Personally, I wasn’t sure on the idea of ‘virtual workouts’ to start with… the thought of my dog licking my face whilst trying to hold downward dog and only having myself for motivation with my comfy sofa in view made me uncertain.
There is also something really energising about going into an upbeat studio with loud music and someone yelling at me to drop my hips or hold that plank, whilst everyone around me is also going through the same pain!
However, what lockdown has created is a whole new generation of ‘virtual’ fitness classes that I think are absolutely here to stay.
Youtube workout videos are nothing new, and there is an element of convenience as you can just do them as in when you please. However, there is something more motivating about virtual classes being live. At a time when socialising is pretty limited, I find zoom classes are a safe way to stay connected with other people and are actually really productive. Also if you are self-isolating it’s a fab way to motivate yourself to get up off the sofa, get those positive endorphins moving and see some other humans!
Whether you’re looking for a full-body blast or seeking that zen feeling, there’s something for everyone… and they are all Harrogate based, so if you do want to do a mix between zoom and in person, you can- restrictions permitting of course..
Here’s a few of the classes that I have tried and tested and would definitely recommend.
The best for… variety:
- StrongStems: Ran by Georgia Southby from Harrogate:
I say: If you’re looking to work up a sweat before the weekend, Georgia’s Friday morning HIT class is the way to go! She is so motivating and you really feel like she’s right there with you. The class focuses on your full body and is a real morning blast… She is also a nutritionist and offers amazing advice on her Instagram page!
She says: The classes are a perfect fit for busy homeworkers, anyone stuck inside or not wanting to venture out to gyms, someone needing a boost of something different! A breath of fresh air to the way you workout (time will never pass so quickly!). It is a great way to get your fitness fix from the comfort of your own home without breaking the bank!
How the classes work: All classes are streamed live online via Zoom. The most you need is a mat, pillow, x2 tins of beans and space to move. You can see the schedule for live classes on the website, which rolls 4-5weeks in advance. StrongStems offers a huge variety from sweaty HIIT sessions to Legs, Bums & Tums, BoxFit, Full Body Weights, Circuits, Core Control, Mobility and Strength & Tone… so you won’t get bored!
- Flexi Pass: You can pay as you go for £3 per class- (even up to 5 mins before) just pick your class go through to checkout and the link will be sent via email.
- UNLIMITED LIVE FITNESS PASS: £10.50 for all live exercise sessions for the week. Select class pass into your basket along with all the classes you want to make as part of your pass.
- FITNESS & WELLNESS PASS: £15 for the week. This includes all exercise sessions, cooking classes, wellness workshops, & also on demand service which is where you can request and access pre-recorded live workouts.
The best for… Mood and flexibility:
- FLO WITH ZO: Ran by Harrogate based yoga teacher, Zoe Ellmore:
I say: I love Zoe’s vinyasa flow zoom classes… You finish the hour smiling and her positive energy stays with you all day! Zoe focuses on poses to strengthen your whole body and improve your flexibility on your way to a well-earned savasana. It’s open to all levels (you don’t have to touch your toes). Her love for yoga shines through in her teaching and she is really easy to follow… especially for me as I am no yoga expert. She also posts a lot of clips on her Instagram page and youtube channel which are great if you’re looking for a quick session.
She says: ‘A great benefit during this current time is the boost yoga has on your immune system. When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymphatic system, helping to fight infection! And finally, yoga helps to reduce stress and improve mental health by reducing our cortisol levels.’
How the classes work: You can browse and book the zoom classes through the website. All you need is a mat and positive vibes! If you can’t make the live times of the classes, recordings are available which can be done anytime up to 5 days after the class.
The best for… Self care:
- Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing: Ran by Anne-Marie is the founder of the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing.
What I thought: Anne Marie has over 30 years of experience and this definitely shines through in her classes. I have tried her ‘seven spiritual laws of yoga’ class which was so relaxing! Anne focuses on the holistic approach and gets you to really concentrate on yourself. I learnt so much about breath retention, dharma and even how to sleep better. I totally let go from the outside world during the classes.
She says: We find our older students or those who are needing to self-isolate particularly enjoy the zoom and the live option as it enables them to catch up and chat to their friends if they are not able to join us in the studio so it is the next best option to coming live as some of them live on their own so it’s really valuable for the social interaction.
How the classes work: Live classes are taught via Zoom and you can also access pre-recorded Youtube classes. You have 1-2 weeks to complete the class in your own time. They offer are a variety of yoga and pilates, Face yoga and meditation classes, as well as some clinical and restorative classes. They are recommended by medical specialists and are suitable for all ages and abilities. Each class is structured to meet individual needs with numbers limited to 10 people per class, which gives each individual the extra attention needed for a safe and effective workout.
Prices: One class is £9 or you can book a block of 10 for £75 which can be used on any zoom or catch up class.
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