If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.
I'm talking to wellness professionals to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their lives, as well as how they're adjusting how they teach to make quarantine a little healthier for all of us. Today, I chatted with Bridget (Bee) Creel, a certified yoga instructor in New York City.
What do you teach?
I've been at Y7 in New York City for three and a half years. I've been teaching yoga for eight years.
Why did you start teaching?
In college, I discovered how much I loved group fitness — specifically cycling, Zumba, yoga, and strength training. I decided to complete the eight-week training my school offered for soon-to-instructors and I started teaching fitness. I had no idea that once I moved to New York it would be something that I couldn't function without. I was able to keep my writing career steady alongside teaching yoga for the first three years of my time in New York, but toward the end of 2019, I found that my practice and my teaching was more genuine when I poured all of my time into it. Even though it was a cut financially, it really became my way of life.
What do you love most about teaching?
Teaching is the most fulfilling experience I have ever had. I can honestly say it is the one hour of my day where I am completely present — no worries about the future or doubts about the past but instead, really fully breathing, moving, and helping others.
What is the current state of your studio?
Y7 closed about a month ago and had to lay off all of the teachers.
What virtual classes are you offering? How can people find those classes?
I post my yoga schedule for the week every Saturday night so that people can plan ahead. You can practice with me on my Instagram @beeyourhealth and I accept donations for class on my Venmo @bridget-creel.
What is your biggest takeaway regarding COVID-19?
My biggest takeaway is to be gentle with myself. Before COVID-19, it was SO easy to be hard on ourselves and feel like we are not doing enough. Now that the way we spend our time has changed, it's easy to feel like we *should* be doing more. Instead, I've been able to practice gentleness and remind myself that taking one day at a time is all I can do.
What long-term affects do you see COVID-19 having on the wellness industry?
I see the boom of online classes already happening. It's very exciting to get to practice with students that I had in New York but also students all over the world. It is exciting and I'm super grateful for it.
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