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Staying Fit Locally During COVID-19

Grateful Yoga owner Chrissy Lefavour. Photo courtesy of Grateful Yoga.
During these stressful times, it’s important to remember to take care of ourselves. Taking online fitness classes can help us take care of ourselves, and taking online classes put together by local businesses helps to support our community while staying safe at home. Below are a few of the local online classes that are available.

Alpenglow Fitness

Alpenglow has been offering a variety of online classes as part of a multi-day series. Participants sign up to be part of a series, and each day, Alpenglow offers a workout or activity. These activities have included barre, yoga, barre-cardio-pilates fusion-type classes, guided meditation, and DYI workout suggestions with playlists. So far, Alpenglow has offered a 10-day fitness challenge and a 12-day health and wellness series.

“For each series, we have a spreadsheet and Facebook group where people can track their progress, share how it’s going, and connect with photos and videos,” said Alpenglow owner Sky Barsch. The class includes live workouts that will be posted online afterward. To learn about the next upcoming series, sign up for Alpenglow’s newsletter or go to their website, alpenglowfitness.com.

Alpenglow has also been offering complimentary 30-minute corporate classes for businesses and organizations as a way to help teams that are working from home to connect during this time.

Grateful Yoga

Grateful Yoga has been offering free, public yoga classes on the Grateful Yoga Facebook page. Some of the instructors have also been putting up their classes on Youtube. Some of the participants’ favorites have been options for kids and families. “We’ve been getting over 1,000 views on almost all of our classes, it’s actually incredible,” Grateful Yoga owner Chrissy Lefavour reflected. Grateful Yoga will soon be offering outdoor classes and adding pilates to its online offerings.

In addition to selling gift cards, Grateful Yoga also sells yoga mats, custom tanks, hoodies, and yoga pants, all available at gratefulyogavt.com/shop. Shipping is free. Pick up or delivery are also available options.

When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on her business, Lefavour responded, “Movement is the only way to get ‘through’ anything. The biggest ‘softening’ we feel is the ability to continue to share a practice we love with other people. Financially, it’s our first disaster, but we know many small local businesses that have suffered floods, fires, and other disasters only to flourish on the other side. That’s definitely where our focus is, ‘moving through’ this together.”

Green Mountain Community Fitness/Zenith

Green Mountain Fitness has teamed up with Zenith to offer almost 30 online classes per week. These classes include CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, dance, cycling, kettlebell, KBXFIT, a couple of HIIT-specific classes, a rowing class called RowFIT, Warrior Kids, and HomeFIT Kids. GMCF is currently running a promotion for 20 percent off 5- and 10-class punch cards, which makes classes as low as $13/per class. To sign up for classes go to gmcf.life or zenithvt.com.

“We usually sign on about 10 minutes early to allow for some pre-class chit chat, and, of course, folks love to check in with one another and make sure that everyone is doing well and feeling healthy,” said Gail Pivetti, “We also offer a time on Monday and Thursday mornings that we call Mmmm, Caffeine, which is just 45 minutes to stretch, drink coffee, and get ready for our day together.”

Zenith owner Roxi Garland highlighted the online class Warrior Kids! “It’s a class tailored for tweens and teens, 5th–8th grade. We use class time to reconnect, talk about struggles and silver linings, and we get our bodies moving! This is one of our favorite ways to serve our community and we love it!” GMCF has also been offering free classes to all staff members of the Central Vermont Medical Center to help support health care providers.

River House Yoga

Lindsay Helwig O’Hara, the owner of River House Yoga, has enjoyed seeing both two-legged and four-legged participants during her online classes. “Our pets are happy to be home with us right now. It’s fun to see dogs wagging their tails as their owner stretches out on the floor or cats playfully attacking feet in a relaxing pose like savasana,” she reflected.

O’Hara is currently offering Back Care and All Levels Yoga classes. “I think offering online classes has been a saving grace for most yoga, fitness, and dance studios for now. Many of us have had to pivot our whole business model and adapt during the pandemic. We might have stumbled on a new way to enrich our small businesses and come out much stronger,” O’Hara noted.

Lindsay Helwig O’Hara, owner of River House Yoga. Photo by Rachel Stern.

Susi Yoga

“I wanted to create something people could do as much as they wanted to, like every day, because what works well for me is to have a practice every day,” said Susan Wahlrab, who is well known in the Maple Corner community for teaching her yoga classes at the Maple Corner Community Center, and has created a series of online classes and meditations to bring healing and support safely to her students. Wahlrab is a certified Kripalu Advanced instructor and incorporates anatomy training, Angela Farmer, Vinyasa, and Kundalini into a unique blend that she has deemed “Susi Yoga.”

“The really nice thing is that I have been teaching for so long, over 30 years, that there are people all over the world who have either taken my class and are thrilled they can have access to them or people who have always wanted to take my classes,” she continued, “Not only am I able to serve students here in Maple Corner which most have them have signed up for, but people in Italy, England, Canada, California, South Dakota, and all over the country.”

Wahlrab updates weekly with a new class and a new meditation. To sign up for Wahlrab’s class, contact her at susiyoga3@gmail.com.