When I wrote my first blog post back in late January, I was sure that the world would bounce back from the devastating fires and political upheaval that had taken hold. Despite the tragedy, I felt optimistic and determined to move forward with a better sense of self and purpose. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine things getting worse on a global scale, let alone a sweeping pandemic that would hit every single continent and bring the world economy to its knees. I don't think I am alone in feeling like I'm living a weird episode of the twilight zone. Even my parents - an older generation who have seen a LOT over the years - have confirmed that this is easily the most bizarre and scary time of their lives.
Though despite how strange and dire things feel right now, I am trying my best to stay positive and hopeful, and cling to any sense of normal living I can. Aside from not being able to see my friends and family in person, the hardest part of social distancing is not being able to hit my usual yoga and workout classes. Moving my body is truly what keeps me sane, and so goes without saying, it never been more important for me to keep moving during this challenging time. Exercise has been proven to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression, increasing energy and cognitive ability, and greatly improving sleep. For a great article on mental health benefits of exercise, click here.
Luckily am amongst a phenomenal network of fitness and wellness professionals given that I moonlight as a Lagree instructor, and I have seen such a huge outpouring of online resources in the past few weeks.
So, if you are looking for a something to get you going - a guided workout, dance party, yoga session, some breathwork, or even some tension release - I have compiled a list of my favourites below. Most offer videos through Instagram or YouTube, and I have linked them all.
The majority of the resources offered below are free, however, I encourage you to consider an online donation to the instructors who are temporarily out of work and could use the support!
Move your body: Online Workouts + Dance Classes
- Lagree West workouts – same core and booty shaking burn, minus the mega @lagreewest
- A La Ligne Pilates and breathwork (Instagram live and posted) led by Katie Mackenzie @alalignemethod
- Bootie poppin’ workouts with or without booty bands, posted at @moneymakerclass
- Quick core workout by Pilates queen @NatKunz
- Outdoor sweat (or optional indoor version), check out @meghunterrr
- Circuit based workout, posted on @hustleupca
- Daily live streams from Vancouver wellness ambassadors @united.we.move
- Join the party and get your groove on with Culturally Defined Hip Hop/street style (@culturallydefined) led by Chris Wong via Instagram live (@chriswow) - schedule is in stories!
- Harbour Dance Centre (@harbourdancecentre) is offering a free online class series via YouTube, starting with a Sexy Street Intro by Carlo Atienza
Chill and Breathe: Yoga + Meditation
- Get out of your head and into your body with ‘The Balance’ class taught by Vancouver fitness/wellness gurus including Ariel Swan (@arielswan) via Jaybird Studio (@wearejaybird)
- A daily series of live yoga and meditation classes with One Yoga for the People (@oneyogavan) led by a variety of instructors, including THE lion himself, Ryan Leier (@ryanleier) – schedule is posted on their stories!
- Practice online with Carolyn Anne Budgell by donation. Her latest meditation "Self Care Amidst the Chaos" (16 mins) is available now.
- Full 50+ minutes of power yoga and pilates classes with Krystina Simes
- Full vinyasa class with Katie Gillespie via YouTube
- A members only yoga + meditation space by Christine Wu shared via Instagram live. Membership is $9.99USD for a month of access.
- Oprah & Deepak Chopra Online Guided Meditation. Though occasionally they offer a free series, 21 day mediations available for purchase with context provided by Oprah and meditation guided by Deepak. Download the app to stream or online
- And finally, for some tension release, treat yourself to instructed stretch and self massage by an RMT and anatomy Guru, Elle Bryson @ellebryson