A Toronto woman is teaching yoga classes outside windows during the pandemic
With fitness studios closed and Zoom calls the new normal, one Toronto woman has come up with a pandemic-friendly way to workout and also get a bit of human interaction at the same time.
Ashley McEachern, who has been a yoga instructor in Toronto for 10 years and currently teaches online classes at 889 Yoga, started Window Workout where she offers exercise classes outside clients' windows.
She thought up the idea back in October after she completed an online yoga class from her home.
"I started feeling nostalgic for the human experience and the teacher-student connection. Then it clicked," McEachern told blogTO.
She threw down a yoga mat outside in front of her door and put in her Bluetooth headphones to test it out with her husband inside on speakerphone to see if it could really work.
"Alas, it did. It seemed so simple and silly and fun, and Window Workout was born."
Today, McEachern, alongside four other instructors in Toronto, one in Victoria and one in Ottawa, offers yoga and also martial arts, kickboxing and HIIT training classes this way as well as online.
"The amount of screen time we're experiencing every day is already too much for many of us," McEachern says. "But beyond that, my students attest that there is a deeper feeling of human connection during a window workout than an online workout."
She says it also makes it easier to see her students' form throughout the class when in-person.
"This enables me to provide more personalized and specific instructions, which is particularly beneficial in a time where people are not seeing their bodyworkers as often as they were before."
Since she started, McEachern has taught about 30 window workouts to kids in online school and in need of a bit of off-screen exercise, isolated seniors in nursing homes, and entire household bubbles.
"It's the most heartwarming experience I've ever had as a teacher to make families smile together in these difficult times," she says.
You can book a single 45-minute Window Workout session online for $105 or a five-class pass for $425.
McEachern and her fellow instructors plan to continue doing the window workouts through the winter, though they hope to be able to eventually resume regular exercise classes.
"Honestly, I hope the current model of the business becomes irrelevant as soon as possible because that would mean that this pandemic is over," she said.
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