Zoom and Instagram fitness classes, dancing with a partnerless screen on YouTube. Or even zumba-ing your way across your bedroom floor to a live Facebook session. There are so many ways to stay fit or learn a new healthful and mindful skill at home, especially when you can’t go to the gym.
Top Virtual Fitness Classes
While online learning has been forced upon us in a way we could have never imagined, the offerings are so varied with expertise so available that you will likely add these options as a permanent part of your fitness and mindfulness routine forever.
Dance, Dance, Dance
Let’s start with my favorite lockdown choice: dance. This is an activity you can do indoors or outdoors with a myriad of styles to keep your brain challenged and your body toned. And you don’t even need a partner.
Gigi Stoot and Matthew Johnson Harris are two dance-cardio instructors, both from New York City but now zooming from somewhere undetermined. Gigi, a choreographer and model, describes her class as a “fierce hip hop fusion” dance workout. With Gigi’s Dance Party, you’ll tone-stretch-dance-repeat all to the fiercest music out there. Her playlists are legendary with reggaeton, disco, salsa and hip hop for a nonstop cardio hour. Matthew, a movement specialist and choreographer, leads high-intensity interval training and dance classes on YouTube. Plan to move to 80s workout tunes, Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and disco as well as emulate some hip hop ladies routines with his Friday night Cardio Dance Party. With both of these engaging instructors, you’re guaranteed to sweat as your body is toned and reshaped. Just remember to lay off the potato chips when you’re done.
Two New York City dance studios offer a privileged glimpse into programs you may have been too timid to try before. The Alvin Ailey School offers a menu of styles through its Ailey Extension online class program where you train with master teachers at beginner or more advanced levels. Have a fantasy of being a Broadway hoofer? Two weekly classes will teach you the stage routines from musicals like A Chorus Line, Hadestown, Kinky Boots and more. If ballroom is more you, Arthur Murray NYC Broadway offers a free lunchtime session on IG Live daily @arthurmurraynyc, with each class focusing on a different style of dance but all set to contemporary music. Think Western swing, Latin, box step and even line dancing, all taught by master Instructors. IMHO, this is the best lunch break ever.
You can also check out the Rockettes live Instagram feed @therockettes. Their NYC venue might be closed, but you’ll get some Christmas spirit as you learn some of the famous Radio City Music Hall Christmas moves. Ballet lovers will enjoy the Nationale Opera & Ballet’s ballet and barre classes on YouTube with classes designed for all levels of dancer. You can peruse their full selection along with performances that will inspire.
Finding Your Zen with Yoga
Yoga has taken over the Zoom waves in a major way, showing you how you can do your poses at home in a variety of styles and locations. Bloom and Bend Yoga hosts a live class from Prospect Park in Brooklyn with a different yoga studio teaching their particular style each week. Livestreaming three classes per week, wildly popular Rusty Wells teaches a challenging Bhakti Flow class at noon EST with chanting and a mix of vinyasa (flow) and music, all wrapped in Rusty’s own brand of humor and compassion. Offered Monday through Friday, Bee Bosnak’s beautiful flow class is a combination of flow and athletic styles that is uniquely hers. If Bikram is your thing, Marlene Goldman will kick your butt three times a week with this disciplined series of asanas.
The power of finding balance through breath and yoga has been one of the primary benefits of the century-old practice. Mindfully moving through asanas or postures, has proven to not only challenge the body but bring peace to the mind and spirit. These are some of the pillars of the teachings of Sharron Lynn 's "Breathe, Flow, Be" virtual yoga classes. As a Broadway and film/TV actress, model, and former Alvin Ailey dancer, Sharron uses her intimate knowledge of wellness and body connection to teach free yoga classes for all levels on her YouTube channel. From deep stretching to advanced flows, there's something for every aspiring yogi. Classes are also available via Zoom!
Yoga and More
Yoga combines with a full daily offering of barre, body training, Pilates, sound bath and mindfulness thanks to a full schedule from Warrior Flow TV. Founded, curated and led by Adrian Molina and Dennis Hunter, live-streamed and archived classes require a monthly or yearly membership with portions going to support the Warrior Flow charity to help underserved populations such as shelter residents, frontline workers, and more.
In this time of renaissance, KAMOCHI’s mission is to continue to sustain the health and longevity of all living beings and reconnect them with a purposeful and blissful life through the medium of yoga and dance. Co-founders Tony-Award nominated dancer Karine Planadit and renowned choreographer Michelle Camaya Julian established the KAMOCHIMETHOD to draw from a unique history in the professional dance and yoga communities to create a methodology focused on helping and challenging yogis to center themself and bridge them back to their authenticity. Join their virtual 30-day mindful challenge beginning September 1st which will focus on yoga, pilates, meditation, dance, and more for a fun full-body and mind realignment.
Pilates is another way to stay limber at home without needing access to reformer machines or Pilates chairs. Grab a foam roller, a Pilates stick, a set of resistance bands and you’re good to go. Although Joseph Pilates must be rolling his eyes just a bit now, we’re delighted to have Pilates & More (with Mor) at home with us. Mor Haim offers up challenging and varied mat routines on Facebook that can take you from the studio to a park, dock or swimming pool.
If you really want a full-body workout, I suggest trying one of Nadia Zaki’s Constantly Evolving dance yoga classes on Zoom. A trained dancer, yogi and martial arts master, Nadia will guarantee that you’ll sweat and challenge yourself as you master the postures and positions.