break up your day, or a sweet, evening sound bath to rock you to sleep. Enter “virtual” in the search bar within the Mindbody App to discover offerings that align with your wants and needs.
If you choose to partake in virtual classes, use them to connect with others. Hop on a few minutes before class and stay on for a few minutes afterward. Use this time to introduce yourself to others on the call, including the instructor/service provider. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Ask others how they’re doing, what their plans are for the weekend, or how their days are going. Let your instructor know what you’re trying to get out of the class. Ask them any questions you may have.
Soon enough, you’ll start to build a community within the confines of a virtual class. From there, you can even exchange social media handles to follow the lives of those you meet. These small connections add up to help you feel less alone.
Pre-pandemic, we generally sought out fitness, wellness, and beauty businesses that were in our respective towns. Post-pandemic and out of sheer need, we’ve been able to access offerings from all over the world! What a beautiful thing, and if you haven’t expanded your reach, start today.
In the Mindbody app, you can set your location to a town or city outside of your place of residence. The world is literally at your fingertips. Casting a wider net gives you more opportunities to meet new people.
Always wanted to try meditation, but never had the time for it? Never had your hair cut at a proper barbershop? What about those runners who’d rather run longer distances than take a restorative yoga class? Sometimes we deny ourselves things that are good for us because we can think of countless other responsibilities. Well, now is the perfect time to get curious.
You want to explore Kundalini? Do it. Want to check out that barbershop on the corner that is cutting hair outside? Go for it. You never know who you will meet or what connection you’ll make. Communities are all around, even in a pandemic, waiting to be discovered by you.
Chances are, your favorite instructor and/or service provider has an online presence, and thus, an online community. You can tap into that! Find them on social media, follow them, and start engaging with their content. You would be surprised by the amount of social connection you can absorb by DM conversations, story replies, and thought-provoking comments.
Notice who seems to be responding to their posts in the comments. Follow them. Engage with what they post. And make new friends within the community of your faves! Sometimes we just want to be a part of something that makes us feel good, and this is a great way to do that.
On my Instagram, I use the hashtag follow feature to follow hashtags I love. It allows me to fill my feed with things that help me feel better. For example, I follow #radicalselflove because it fills my feed with posts that revolve around caring for myself, loving my whole being regardless of how I’m feeling that day, and just general self-love goodness. Plus, it allows me to connect with others who care about the same thing. Instant community-building opportunity!
You don’t have to follow just one. Research 10 hashtags you want to follow now—and get to scrolling. If your feed didn’t please you before, it certainly will lift your spirits now that it shows things you care about and want to see!
I know. This one sounds scary. But if you are following these steps, you are already using some form of social media. Might as well dive into this, as well!
The benefit of getting in front of your camera is that others will see you and will be more inclined to interact with you. When virtual interaction is the only social interaction you can get, it’s important to mimic face-to-face as much as possible.
So, get the nervous wiggles out, and get on camera! Talk about your day, ask questions, do whatever. It will get easier each time.
Did you know The Enso features things like learning to love your at-home yoga practice, revamping your mental health routine, and breathing exercises for anxiety and depression?
We are here for you to provide support, and we are committed to publishing articles that support all seven dimensions of wellness, including emotional wellness. Use this blog as a resource to aid in your mental health.
Remember how clear you got about your passions, thanks to step one? Why not make your own community? Create a social media page and start posting things that revolve around your passion! Use hashtags so others can find your community. Create things you love and want to see. Research others who are in the same niche, follow them, and interact with them.
I am a yoga teacher and did this with Instagram, and it has been so fulfilling. I’ve met people from all over the world who share my love of yoga and body acceptance. And thankfully, it has made me feel less alone.
What do you think about these steps? Are we missing anything? What do you do to connect with others during this time? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram at @mindbody!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.