As you all know, rules governing gyms in the UK changed on the 25th of July. But are Yoga studios open? The answer is a bit complicated and very dependent on the venue. Government guidance is relatively vague, and relies on venues and teachers making their own ‘risk assessments’. Here we’ll be discussing how Yoga class will look post lockdown. We’ll also be taking a look at the safety measures studios will be taking and letting you know what changes you’re likely to see.
In theory, all Yoga studios are now open from July 25th, at least as far as the law is concerned. But financial pressures are causing many small studios problems. It’s a tough time for all businesses that rely on close interactions between folks – for many, business simply vanished over night. Now is the time to support your Yoga studios – even if you can’t make it in person. Most studios and teachers have taken their classes online, and many of you have continued to benefit from their wisdom. Online classes are still the safest option – but many of us find a studio environment and learning in person far more inspiring.
So What Can You Expect From Yoga Classes At The Studio Now?
Don’t Expect Any Physical Corrections
While usually something beautiful about Yoga, the tactile nature of teaching is currently to it’s detriment. Many teachers are concerned about the lack of posture corrections they’re able to give in remote classes. But unfortunately skin on skin contact is a big no no.
No Hot Yoga
Hot Yoga may not be available for the foreseeable future – the damp, hot environment is simply too dangerous. Airborne droplets are the most significant cause of Covid-19 transfer, and during a hot Yoga session full of deep breathing and sweat the risk of transfer is exacerbated. Hot Yoga can be intense and even dangerous for some (we covered the problems with hot Yoga in this blog post). We recommend steering clear of it for the time being.
No Before And After Chatting!
We love hanging around and catching up before and after class! But it’s likely that your studio will be discouraging this. According to Wheel Of Yoga guidelines, teachers should be encouraging students to arrive on time to prevent any kind of congregating before class begins. Which is fine if you attend an impersonal kind of class. But if you have lots of Yogi friends you’ve missed during lockdown this could be a tough one!
Bringing Your Own Mat (And Cleaning It Religiously)
Most of you bring your own Yoga mats with you, but if you rely on your studio or gym to provide, you may have to buy one of your own. Check out our buying guide here. Studios will be either regularly disinfecting their mats or insisting students provide their own. This will be the case for all excercise equipment and machines due to government guidelines, and is a requirement of gyms & studios reopening. Check out our guide to keeping your mat clean here.
Smaller, Socially Distanced Classes
If you usually practice in a big group prepare to see a big reduction. Many teachers and gyms are restricting class sizes, and keeping classes as first come, first serve. The more students, the higher the risk. The closer the students are together, the higher the risk too. Mats will be (generally) two meters apart. However, we know having a bit of extra space for practice will be a nice addition for plenty of you!
No Carpeted Teaching Environments
The British Wheel of Yoga currently bans teaching in carpeted rooms as there is no possible way to adequately sanitize a carpet between classes..
Your Yoga Teacher Might Be Taking Things Outside
As of the 29th of July up to 30 students can be taught outside, providing a risk assessment has taken place and social distancing is enforced. Our ambassador Rebecca Hannah taught a class in the park last week with great results. The students had a fantastic time and we’d certainly recommend joining in if your teacher suggests a little park Yoga! You can check Beckys instagram for her classes.
The Same, But Different
Lastly we’d just like to encourage you all to still stick with Yoga if you can. Remember that these measures are not forever and we’ll be back to giving Yogi hugs soon! While we admit it does strip some of the fun – safety for ourselves and others really needs to come first right now. If you feel unsafe getting back to class – don’t! If you feel you want to test the waters, go for it!
So what do you guys think? Will you be heading back to class?
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