Mid-South fitness studios turn to virtual classes during coronavirus pandemic

Mid-South fitness studios turn to virtual classes during coronavirus pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several fitness studios in the Mid-South are local businesses that shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But owners aren’t letting their students go without a workout, they’re just bringing them into their homes -- virtually.

It’s 9 a.m. on a Friday morning and more than 20 students are logging in online to practice yoga from their homes.

It’s the new business model, Rachel West and Jocelyn Brunotte started when their Cooper-Young yoga studio, Mind Body Haus, closed its doors on Monday.

“It was really important for us to build a sustainable model, because we don’t know how long this is going to be,” said Brunotte.

The studio uses Zoom to teach classes via video chat. Students can get the same workout, in the comfort of their home.

Rachel West wants it to be an outlet for physical fitness, mental health and community.

“Not all of us have spouses, or kids to have at home and just the ability to connect even remotely with each other is just really huge at this time. It can be really powerful and important,” said West.

The two have a realistic, but optimistic approach to how to keep business moving. They still require students to buy classes if they want to take the class online.

“We have to make money in order for us to continue our business and hope that in a few weeks, months, we can open our doors again,” said Brunotte.

That’s the hope for all locally owned studios, which is why they push supporting one instead of finding a free workout online.

Plus it can give you a sense of normalcy and hold you accountable.

“We are having people sign up, they are showing up, they’re working out and we’re trying to create the same experience the best we can,” said Brunotte.

Even if you can’t take the classes live, the studio records them. If you buy a class, you have 24 hours to do it on your own.

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