How Yoga and Fitness Studios Are Reopening Post-COVID-19

As we continue to navigate the landscape that is COVID-19 and the “New Normal,” we’ve come to terms with the fact that things may never go back to how they were before. The simple act of shaking a stranger’s hand for the first time, or hugging a friend you haven’t seen in a minute both seem so foreign now. Almost to the point of, “I can’t believe we ever did that!” Think about getting adjusted by your favorite yoga teacher at your favorite studio. Or your personal trainer motivating you to do just one more rep on the bench press at the gym. Or even just a barre workout before brunch with your best friends.

Times have changed. You’re adapting. “The earth is healing.” Everything is different. But what does that mean for you “getting back into the swing of things” at your favorite fitness studios? We’re shining a light on what yoga and fitness studios are doing to reopen, as well as keep you safe, post-COVID-19.

Reopening yoga and fitness studios post-COVID-19
No business is immune to what is happening right now (or has happened in recent months). And of the most impacted have been fitness studios; gyms, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, barre, etc. These fitness modalities have had to shutter doors and adapt quickly to a new virtual environment, one where their clientele must continue their yoga practice from their living room, personal training from their patios, barre in the bedroom, and Pilates in the kitchen… But now, with reopening plans being dispersed across the globe, we enter a new phase of “all of this.”

Whether apprehensive about returning to hot yoga, or ready for a sweat with a friend (or a mix of the two), fitness studios have been hard at work on their reopening plans and making sure every t is crossed, lower-case j is dotted, and regulation is followed to ensure your safety. Let’s look at what they’re doing to reopen post-COVID-19 and into the new normal:

Updating studio space to accommodate for social distancing regulations
In the new normal, will 6 feet be the go-to for space between one another? Too early to really tell, but for now, it is.

As we start to re-enter studios, there will most likely still be some sort of social distancing procedures. There will potentially be changes to the layout of your favorite studios. Additionally, class structures and sizes will change to allow for adequate social distance. Make sure you’re booking well in advance if you want the front bike, or primo spot near the instructor in your next yoga class.

Fitness

Whether they’re offering classes at a smaller capacity, holding classes outdoors, sticking with live stream, or just out of practice altogether, studios all over the country just aren’t operating how they used to. This means, now, more than ever, they could use our support. If your studios are still closed—or even if they’ve reopened—they’re likely doing everything they can to get back on their feet and bring their communities back together (including you!). Here are some clear (and effective) ways to help the studios you love.

How to Support Local Fitness Studios (whether they’re open or closed):

1. Don’t cancel your memberships
Seriously. Don’t cancel your memberships if you want to support. Studios rely on a steady stream of memberships to keep them running. If you’re financially able, maintain—and take advantage of—your membership (or find the right one to invest in if you don’t have one already!). These days, studios are getting creative and working hard to provide the best possible experience for clients in the studio, outside, or on-screen. By continuing your membership, you’re ensuring the future of the business and showing up for you. That’s a win-win.

2. Harness the (real) power of retail
Thinking of buying some new yoga pants or a mat? Maybe you want some blocks and bolsters to improve your at-home yoga practice. Before heading online to big brand websites, check and see if your local studios have anything to offer. Often, they’ll have their own websites or photos of retail on their social media accounts, so you can buy it from home or stop by for a visit. Plus, you’ll pretty much be a walking advertisement for the studio—and maybe you’ll meet some new workout buddies wearing it!

3. Continue with live stream
If you tried out a live stream class during the beginning of the pandemic, odds are, it wasn’t the best (no offense, studios). But if you had a bad experience and gave up back then—or even a month or two ago—you might want to consider giving it another go. Studios and instructors are improving their live stream classes every day, learning and adapting on the fly to make sure you’re getting the best workout you can with all the benefits. For a lot of studios, this is the only form of classes they can offer right now, and they’re pouring their hearts and souls into it. So, check out the top 5 most-booked virtual classes… maybe it’s time to try something new.

Returning to Gyms and Studios: How You’re Preparing to Go Back to Your Workouts

We’re all trying to do what’s best for us in the current situation, and our safety precautions can vary for lots of reasons. Age, location, personal risk, state/county guidelines, overall anxiety, and many other factors can affect our choices regarding our own health and safety measures. That’s why we went to the source: You. We polled our Instagram audience, asking you what your plans are to stay safe and prepare for your glorious return to gyms and studios. Based on this poll, here’s what you all had to say

We all love a good group fitness class—and we’re all missing our in-person sessions a lot right now. Surprisingly, even with social distancing precautions in place, 62% of you would prefer to return to your group fitness classes rather than sticking with personal training or solo exercise for a bit. But we also know our classes are probably going to look a little different when we return. In response to our question about what you’re doing to prepare and stay safe, 32% mentioned hoping for smaller class sizes, keeping distance, and/or respecting people’s space while in the studio. Even as studios limit capacity and class sizes, and increase distance between machines, we should all remember to respect the space of those around us (yes, unfortunately, that means no high fives for now).